A brief review of a wine that I've felt has been a solid performer over multiple vintages... A while back I chose the 2007 Indian Wells Merlot for an online tasting. $18, 14.5% abv. 80% Merlot, 19% Syrah, 1% Malbec, from the Wahluke Slope of Washington state.
While still a bit young, this has an initial aroma of boysenberry jam. There's a touch of toast there as well, but once the wine breathes and softens, you get elements of green pepper, earth, and it becomes light and mellow. I've always wanted to see how this wine ages, but I've never been able to hold on to one long enough to find out.
The Pacific Northwest is putting out some spectacular wines these days, and the region is justifiably becoming trendy and popular in certain corners. A big producer like Ste. Michelle seems at odds with the small, independent reputation that is associated with the area, but I've always been a fan of their still and sparkling wines.