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Hogue Cellars 2012 Merlot

Appellation: Columbia Valley

Growers, winemakers and consumers of Washington state wines all benefit from glorious vintages such as that of 2012. Now-departed winemaker Coman Dinn’s team brought in fruit from the Wahluke Slope (41 percent), Yakima Valley (36 percent) and Horse Heaven Hills to create a wine redolent of blueberry jam on toast, Marionberry and black cherry, dark chocolate and black pepper. The rich yet lively Cab-like drink carries abundant acidity, a pinch of crushed herbs for complexity and fine-grained tannins. Suggested fare runs the gamut of butternut squash ravioli, grilled bacon-cheddar burgers and roast turkey. Rated "Outstanding" by Great Northwest Wine. (13.5 percent alcohol)

Price: $10

Cases produced: 30,000

Food pairings: Butternut squash ravioli, grilled bacon-cheddar burgers or roast turkey.

Hogue Cellars, 2800 Lee Road, Prosser, 509-786-6108, www.hoguecellars.com.

-- Great Northwest Wine

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