House Wine 2013 Mountain Merlot, American, $10

Best Buy! Precept’s Original House Wine project, founded by Washington iconoclast Charles Smith, goes a bit beyond the state for its Mountain Merlot. Complex aromas of warm blackberry cobbler and plum include red bell pepper, cinnamon bark, vanilla extract and chalkboard dust. There’s also a pinch of oregano, a sign…

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Balancing Act 2014 Chardonnay, Washington, $12

Best Buy! The Chardonnay portion of this second label for Tamarack Cellars in Walla Walla is unoaked and fruit-forward as it blends Ron Coleman’s grape sourcing and Danny Gordon’s skill with blending. Expressive aromatics instill thoughts of honey, dried pineapple, candied apricot, white peach, canned corn and lemon juice. There’s…

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L’Ecole No. 41 2015 Old Vines Chenin Blanc, Columbia Valley, $15

Best Buy! A generation ago, Chenin Blanc was a variety that produced cherished wines along the West Coast. Fortunately, Marty Clubb has remained an ardent champion of this grape native to the Loire Valley, and he continues to secure contracts with four venerable vineyards in the Yakima Valley. Phil Church,…

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Canoe Ridge Vineyard 2015 The Expedition Rosé, Columbia Valley, $15

Best Buy! Walla Walla Valley winemaker Bill Murray continues to champion the cause for showcasing the virtues of Rhône varieties in rosé. As Precept’s director of Idaho winemaking, he has supported Meredith Smith’s stunning pink program at Sawtooth, starting with Cinsault from 2013 and recently Grenache. For his latest release…

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Lindsay Creek Vineyards 2014 Riesling, Washington, $15

Best Buy! As the wheat-growing McIntosh brothers plant vines in the newly established Lewis-Clark Valley American Viticultural Area, they continue to rely on Washington for the large majority of their winery production. This affordable Riesling, made with grapes from O’Brien Vineyard in the Yakima Valley, gave winemaking Art McIntosh a…

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Skyfall Vineyard 2014 Red Blend, Columbia Valley, $14

Best Buy! Seattle-based Precept Wine continues to grow its Skyfall Vineyard project overlooking the Yakima River near Red Mountain, and the early releases mean solid returns for consumers. The Red Blend gathers up Merlot (48%), Cabernet Sauvignon (23%), Syrah (16%), Cabernet Franc (8%) and Sangiovese to create a nose of…

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Tamarack Cellars 2015 Rosé of Mourvèdre, Wahluke Slope, $15

Best Buy! The popularity of Northwest-made rosé continues to rise, and Tamarack Cellars offers yet another example of why. Danny Gordon continues to source this from history Weinbau Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope, and it’s quite a serious offering. The  peach color leads to generous aromas of dried strawberry, light…

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Wind Rose Cellars 2015 Rosato, Yakima Valley, $15

Best Buy! Graduates of the Yakima Valley Community College wine program include Olympic Peninsula vintner David Volmut, and his Italian-themed rosé focuses on fruit from Lonesome Spring Ranch. The sensible blend of Dolcetto (59%) and Sangiovese offers an alluring strawberry/rhubarb color with aromas to match, including Rainier cherry, nectarine and…

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Primarius Winery 2014 Pinot Noir, Oregon, $15

Best Buy! Northwest Wine Academy grad Sarah Cabot enters her second decade of crafting Pinot Noir in Oregon, and this youthful and affordable release marks her first vintage for Precept at its Dundee winery. Sweet and toasty oak tones make for aromas of grilled strawberry, dark cherry, blueberry and bittersweet…

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Strange Folk Wines NV La Bohéme White Wine, Snake River Valley, $12

Boise winemaker Jed Glavin, whose primary label is Split Rail Winery, shows his nonconformist side with the wine-in-a-can Strange Folk Wines program. The source of this 100 percent Riesling from the 2014 vintage is Skyline Vineyard, Idaho’s largest site, and he presents it with 2% residual sugar. Aromatically, it hints…

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