WTN: Northstar Merlot Columbia Valley Washington. $15 a glass, $45 a bottle at Endless Vines, Franklin Lakes. 14.5% alcohol. Blend 75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged for 17 months in primarily French and some American oak, using 83% new barrels and 17% one-year-old barrels.
Deep red color, deep hue, subdued aroma of fruit and spices with hints of chocolate and tobacco, good fruit and spice taste with very soft tannins; a bit oaky for my taste; medium mouth feel; long single note finish. A pleasant sipping wine, but one I can't see working very well with food -- perhaps a very delicate seafood dish? A poor QPR for a pleasant but not exciting wine. 3*.