Cinder Wines 2015 Off-dry Riesling, Snake River Valley, $18

cinder-wines-off-dry-riesling-nv-bottle

Another lauded graduate of the University of Ste. Michelle – Melanie Krause – only recently began producing a Riesling under her own brand in her home state of Idaho. She worked with a handful of Snake River Valley growers – Sawtooth, Skyline, Symms, Trusdell and Williamson – for one of…

Continue reading

Split Rail Winery 2014 Barbera, Snake River Valley, $35

split-rail-winery-barbera-2014-label-1

Engineer-turned-winemaker Jed Glavin is helping to grow the audience for Idaho wines with the work at his Split Rail Winery in the Boise suburb of Garden City. He pulled the fruit for this Barbera from Arena Valley Vineyard near Parma, and the results are impressive. The theme centers on expressive…

Continue reading

Telaya Wine Co. 2014 Turas Red Wine, Snake River Valley, $32

telaya-wine-turas-2014-bottle

One of the Idaho wine industry’s rising stars relies on Syrah grown in the Snake River Valley for its flagship wine, a blend that includes Merlot (19%), Malbec (19%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (2%). The 20 months in French barrels creates aromas of roasted coffee beans and Weetabix with grilled strawberries…

Continue reading

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

sawtooth-estate-winery-skyline-red-2013-bottle

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…

Continue reading

Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2014 Umiker Vineyard Estate Syrah, Lewis-Clark Valley, $28

clearwater-canyon-cellars-umiker-vineyard-syrah-2014-bottle

The pride and joy of Karl and Coco Umiker’s program is their vineyard within the Lewiston (Idaho) Orchards. It’s a 6.5-acre planting in the historic Lewis-Clark Valley, and they established it at 1,350 feet elevation in 2003 on their family’s century farm. The Umikers rely on American oak for much…

Continue reading

Lindsay Creek Vineyards 2014 Riesling, Washington, $15

lindsay-creek-vineyards-riesling-nv-label

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…

Continue reading

Sawtooth Winery 2015 Classic Fly Series Grenache Rosé, Snake River Valley, $25

sawtooth-winery-classic-fly-series-grenache-ros25C325A9-2015-label-1

Rising star Meredith Smith recently was promoted to become head winemaker at Sawtooth’s big sister – Ste. Chapelle. The hope is that she will continue to produce wines of sophistication such as this Provence-style rosé for Sawtooth despite the additional responsibilities that come with taking over Idaho’s flagship property. Her…

Continue reading

Lindsay Creek Vineyards 2013 Chardonnay, Washington, $18

lindsay-creek-vineyards-chardonnay-2013-label

Lewis-Clark Valley winemaker Art McIntosh sent this Chardonnay from the Columbia Valley through new French oak for six weeks just prior to filtering. It offers aromas of dried pear, caramel, maple nut, vanilla and orchard blossoms that give way to pleasing flavors of Ambrosia apple, Bartlett pear and pineapple. Touches…

Continue reading

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

strange-folk-wines-la-boheme-white-wine-nv-can-1

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…

Continue reading

Lindsay Creek Vineyards 2013 Petite Sirah, Washington, $35

lindsay-creek-vineyards-petite-sirah-2013-label

Lewis-Clark Valley winemaker Art McIntosh pulls Petite Sirah from two vineyards in Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills vineyards – Destiny Ridge and Zephyr Ridge – while getting a small contribution from his family’s own planting among the fields outside of Lewiston, Idaho. There’s a nice blend of fruit and barrel with…

Continue reading