Monday, June 30, 2008

14 Hands Washington State Merlot

This wine, recommended by a reader of this blog, was a revelation. I'm never surprised to find high quality Merlots (and Cabernets) from the state of Washington (Leonetti Merlot is one of the best I've tasted, but it now sells for about $100/bottle). I've seen 14 Hands at Target (of all places) for $10.

Deep, dark, bluish. The aromas are incredibly deep--dark cherries, chocolate, blackcurrants and hints of black tea and Asian spices. Has a richness that reminds me of the Burgess Cellars Vintage Select Cabernets from the 1970s. This wine has all the good qualities of new oak--framing and highlighting the aromas and flavors--but none of the hard tannins that you often get from inexpensive wines. Ripe flavors are all fruit- rather than oak-oriented, and they coat the tongue from front to back. The depth and complexity you'd expect from a more expensive wine.

I'll be going for more of this and maybe some of the Cabernet as well. 14 Hands apparently refers to the height of the wild horses that once roamed this area of central Washington.

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