Here’s a look at two hearty, winter-friendly reds from Washington’s Seven Hills Winery.
2017 Seven Hills Merlot Walla Walla Valley – A tad on the bitter side but otherwise approachable, this merlot is a bit more austere than expected, with a relatively unripe plum core, notes of blackberry, and dried flowers. The finish dries up quick, tightening up the palate and pursing the lips. Graphite and licorice endure on the finish. B / $25
2017 Seven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley SHW Founding Vineyard – As with the merlot, this is on the dry side, its heavy currant elements tempered by lots of toasted spice notes. This gives the wine hints of baking spice, dark chocolate, and some toasted coconut. There’s a bit of acidity on the finish, which helps to brighten up the proceedings, along with a bit of sweetness in the form of cherry fruit and a hint of barrel-driven vanilla. It’s drinking well, but would benefit from a few years of bottle time. B / $50