Wine Review: NEXT Between Heaven and Earth

Wine Review: NEXT Between Heaven and Earth

Wine Review: NEXT Between Heaven and Earth

Producer: King Estate

Region: Columbia Valley, Washington & Oregon

Grape: 40% Syrah, 40% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage: 2018

ABV: 13.5%



This bottle is perfect for the large majority of red wine lovers. It is not offensively jammy and oaky like many of its cousins below in California. While it is also not overly funky or earthy, this wine meets somewhere in between with plenty of red fruit, pepper, and tobacco at play. If you want to try something new that’s super tasty and approachable, yet retains the great quality, this is a steal.

The NEXT red blend comes from Columbia Valley is mostly in Washington, though it just barely dips into Oregon. It could technically be from either or both of these states since the bottle doesn’t say much besides “Columbia Valley”. The only hint we get is that it’s bottled in Eugene, Oregon. King Estate, a powerhouse of a winery in Oregon, is the producer behind this beautiful, vibrant blend.


While Washington wine lovers are likely familiar with the region of Columbia Valley, as it dominates over 99% of the state’s vineyard acreage, many may not know that a tiny bit dips into Oregon as well. The region has a great climate with the Cascade Mountains up top and lowland desert scattered throughout, the terroir makes for interesting and distinct wines. The primary water source here is the Columbia River which runs through the Columbia Valley AVA.


NEXT red blend is a mouthwatering combination of Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah is the star here, as the grape sets the initial tone with bits of pepper and raspberry. Next, Merlot provides some softness that helps to balance out the Syrah. Finally, the Cabernet Sauvignon rounds out the edges and provides some structure.


Right from the start, there is a hodgepodge of aromatics. First, there are vibrant and calm hints of cherry and raspberry. This fades away into a funky vegetal undertone, and it finishes with oaky vanilla and tobacco notes. As it opens up, the cherry, tobacco, and general oak aromatics blend together for a great experience on the nose.


On the tongue, this NEXT Syrah-Merlot blend starts opposite of the nose. Immediately, there is an undertone of earthy dirt. This is complemented with hints of pepper and tobacco, though only mild layers of fruit.

If funky, earthy wine is not your go-to, no need to fear. Soon after opening, this bottle opens up nicely to more red fruits, while the earthy funk takes a back seat. The two mesh super well together alongside peppery notes and tobacco. There is fairly high acidity and a lot of tannins, though they help balance the wine. Finally, there is an unexpectedly long, tasty finish of raspberry and lingering tobacco.

Final Notes

As I said at the beginning, this wine is great for just about anyone that enjoys red wine. It is not over the top jammy and heavy, nor is it too funky and earthy. This particular grape blend works extremely well with each other by complimenting and balancing out one another. This bottle is easy to pair wine with any sort of gamey meats, but it could just as easily drink alone. For under $12 in most places, it provides extreme value without sacrificing quality.

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