Several of the Walla Walla Valley’s top vineyards, including Pepper Bridge, Seven Hills and Walla Walla Vintners’ estate, went into this marvelous Merlot. Aromas lead with Chukar Cherries, mint, plums and raspberry bramble with a hint of blueberry cobbler. The palate is perfectly balanced between the elements of fruit, spice, floral and structure, offering vanilla and clove from the 15 months in French barrels, loads of cherry compote and a clove/nutmeg component that highlights the fruit. It ends with a slight tug of tannin that merely invites another sample. Suggested pairings span Mac & Cheese or Pot de crème. This earned a double gold medal at the 2017 Cascadia Wine Competition.

Longtime educator Myles Anderson created and taught the viticulture and enology program for Walla Walla Walla Community College. In 2002, he selected one of his top students, Colorado native William von Metzger, to help him ramp up production of Walla Walla Vintners, the brand Anderson and Gordy Venneri bonded in 1995. The string of success they’ve achieved in their decade of working together help earn them the award of 2016 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year by Wine Press Northwest.

Production: 761 cases

Alcohol: 14.2%