by Fred McMillin
for February 18, 1997

The Grape Washington Loves

Talk about being in the right place at the right time! Just as Merlot becomes the hottest-selling red wine grape in the USA, Washington State vintners discover that the variety loves the Columbia Valley. E.g., the Columbia Crest Winery has released its first ever ESTATE-BOTTLED Columbia Valley Merlot. It has precisely the characteristics that make the Bordeaux beauty so popular... already mellow in just its third year... no harsh edges but plenty of power. It's gentle enough for rosemary chicken, sturdy enough for thick-cut lamb chops.

1993 Columbia Valley Merlot
Columbia Crest Winery
Paterson, WA
Contact: Kari Leitch, (206)488-4673 $19


Postscript: The affinity of Bordeaux's Merlot for the Columbia Valley doesn't suprise geography buffs. Both regions are in the same latitude range, 45 to 46 degrees north.

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

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