Caprio Cellars, Walla Walla Valley (Washington) “Eleanor” 2019

($60): Dennis P. Murphy, the owner of Caprio, named this seamless Bordeaux blend — his flagship wine — for his grandmother, Eleanor Caprio.  This suavely textured Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant wine, with Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc lending supporting roles, is fresh and lively.  Cassis-like notes and hints of red fruits appear, but nothing intrudes.  It is a masterful and refined blend that handles the 14.5 percent stated alcohol beautifully.  A delightful hint of smokiness (thankfully not the wildfire induced type) adds intrigue and complexity.  Enjoyable now because the tannins are fine and unintrusive, its balance and refinement suggest this refined wine should develop nicely for a decade or more.  I think his grandmother would be proud and flattered.
94 Michael Apstein Oct 18, 2022