Cloudlift Cellars 2014 Panorama Merlot, Columbia Valley, $26

In recent vintages, Tom Stangeland began to focus his Panorama project on Merlot, and his continued relationship with Elephant Mountain and Arianses allows him to take this to the next level. Ripe and alluring aromas of black cherry and blackberry include coffee and chocolate. Inside, it’s lighter and more hedonistic than many expressions of Merlot from Washington as those dark purple fruit tones come aross in layers of complexity, finishing with plum skin tannins, raspberry acidity and mocha. This marks the second straight vintage that this Seattle vintner has earned our top rating for his work with Merlot.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 167 cases

Alcohol: 14.2%

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