A Wine for Tonight: NV Barnard Griffin Cabernet Merlot

By Kori ~ January 13th, 2011.

Would you like a quick suggestion for a good wine to drink tonight (or this weekend) that won’t break your budget and is widely available? Many of our readers have said this is something they would like, so here is this week’s selection, the NV Barnard Griffin Cabernet Merlot from the Columbia Valley of Washington State.

Our selection criteria include:

  • A very good Quality rating of >=3.5 stars (out of 5)
  • A price tag of <=$15
  • Must be widely available

Barnard Griffin Winery, located in Richland, Washington, was founded in 1983 by Rob Griffin and his wife Deborah Barnard. Rob moved to Washington State in 1977 to be winemaker for Preston Wine Cellars when there were under ten wineries in the entire state. Shortly after founding Barnard Griffin, Rob left Preston and went to work for Hogue Cellars as winemaker and general manager. In 1991, Rob left Hogue to devote his full time and energy to Barnard Griffin. The current winery and tasting room were built in 1996. Barnard Griffin’s current annual production is approximately 75,000 cases. They are well-known for their distinctive Tulip label which graces all of their non-Reserve wines.

“A great nose of vanilla, spice, dried fruit, herb, and raspberries. Straightforward plum, cherry, and orange fruit on the palate. Round and approachable with a supple texture. Good with everyday foods such as beef and barbequed meat.” –Owner/winemaker Rob Griffin

NV Barnard Griffin Cabernet Merlot (Columbia Valley, Washington): 47.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 49.5% Merlot, and 3% Cabernet Franc. Deep, ruby red in color. Aromatic with red fruits and cinnamon on the nose that leads to red and black cherry and spice box on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity, medium drying tannins, and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, Washington), $9.49; Available elsewhere, $9 to $16

Filed under: A Wine for Tonight, American Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Red Wine, Washington State Wine, Wines Under $10, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

Reader's Comments

  1. Vivian Mycroft | January 13th, 2011 at 9:41 am

    This is an amazing value wine from a great winery and winemaker who helped build Washington’s modern wine industry. Your meatloaf never had it so good. Occasionally you can find it on sale for $7 or so making it an even better value. I also strongly recommend their Rose of Sangiovese.

  2. Kori | January 13th, 2011 at 9:55 am

    You are absolutely right. Barnard Griffin makes a number of wines that are great values and have been instrumental in the Washington wine industry. I wholeheartedly agree with your Rose of Sangiovese recommendation. We look forward to its release each year and have featured it in a previous “A Wine for Tonight” post. Cheers!