14 Hands Winery 2014 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $15

Best Buy! “Textbook” may be a cliche in describing a wine of startling character, but it can be appropriate, as here. This is one fragrant, composed and resilient Merlot, yet it upholds the variety’s reputation for being capable of accommodating a wide range of foods at the table, such as…

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Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2015 Umiker Vineyard Lochsa White Wine, Lewis-Clark Valley, $15

Karl and Coco Umiker’s vineyard in the Lewiston Orchards is in its second decade of life, and its growth has allowed them to present this proprietary blend as an entire estate presentation. Legally, they could label this is Chardonnay (86%), and there is a slight influence of 30 percent new…

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Henry Estate Winery 2015 Müller-Thurgau, Umpqua Valley, $15

Best Buy! The Henry family continues to produce one of the most consistently delicious examples of Müller-Thurgau grown in the Pacific Northwest. Their work in Southern Oregon’s Umpqua Valley allows them to hang 6 tons per acre and pick it well below 24 Brix, allowing them to develop aromas of…

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Sawtooth Estate Winery 2013 Vineyard Select Skyline Red, Snake River Valley, $12

Best Buy! Idaho-grown winemaker Meredith Smith earned the promotion to associate winemaker for Sawtooth during this 2013 vintage, and her meticulous approach to blending Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Syrah and Malbec shows with this delicious and affordable blend from Precept’s own Skyline Vineyard. Two years of 30% new French…

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Mercer Canyons 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $14

Best Buy! The Mercer family continues to grow its reach while promoting the Horse Heaven Hills growing region with this second label that’s available across the country in 47 states thanks to its partnership with industry giant Southern Wine and Spirits. Dead Canyon Vineyard and vaunted Spice Cabinet fruit are…

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Ryan Patrick 2014 Naked Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $12

Best Buy! Unoaked and unadorned, Ryan Patrick’s Naked Chardonnay from Columbia Valley grapes is exactly what a steel Chardonnay should be: crisp, clean pear, lemon and lime elements show off on both the nose and palate, with a Granny Smith underlay and then bright acidity to close. Pair with a…

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Jones of Washington 2015 Riesling, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $10

Best Buy! Winemaker Victor Palencia won best of show last year with a Sauvignon Blanc, and he again shows his prowess with white wines with this beautifully balanced Riesling. Palencia used grapes from the relatively cool Ancient Lakes region near the Columbia Basin town of Quincy for this bright, delicious…

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Jones of Washington 2015 Rosé of Syrah, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $14

Best Buy! As good as winemaker Victor Palencia is with white wines, he might even be better with classic dry rosés. In fact, his pink wines are among the best you’ll find in the Pacific Northwest. The grapes for this superb example come from the cool Ancient Lakes region, and…

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Airfield Estates 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Yakima Valley, $15

Best Buy! Marcus Miller spearheads the wine production for this fourth-generation farming family in the Yakima Valley near the town of Prosser, and he expertly managed a historically hot vintage, pulling his Sauvignon Blanc in time to preserve the all-important food-friendly acidity in this white Bordeaux variety. Aromas of Uncola,…

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Hinman Vineyards 2014 Pinot Noir, Oregon, $15

Best Buy! Doyle Hinman launched this Eugene winery in 1979, and second-generation vintner Liz Chambers continues to honor his legacy with this expressive and consumer-minded Pinot Noir from a vintage that allowed her to increase production by nearly 50 percent from the 2013 edition. Aromas of Dr Pepper, raspberry, saddle…

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