Appellation: Red Mountain
Doug Long's first vineyard/winery project turned out to be a rather successful one -- David Arthur in the Napa Valley. He later retired to Gig Harbor, then a decade ago, he took an interest in Red Mountain and planted 30 acres. Later came a tasting room in Woodinville, meanwhile, he's left the grapes in the hands of winemakers Pete Hedges and Sara Goedhart, who know Red Mountain as well as anyone. That shows with this gorgeous Merlot, which opens with cherries, black currant, dark plum, chocolate and vanilla spice. On the palate, the dark fruit theme plays out with pleasing richness and beautiful balance. There's hedonism in the chocolaty finish, too. This wine won a gold medal at the 2014 Seattle Wine and Food Experience Wine Competition and was rated "Outstanding!" by Great Northwest Wine. (13.9 percent alcohol)
Cases produced: 292
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Food pairings: Grilled steak topped with sauteed mushrooms would be the perfect foil for this luscious Merlot.
Obelisco Estate, 19495 144th Ave. N.E., Woodinville, 425-485-2472, www.obelisco.com.