Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2016 Lolo White Wine, Lewis-Clark Valley, $18

Arnett Vineyard in Clarkston, Wash., and Umiker Vineyard in Lewiston, Idaho, come together for this aromatic blend that continues to features Pinot Gris (25%), Muscat (22%) and Gewurztraminer (17%) but there are also significant contributions of Chardonnay (19%) and Viognier (14%). There’s a tropical theme because of the three varieties…

Continue reading

Coiled Wines 2015 Sparkling Rizza, Snake River Valley, $28

Leslie Preston trained in Napa’s tony Stags Leap District where Cab is king, but the Idaho native continues to devote more of her time and energy to Riesling in multiple forms, including her fun bubbles project that continues to grow. She collaborates with Andrew Davis of Radiant Sparkling Wine Co.,…

Continue reading

Telaya Wine Co. 2014 Syrah, Snake River Valley, $30

The Sullivans continue to grow their program in Idaho’s Snake River Valley, and they doubled production of their dark and savory Syrah off Sawtooth Vineyard for the 2014 vintage. The fragrant nose of mocha, salted caramel and cola includes black olive, sandalwood and toast – signs of the 20 months…

Continue reading

Fujishin Family Cellars 2014 Syrah, Snake River Valley, $25

Snake River Valley native Martin Fujishin has displayed a knack for blending that has earned him national attention with his Rhône-inspired Amatino. However, the 2014 vintage prompted him to release a standalone Syrah, something he doesn’t do every year. Polo Cove, a large block adjacent to acclaimed Fraser Vineyard, is…

Continue reading

Fujishin Family Cellars 2014 Late Harvest Riesling, Snake River Valley, $19

Riesling planted at Polo Cove Vineyard has the advantage of growing at about 2,800 feet elevation, making it one of the highest sites in Idaho’s Snake River Valley. Sunnyslope winemaker Martin Fujishin has worked closely with Polo Cove for several years, and he’s produced a marvelous late harvest-style Riesling as…

Continue reading

Terra Nativa Vineyards 2012 Reserve Merlot, Idaho, $40

Treasure Valley developer Richard Pavelek dotes on his vines of red Bordeaux varieties grown in the foothills east of Boise, making his perhaps the state’s highest elevation  site for ongoing viticulture — 3,100 feet. His focus on estate fruit explains why Terra Nativa is one of Idaho’s tiniest wineries with…

Continue reading

Cinder Wines 2015 Chardonnay, Snake River Valley, $18

This vintage marked the 10th harvest in Idaho for proud Washington State University grads Melanie Krause and Joe Schnerr, and they’ve kept the focus on the fruit they pulled in from sweeping Sawtooth Vineyard. Only 10% of their barrel program was new, and they aged the juice on the lees…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

Cinder Wines 2014 Tempranillo, Snake River Valley, $29

Often hailed as Idaho’s best winemaker, Cinder co-owner Melanie Krause is making her reputation — and perhaps that of Idaho — with this Spanish variety. This is another great example from the Garden City winery, pulling from three vineyards, Martin Brothers, Sawtooth and Williamson. It releases aromas of bright red…

Continue reading

Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2014 Petite Sirah, Washington, $28

The Verhey family’s young Roosevelt Vineyard just downstream from the Horse Heaven Hills along the Columbia River quickly has become a prized spot for the Umikers. And while not all practical, but they could almost transport these grapes by boat to their winery in Lewiston, Idaho, not far from the…

Continue reading