Wapato Point Cellars winemaker Jonathon Kludt also heads up this label under the name of his family, who in 2000 launched Chelan County’s first bonded winery. Cougar Ridge has been featured as a single-vineyard Merlot bottling for several years, including under the Wapato Point brand, and this latest vintage is especially enticing. It spent 26 months in Hungarian oak, which allows for aromas of minty chocolate chip, black currant, blackberry and cedar. Inside, its fruitiness continues as blackberry flesh leads into blueberry acidity backed by Bing cherry skin tannins. That juicy structure makes for a long and bright finish. At the on-premise Winemaker’s Grill, the suggested pairing is filet mignon topped by crumbled blue cheese.
Production: 114 cases