14 Hands Winery 2014 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $15

Best Buy! “Textbook” may be a cliche in describing a wine of startling character, but it can be appropriate, as here. This is one fragrant, composed and resilient Merlot, yet it upholds the variety’s reputation for being capable of accommodating a wide range of foods at the table, such as ribs, tri-tip or pasta in a tomato sauce. This won a gold medal and best Merlot at the Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 300,000 cases

Alcohol: 13.5%

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