Mercer Estates 2014 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $42

The Mercer family’s Cavalie Vineyard is a particular sweet spot for Cabernet Sauvignon, and winemaker Jessica Munnell pulled Malbec (16%) from Spice Cabinet Vineyard for the well-crafted presentation of Cab. Fun aromas of Chukar Cherry, plum, Lucky Charms Blue Diamond marbit and light toast. The superb fine-grained tannin structure allows…

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Vino La Monarcha 2014 Malbec, Wahluke Slope, $20

The Wahluke Slope continues to burnish its reputation for red wines, and Victor Palencia knows this region as well as anyone with his work for Jones of Washington and clients at his Mattawa custom-crush facility. Here, the Walla Walla Community College grad also shines with his one of his own…

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Beaumont Cellars 2015 Reserve Mourvèdre, Wahluke Slope, $39

Pete Beaumont, a longtime orchardist in North Central Washington, crafts his wines within the boundaries of the Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley growing region near the town of Quincy. He pulls grapes from the Wahluke Slope thanks to his long-running relationships with growers such as Jones and Milbrandt, and red…

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Aubichon Cellars 2015 Pinot Noir, Oregon, $35

A decade ago, Jim Sanders went beyond just the hired gun for Tom Mortimer’s Le Cadeau Vineyard’s Equinox Pinot Noir program to partner in their successful Aubichon Cellars brand in Oregon’s North Willamette Valley. The Mortimer planting on the southern edge of Parrett Mountain traditionally forms the base of this…

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Mercer Estates 2013 Robert Willis Reserve Malbec, Horse Heaven Hills, $55

Most know them as Rob and Will, but Robert and Willis are the given names for the two Mercer brothers who run and continue to grow the family’s successful wine business. Their bread and butter is in Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills, and the 2013 vintage marked the debut of Robert…

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Lenné Estate 2014 Cinq élus Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton, $72

It translates to “five chosen,” and Steve Lutz dedicates the best barrel of each of the five Pinot Noir clones that are the focus of his dry-farmed estate near Yamhill, Ore. He planted his 15-acre site across Laughlin Road from WillaKenzie Vineyards in 2001, and 2014 is only the second…

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Youngberg Hill 2016 Aspen Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, $25

McMinnville vintner Wayne Bailey has joined others in Oregon’s Willamette Valley by transitioning some of his Pinot Gris over to Chardonnay. His remaining 2 1/2 acres of 10-year-old Gris in the family’s Aspen Block makes for an easy and delicious drink. Tropical tones with Key Lime lead into orchard fruit…

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Beresan Winery 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $35

Founder/grower Tom Waliser pulled from his Yellow Jacket and Waliser vineyards, two of the oldest sites in what is now The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater, and winemaker Tom Glase wove the fruit into a complex example of Cabernet Sauvignon from a stellar vintage. It’s beautifully expressive, deep and complex with…

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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…

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Welsh Family Wines 2015 Bjornson Vineyards Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills, $38

Dry-farmed blocks of Pommard and Dijon 777 across the 8 acres of Kristjan’s Block in rising star Bjornson Vineyard near Salem, Ore.,  are turned into this full-bodied Pinot Noir by Portland urban winemaker Dan Welsh. One of the three barrels he used was new French oak, and that helps account…

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