Armstrong Family Winery 2014 Four Birds Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $32

Co-owner/winemaker Tim Armstrong connects Bordeaux varieties from three of the Yakima Valley’s most established vineyards – Copeland, Dineen and Portteus – for a Right Bank-inspired blend named as tribute to the four members of his co-owner’s family, the Robbins. It’s a four-variety blend of Merlot (50%), Cabernet Franc (25%), Cabernet Sauvignon (17%) and Petit Verdot that offers a wealth of blue fruit, spice and herbs, ranging from clove, vanilla and cardamom to bold plum and blackberry. Savory notes of olive join mint and lilac amid an enjoyable structure of smooth tannins that lead out to a sensation of cherry candy. This release by the Armstrongs is available at their Woodinville tasting room, Total Wine & More stores in Washington and select bottle shops. And it’s meant to be served with full-flavored fare such as burgers, ribs, char-grilled steak, lasagna or pizza.

Rating: Excellent

Production: 267 cases

Alcohol: 14%

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