Mind you this is not the superb small-production red from Washington State's prestigious Red Mountain. Red Diamond is brilliant in another, less expensive way.
Diamond is more proof that eastern Washington is ripe for deep reds, especially the syrah of the Rhone and Australia.
This has a touch of viognier blended in as the Aussies do. It also has the modern Spanish accent on drinkability of Argentine Juan Munoz Oca.
Red Diamond has more depth and elegance than lusty Mediterranean fire and spice. It's dark and inky, dusted with earth, pepper and clove in the nose and packed with blueberry and raspberry. Most impressive is the texture, medium body, silky feel and friendly finish. Restrained tannins let it drink clean and easy, yet it seems to have the backbone to keep.
Fire up the barbie. At this price, invite the neighbors.
Availability: $10 in supermarkets and liquor stores.
Chris Sherman, Times staff writer