Northwest Cellars 2012 Intrigue Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $28

northwest-cellars-intrigue-red-wine-2012-labelWhile its price remains stable, the blending program for Robert Delf’s Intrigue is rather fluid each year. This time, the Kirkland, Wash., vintner and winemaker Robert Smasne focused on Bordeaux varieties – Malbec (25%), Merlot (20%), Petit Verdot (20%), Cabernet Sauvignon (15%) and Carménère (5%) with Syrah as a backblender (15%). Their results are bodacious, starting with a nose that might make you go cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs cereal, joined by black plum, lavender, rosemary and a pinch of black pepper. There’s elegance to the mouth feel and flavors of cassis and plums as juicy acidity and beautiful grip to the tannins funnel into a finish of anise with more pepper and chocolate. It earned a gold medal at the 2016 Savor Northwest Wine Awards.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 474 cases

Alcohol: 14.1%

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