Appellation: Walla Walla Valley
This small winery on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla Valley has won six Platinums since 2009 with this superb red. Winemaker Andrew Brown used grapes from two nearby vineyards to craft this luscious Merlot. It opens with beautiful aromas of Bing cherries and raspberries, followed by rich flavors of cherries, dark chocolate, black tea and a hint of fresh thyme. Rated Outstanding by GreatNorthwestWine.com. (14.9 percent alcohol)
Cases produced: 230.
Food matches: This beautifully balanced will pair nicely with tri-tip, lamb chops or meat lovers pizza.
Watermill Winery, 235 E. Broadway Ave., Milton-Freewater, Ore., 541-938-5575, www.watermillwinery.com.