2012 Periple Crusader Red Blend, (Right Bank), $29.00

This is a great deal on an amazing wine! The winemaker has decided to devote her attention to her family so she's selling down her current inventory. This red blend, from the Horse Heaven Hills AVA in Washington, used to re-tail for $55.00, and it was well worth it. At the $29 price it's an amazing deal on a great wine. Now the wine: a blend of 70 percent Merlot and 30 Cabernet Sauvignon (not to be confused with its left bank sister wine from the same winery, same region, and nearly identical label that is 70 percent Cabernet and 30 percent Merlot!) makes this wine big enough for steak and lamb, but soft enough for a romantic dinner. Pretty cherry and raspberry fruit on the nose and palate with hints of briar and field tobacco. The 180 grit tannins lead into a long, oak spiced, elegant fin-ish. Treat yourself or surprise your favorite Francophile.