Appellation: Yakima Valley
Wapato winemaker David O’Reilly continues to pay tribute to his Irish roots on the label and the cradle of the Washington wine industry in the bottle with this astonishing blend of Cabernet Franc (36%), Merlot (36%), Cabernet Sauvignon (27%) and Malbec from venerable site such as DuBrul, Red Willow, Eldering and his estate Outlook Vineyard. The 20 months in French oak — 20 percent of it new — and the leading with Cab Franc shows early in the nose of bay leaf, oregano and toast, aromas which are overtaken by black fruit, dark chocolate, vanilla and minerality. There’s more of an emphasis on fruit when it comes to the drink, marked by flavors of black currant, boysenberry and elderberry. Its medium structure is beautifully balanced with sandy tannins and blueberry acidity, setting the stage for a finish of anise. Fortunately, production was more than doubled from the 2011 vintage. Rated "Outstanding!" by Great Northwest Wine. (14.1 percent alcohol)
Cases produced: 2,679
Food pairings: This should work well with lasagna, grilled meats or hearty stews.
Owen Roe, 309 Gangl Road, Wapato, 509-877-0454, www.owenroe.com.