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What: Kerloo Cellars Majestic Red Wine Columbia Valley 2014 $24

Where: Bin 41, Metropolitan Market, Esquin Wine and Spirits, Full Pull Wines, Winerya

Why: Varieties native to France’s Rhone valley are on the rise in Washington. Since syrah was first planted in the state at Red Willow Vineyard in 1986, it has gone on to become the state’s third most planted red grape variety (cabernet sauvignon and merlot are first and second respectively). More recently varieties like grenache and mourvèdre have been making inroads as well.

One of the more intriguing recent trends is to create blends of these three varieties, as is common in southern area of the Rhone Valley. These ‘Rhone-style blends’ have become increasingly popular in the state of late and quality is on the rise as well. The catch – there is always a catch – is that many of the best bottles can command price tags north of $30, making it a bit spendy for consumers to see what all the fuss is about.

Today, however, we bring you a top quality bottle that clocks in at a mere $24. The Kerloo Cellars 2014 Majestic Red Wine Columbia Valley ($24) is a blend of grenache (54 percent), mourvèdre (38 percent), and syrah, with the fruit coming from some of the state’s top sites. What’s most striking about the wine – other than its exceptional price - is the aromatic purity, with notes of herbs, flowers, raspberry, orange peel and plum. The palate meanwhile puts a premium on texture, with a stretched out finish. It’s a one wine primer on what’s exciting about Rhone-style blends in Washington. Drink up!

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