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Cinq Cellars 2011 The Storm

Appellation: Columbia Valley

The friendship of five wine lovers — hence the French word for their brand — led to the creation of this new winery just up the hill from Lake Sammamish, Wash., and in conjunction with Meritage Meadows B&B. Their knowledge of vineyards, blending and winemaking shows in this GSM approach with Grenache (32%) from Lonesome Springs near Prosser and Syrah (64%) from Weinbau and Mourvèdre off StoneTree, two stellar sites for Rhône varities on the Wahluke Slope. It’s a presentation that features hints of dark plum, boysenberry, tar, crushed leaf, allspice and black pepper. Expect much of the same on the palate, which is thick and whisks in red currant acidity. The finish brings dark chocolate, black olive and more spice. Rated "Outstanding" by Great Northwest Wine. (13.5 percent alcohol)

Price: $24

Cases produced: 300

Food pairings: Enjoy with osso buco, veal shank or duck.

Cinq Cellars, 21407 N.E. Union Hill Road, Redmond, 425-654-2899,

-- Great Northwest Wine