Burnt Bridge Cellars 2013 Blend X Red Wine, Walla Walla Valley, $40

burnt-bridge-cellars-blend-x-red-wine-2013-bottleCollege Cellars graduate Ben Stuart continues to enjoy his homecoming to the Portland/Vancouver area as the new winemaker for Burnt Bridge Cellars, not far from historic Fort Vancouver. The Walla Walla Community College product recently took over for cancer researcher/winemaker David Smith, and Stuart did an impeccable job blending this Right Bank Bordeaux-style of Merlot (66%), Cabernet Sauvignon (18%) and Cabernet Franc from Les Collines Vineyard – a breadbasket for many Northwest wineries. Touches of dark spice from the 22 months in French oak (66% new barrels) sparks the nose of currant juice, black cherry, lavender and rose petal. The fluid is suave and focused on dark fruit with its entry of ripe plum and blackberry pie flavors. Rich tannins transition to a juicy finish of cassis and strawberry-rhubarb compote. This downtown winery now ships to 35 states.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 150 cases

Alcohol: 15%

Winery website

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