Appellation: Columbia Valley
E. & J. Gallo Winery recently refreshed the brand for Columbia Winery, the second revision since it purchased the historic Washington winery in 2012, and the artwork for this National Collection tier pulls in some elements of the logo from the 1980s. This bottling represents Sean Hails third vintage with Merlot in the Evergreen State, and the longtime Gallo winemaker started his work from this steamy vintage with a 48-hour cold soak, followed by an 11-day fermentation that reached a high of 90 degrees. His final blend included Syrah (8%) and Malbec (5%) to create a theme of cherry jam, fresh cranberry and strawberry-rhubarb compote. Juicy and lingering tannins lead to a finish of Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger tea and blackberry. Through Aug. 31, Columbia Winery will donate $4 per case of wine sold in Oregon and Washington to Seattle Childrens Hospital as part of its fundraising for the Auction of Washington Wines. The Columbia Cares program includes the Columbia Winery Charity Walk & Run - formerly known as the Covey Run.
Rated Outstanding! by Great Northwest Wine. (13.7% alc.)
Cases produced: 12,000
Food pairings: Enjoy this Merlot with lamb chops, braised meats, pork loin with cherry sauce or blue cheese burgers.
Columbia Winery, 14030 N.E. 145th St., Woodinville, 855-374-9463, www.columbiawinery.com.