Two new wintry reds from Washington’s Seven Hills winery.
2016 Seven Hills Merlot Walla Walla Valley – Fresh and focused squarely on the fruit, this wine exudes notes of cola and chocolate, all in the service of a bright, cherry-heavy core. A slight vein of tannin offers enough grip to take the edge off the fruit-laden sweetness, but on the whole this wine is ready to go right away. As it’s not overly complex, the wine pairs well with a wide range of cuisine. B+ / $25
2016 Seven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley Seven Hills Vineyard – Made from estate fruit. Fruit-heavy, almost oppressively so. Big currant and blackberry notes lead the way to a palate that’s heavy with sugar but, thankfully, touched with a bit of rosemary. The wine never quite opens up, and the finish remains quite tight, almost astringent at times. B- / $50