Editor’s note: Judges for the 2021 North Central Washington Wine Awards competition awarded Gold Medal status to both of these wines.

Stemilt Creek Winery

2018 Caring Passion Merlot, Columbia Valley $26

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Stemilt Creek Winery 2018 Caring Passion Merlot

Judges’ notes: The Mathison family ties historic photos of ancestors to a number of their bottlings, including this gold-medal winning Merlot. There’s richness and depth to this expression of the 2018 vintage as blackberries, clove, leather and tar pick up a sense of slate and cedar. It’s a combination that coats the palate in a pleasing way that defines many of the top Merlots from Washington.

For current tasting room hours call the winery or visit its website.

110 N. Wenatchee Ave., Wenatchee

(509) 665-3485

Sigillo Cellars

2019 Mourvèdre, Yakima Valley, $34 (120 cases)

Sigillo_2019 Mourvedre.jpg

Sigillo Cellars 2019 Mourvèdre

Judges’ notes: Mike Seal and his son, Ryan, earned a reputation as “Rhône Rangers” by amassing five gold medals during this year’s judging. All of them revolved around red wines from grapes native to France’s Rhône Valley, and a trio of them shined a spotlight on Mourvèdre. Their source here is Les Vignes Le Tendre Vineyard near Red Mountain, which provides notes of blackberry, Red Delicious apple and cinnamon wrapped around mint and white pepper. While the grape is known to produce rustic and earthy wines, there’s a preponderance of fruit and spice within its smooth finish.

For current tasting room hours call the winery or visit its website.

2037 W. Woodin Ave., Chelan

(509) 888-5713

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