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This Bordeaux inspired blend is seductive, velvety and loaded with personality. Merlot leads, Cab Franc follows, and Cabernet Sauvignon fills in any tiny gaps that are left. This is a thinker’s wine—deep, complex, but less in your face than its cab-led sibling. In the Matthews style, it delivers a lot of power and concentration, but with more nuance than you might expect from new world blends. In Bordeaux, the Merlot-led right bank blends are revered for their nuance. Washington Merlot shares many similarities with the French tradition—more so than with California even—but we’re not striving to copy Bordeaux or Pomerol. We’d rather to pay homage to it while celebrating a grape that is too often (and unfairly) maligned in the new world. This is truly one of the world’s most classic blending styles, with each varietal providing the one small thing that the others are missing to create a remarkably balanced, complex and approachable wine.

Tasting Notes

Dense notes of plum, currants and incense mixed with vanilla bean and graphite. Swirling brings raspberry ganache, plum jam and sandalwood. The palate is polished with juicy vibrancy and impeccable tannins. A perfectly framed and balanced Merlot blend.

Food Pairing Recommendations

Chicken, Pork, Duck, rich sauces, mushrooms and earthy cheeses.

Varietal Composition

76% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc



Cases Produced




Awards & Accolades

"Like with the Cabernet, the 2013 Merlot was reviewed last year under the Tenor 2:2 label. Incorporating 24% Cabernet Franc, it has a pretty complex bouquet of plum pit, blood orange, leafy herbs and mint to go with a charming, ripe, supple style on the palate. I love its silky, elegant texture, and while good now, it should benefit from a few years in bottle."

91 points, Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

"Bright ruby-red. Blackberry and licorice aromas are lifted by a violet top note. Nicely penetrating and delineated, with the dark berry and floral flavors given a juicy quality by firm acidity. Dry, classic Merlot with grip and length, no doubt better for its sizable dollop of Cabernet Franc."

90 points, Stephen Tanzer, Vinous


Red Mountain

Map Red Mountain 3 2
2,382 acres (963 hectares)
Top Varieties
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Average Annual Precipitation
5 inches
Silt, sand, volcanic basalt
Average vine age
Learn More

Past VintagesExplore the Merlot Vintages

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