The Elephant Seven Wine Co. 2014 First and Mercer Grenache, Walla Walla Valley, $30

The Walla Walla Valley focus by this young brand for this Grenache-based wine centers on The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater, specifically on young and diminutive Monette’s Vineyard – farmed by Mark and Monette Hoffmeister. There’s also the influence River Rock Vineyard, which contributes Syrah (15%) to the end product. Ripeness wasn’t issue in 2014. That’s evident with the dark red fruit tones of cherry cordial, raspberry, cola and licorice. The structure is quite rich, backed by juicy cranberry acidity, baking spices, vanilla extract and a long finish of blackberry. As an example of Rhône varieties from The Rocks and considering the cult producers who source from this fascinating AVA, this tribute to Seattle’s Lower Queen Anne neighborhood can be viewed as a bargain.

Rating: Recommended

Production: 98 cases

Alcohol: 15.6%

Winery website

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