Milbrandt Vineyards 2016 Rosé, Columbia Valley, $13

Best Buy! Even though Emily Haines left Milbrandt Vineyards last summer for the Sierra Foothills, wines that she produced continue to win plaudits from judges. One of first wines released from her final harvest was this stunning pink blend of Syrah (75%) and Tempranillo off six vineyards, all picked around…

Continue reading

Martin-Scott Winery 2016 The Peddler’s White, Columbia Valley, $14

Best Buy! The Martin family’s popular white blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Muscat reveals fresh, fantastic aromas and flavors of buttered toast, honeysuckle, peaches and tropical fruit. A hint of apricot and lime add complexity to the finish. It received a gold medal and went on to win best…

Continue reading

Charles Smith Wines 2014 The Velvet Devil Merlot, Washington, $13

Best Buy! While it’s Cab and Syrah that generate a lot of the red headlines in Washington, it’s Merlot that remains the state’s workhorse grape. Charles Smith’s team sourced from seven sites, including Art denHoed in the northern reaches of the Yakima Valley, Goose Ridge near Richland and Sundance on…

Continue reading

Cloudlift Cellars 2015 Lucy Rosé of Cabernet Franc, Yakima Valley, $14

Best Buy! There are more than 20 wineries among the Seattle Urban Wineries group, and furniture craftsman Tom Stangeland beat most of them, setting up shop in Georgetown well in advance of his debut commercial vintage in 2009. Cabernet Franc has been a signature variety for him, and Stangeland continues…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

Duck Pond Fries Family Cellars 2016 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, $14

Best Buy! The Fries family and winemaker Trevor Chlanda have the luxury of working with estate vineyards in the Willamette Valley as well as the warmer Umpqua Valley for their program. It is their St. Jory site north of Salem, cropped to a remarkably low 2 tons per acre for…

Continue reading

Barnard Griffin 2015 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $14

Best Buy! The hottest vintage in Rob Griffin’s 39th year of winemaking in Washington state meant he and winemaking daughter, Megan Hughes, brought in their Chardonnay from their estate Caroway Vineyard and longtime farming families at Arete, Lonesome Spring Ranch, Crawford vineyards earlier than ever. About a third of this…

Continue reading