Seven Falls Cellars 2011 Merlot, Wahluke Slope, $15

By on March 17, 2015

seven-falls-cellars-merlot-nv-bottleBest Buy! Among the many success stories at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is this  pet project of Doug Gore, the company’s director of winemaking who collaborates with assistant winemaker Reid Klei on this young brand. The success of this particular vintage is noteworthy because it showcases the almost bulletproof grape-growing climate of the Wahluke Slope, a region mostly unscathed by the November 2010 freeze that hammered other regions in Washington. Here, grapes came from Shaw (58%), Zirkle (25%) and Mrachek vineyards, and the 18 months in barrel accounts for aromas of lightly roasted coffee, chocolate and vanilla with notes of boysenberry and black cherry. Sandy tannins allow for flavors of red plum, ripe Bing cherry, graham cracker and a pinch of fresh mint. While there’s a new vintage hitting the market, the 2011 earned a gold medal at the 2014 San Francisco International Wine Competition — and it’s not slowing down.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 23,000 cases

Alcohol: 14%

Winery website

About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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