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Merlot is a player in Washington wine country | Kitsap Week

September 28, 2013 · Updated 1:47 PM
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By Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman

Merlot plays a minor role in just about every important wine region in the world. The primary exception is Washington, where Merlot has been a major player since the early 1990s.

Today, Merlot is the No. 4 wine grape in Washington, but it trails Chardonnay, Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon by a tiny amount, and these big four varieties comprise about 80 percent of the state’s total production.

Merlot can be incredibly smooth or big and bold. It plays well in blends but also can handle the spotlight on its own. It can be a value wine or carry a reserve-level price tag.

Here, we tried to show the range of Washington wine from examples we’ve tasted in the past couple of months. Ask for them at your favorite wine merchant or contact the wineries directly.

— Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue are wine journalists and judges. Learn more about wine at www.greatnorthwestwine.com.

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