CELLAR SELECTS

Six Solid Sippers

Tongue twister fit to be untied and tasted

Cliff Creek Cellars 2012 Merlot, Southern Oregon

Smells like Christmas with notes of chocolate-covered cherry, marzipan, warm spices and evergreen, plus some bright raspberry and dusty toasted oak. The fruit becomes more concentrated on the palate with a boysenberry flavor blossoming during a long finish. $25; 195 cases

Sweet Cheeks 2015 Barrel Reserve Merlot, Oregon

A delightful, food-friendly wine, pleasing the entire panel, this Merlot rewards with aromas of orange zest, strawberry and a whisper of cherry. The palate delivers grippy tannin and a flavor spectrum that begins with tart cranberry and transitions to sweet flavors of cassis on the finish. $23; 695 cases

Ledger David 2013 Cabernet Franc Reserve, Rogue Valley

This Cab Franc starts savory with notes of smoked meat and dried tea leaf softened with vanilla, cinnamon and toasty aromas. Sweet and smoky on the palate like the perfect barbecue flavors with deep blackberry, velvety vanilla, pipe tobacco and green peppercorns. Tannin keeps your feet on the ground while providing serious structure. $38; 86 cases

Griffin Creek 2013 Cabernet Franc, Rogue Valley

A multifaceted Cab Franc revealing a fruity side with cherry-berry pie and a vegetal one with hints of Hatch green chile; these aromas join coconut, almond and a hint of dill, all three likely from the oak. Tart fruit of lingonberry and cranberry introduces a palate bright and acidic. The finish combines all elements with a fruity sweetness and high notes of green pepper jelly. $45; 321 cases

Del Rio 2014 Estate-Grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Rogue Valley

Aromas of cherry cola, strawberry and cinnamon repeat on the full, soft palate and linger through a lengthy finish. A perfect before-dinner wine to serve with an assortment of cheeses. $28; 1,300 cases

MarshAnne Landing 2009 Red Planet Red, Umpqua Valley

Bottle aging has released developed notes of clove, leather, nutmeg, earth, almond plus surprising aromas of blooming lilacs. Expect flavors of stewed plums, Bing cherry, wet slate, sassafras, forest floor, earth and nuttiness. The integrated structure indicates this wine is at its peak; in other words, enjoy now. (78% Cabernet Sauvignon; 14% Cabernet Franc; 8% Merlot) $25; 271 cases

About the selection process: Led by a wine industry expert, the OWP tasting panel selects wines based on overall quality and value within their respective categories. Wine must be: 1) produced by an Oregon winery; 2) currently available to consumers. Recommended wines were selected using a double-blind method and a 20-point ranking system for appearance, aroma, taste, balance and finish.

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