If you’re celebrating Father’s Day with beef tenderloin or rack of lamb, one classy way to complement that meal is with a robust red wine from California’s iconic Raymond Vineyards located in Napa Valley. The late Roy Raymond Sr., who founded the St. Helena winery in the early 1970s with his sons, is considered a pioneer in California’s wine industry. During five generations of family ownership, Raymond Vineyards became known for full-bodied reds that were consistently elegant and well-balanced.

In 2009, the winery was purchased by Jean-Charles Boisset, who has transitioned the 90-acre Rutherford and St. Helena estate vineyards to certified organic and biodynamic farming practices. In addition, 100% of the winery’s power now comes from renewable solar energy.

The cornerstone of the Raymond portfolio is its Reserve Selection Napa Valley series in which the wines are bottled with velvet labels and follow the family’s slogan of “deep roots, powerful wines.” The merlot reviewed below is an excellent example.

Raymond Vineyards 2017 Reserve Selection Merlot, Napa Valley, CaliforniaBought • Costco, 4200 Rusty Road, in May for $23.99.

Description • If you think all merlot wines are mild-mannered, this bold and distinctive red will change your mind. Big, rich and luscious, it earned a well-deserved 90 points from Wine Spectator. A blend of 92% merlot with small amounts of petit verdot and cabernet sauvignon, it was aged in oak for 18 months. The result is a rich and juicy red that tastes of concentrated black cherries and other dark fruit with notes of cocoa, spice and vanilla. Although the wine is relatively high in alcohol at 14.5%, it’s extremely well balanced with firm tannins. It ends with a long, velvety finish.

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