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2011 J. Daan Rouge 

Columbia Valley, Wash.

Retail $22-$23

With more than 780 wineries and 43,000 acres of vineyards, Washington produced more than 12 million cases of wine in 2012. Almost all the state's grapes are grown on the eastern side of the Cascade Range, where the moderate climate is influenced by the Pacific Ocean. Washington's 13 American Viticultural Areas (AVA) receive two hours more daily summer sunlight than areas in California. Washington's oldest and largest AVA, Columbia Valley, extends into Oregon. The 2011 J. Daan Rouge is a blend of 44 percent grenache and 28 percent each syrah and mourvedre and was vinified at J. Daan's winery in Oregon. Each varietal was fermented separately in open-top vats before spending 12 to 18 months in 15 percent new French oak barrels. After bottling, the wine rested six months before release. In the glass, the wine offers aromas of dark fruit, earthy undertones, cedar, pepper and spice. On the palate, taste ripe plum, black cherry, savory notes, good acidity and well-integrated tannins. Decant 30 minutes before serving. Drink it with steak, fowl, game, roast lamb, barbecue, firm cheeses and braised root vegetables. Buy it at: Pearl Wine Co. and Bacchanal. Drink it at: Gusto. — BRENDA MAITLAND


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