Appellation: Columbia Valley
Winemaker Rick Wasem’s blend has earned gold medals at Bay Area competitions for several years, including the Sunset International and San Francisco Chronicle. The Clarkston, Wash., winemaker’s latest version is showing nicely, too, as it leads with Cabernet Sauvignon (36%) and gathers up Syrah (22%) and Merlot from a combination of Dwelley and Spofford Station vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley, Verhey in the Yakima Valley and Weinbau on the Wahluke Slope. Aromas of blackberry, black currant, charcoal and minerality set the stage for a fluid that’s rich, delicious and nicely structured with Marionberry and black currant flavors. In Seattle, their wines are available in the Pike Place Market at Quintessential Gourmet, a tasting room that also offers olive oils and vinegars. Rated "Outstanding!" by Great Northwest Wine. (15.1 percent alcohol)
Cases produced: 300
Food pairings: Try this with duck, roast turkey, pasta with chorizo or lamb.
Basalt Cellars, 906 Port Drive, Clarkston, 509-758-6442, www.basaltcellars.com.