At the risk of sounding like a talking parrot - - I always say, if you want a good wine and a good value ($20 and under), check out the red table blends from Walla Walla Valley. Here is another example of what I am talking about:
Trapper Red - 2004 from Fort Walla Walla Cellars is a blend of 56% Merlot and 44% Cabernet Sauvignon. And this isn't the "leftover" wine, either. Grapes were hand-picked and purchased from the Crawford Vineyard in Prosser specifically for Fort Walla Walla Cellar's very first red table blend. Fort Walla Walla Cellars focused just as much attention on their table wine as they do their higher priced varietals or blends. Grapes were de-stemmed and lightly crushed. Fermented in small 1/2 ton fermentation bins for about nine days. This Bordeaux-style red received a total of four rackings during the eighteen months of barrel aging and was not filtered prior to bottling.
And how was it? What a great nose! The nose presented to me a lot of my favorite things I look for in a blend -- chocolate, coffee, and cherry wood pipe tobacco. Smooth and silky, yet full bodied. Flavors of cherry and cocoa came through with a touch of spice. This is definitely a wine meant for every-day sipping. You know -- heart medicine. The doctor says we need to have a glass of wine a day, so this is a great prescription! Trapper Red makes for some great food pairing, as well. Steaks, grilled hamburgers and chocolate - - like cake -- or a pocket full of Hershey Kisses. Cheers!