Sometimes the little things make a difference in the wine world.
The Horse Heaven Hills vineyards high in the Cascade Mountains in the state of Washington are known for strong winds that reduce the grape canopy, leading to more sun exposure and more even ripening of the grapes.
That’s where the blend of merlot (80 percent), cabernet sauvignon (13 percent) and syrah (7 percent) grapes are grown for this blend, which takes its name from the French term for “the horses.”
The wine is big but nicely layered, with flavors of red fruit, spices and tannins that stand out but are exceptionally balanced.
Sherry: “Black cherry and cassis, with a touch of leather and rose on the finish.” 3-1/2 stars
Chris: “Prune and raisin nose with flavors of raspberry and cherry and a long, deep finish.” 4 stars
Available locally for about $12.