Nine Hats Wines 2016 Riesling, Columbia Valley, $14

Best Buy! The sister label of Walla Walla’s Long Shadows Vintners program is spearheaded by the brilliant Gilles Nicault, who doubled production of this Riesling over the 2015 vintage. And yet, there’s no drop-off. He continues to present this with a theme of stone fruit flavors and citrusy acidity, ranging…

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Vidon Vineyard 2015 Estate Apollo Chardonnay, Chehalem Mountains, $60

Korean War veteran Don Hagge spent much of his post-Navy career as a physicist with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, particularly missions 7 through 13 of Project Apollo. This launching of the Apollo Chardonnay signals another stage in the Space Exploration Series by this octogenarian grower/winemaker near Newberg, Ore.,…

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Welsh Family Wines 2015 Bjornson Vineyards Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills, $38

Dry-farmed blocks of Pommard and Dijon 777 across the 8 acres of Kristjan’s Block in rising star Bjornson Vineyard near Salem, Ore.,  are turned into this full-bodied Pinot Noir by Portland urban winemaker Dan Welsh. One of the three barrels he used was new French oak, and that helps account…

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Charles Smith Wines 2015 Kung Fu Girl Riesling, Washington, $12

Best Buy! Sure, the branding is a marketer’s dream, and the label broadly reads “Washington State,” but the wine’s pedigree stems from Jerry Milbrandt’s Evergreen Vineyard in the Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley – the foundation of many of the Columbia Valley’s top Rieslings. Jasmine, citrus and lychee aromas include…

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How To Clean a Wine Decanter

How to clean a wine decanter is more perplexing than how to clean wine glasses, which I covered in depth in my last post. Decanter shapes and sizes come in just as many forms as wine glasses, but their nooks and crannies and narrow necks are harder to downright impossible…

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Wine By Joe 2016 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $15

Best Buy! Joe Dobbes, one of Oregon’s most successful wine producers, removes pretense and packs some fun into this rosé from Pinot Noir. He offers it as a bargain, thanks in part to the fruit off his 189-acre Sea Breeze Vineyard west of Salem, Ore., and he creates the rosé…

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Saviah Cellars 2013 Malbec, Walla Walla Valley, $30

Richard Funk, one of Washington’s top winemakers, pulls from three vineyards not far from his winery near Milton-Freewater, Ore., for this spicy, earthy and jammy Malbec that’s true to the variety. Dense flavors of plum and black cherry pick up a hint of mint and minerality, a juicy combination of…

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Drink Washington State 2014 Groovin’ On Cabernet Sauvignon, Wahluke Slope, $26

Brad Binko, proud alum of Walla Walla Community College’s winemaking program, continues to enjoy his first full year as a vintner under his Eternal Wines/Drink Washington State banners. The certified somm from the East Coast uses small additions of Cabernet Franc and Carmérnère to add complexity, finesse and Old World…

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Seven Bridges Winery 2013 Kolibri Vineyard Reserve Malbec, Columbia Valley, $32

Portland winemaker Bob Switzer sources from eight vineyards in Washington for his impressive Seven Bridges portfolio featuring Bordeaux varieties, and here he casts a spotlight upon Kolibri Vineyard, a 7-acre planting just south of historic Cold Creek Vineyard in the northwestern foothills of Washington’s Rattlesnake Mountain. Aromas of black cherry,…

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Airfield Estates 2015 Vineyard Salute Flygirl White, Yakima Valley, $15

Best Buy! The history surrounding Airport Ranch near Sunnyside, Wash., reaches back to World War II when it served as an Army Air Corps base, both for training and Manhattan Project protection. And this wide-ranging white blend makes for a delicious tribute to that past, showing blending skill with Roussanne…

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