Auclair Winery 2013 Artz Vineyard Left Blend Red Wine, Red Mountain, $48

The late Fred Artz was a key figure in the development of vineyards on Red Mountain, and Woodinville boutique winemaker Charlie Auclair continues to pay homage with this Bordeaux blend that’s heavy on Cabernet Sauvignon (80%) and new French oak (75%). Aromas of red cherry and cassis are joined by…

Continue reading

Avennia 2013 Sestina Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $65

Impeccable and storied vineyards in Washington state history such as Red Willow and Sagemoor Farms’ Bacchus and Dionysus present Woodinville vintner Chris Peterson all he needs for this Meritage-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (73%), Merlot (18%) and Cabernet Franc. The investment of time and finances in 70 percent new French…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

Bella Wines 2015 Cavada Sparkling Rosé Brut Natural, Okanagan Valley, $26

Renaissance man Jay Drysdale continues his quest to raise the appreciation for sparkling wine in British Columbia and beyond, yet the laser-focus of his expanding program remains on small vineyards. He released a trio of sparkling Gamay Noir wines from the 2015 vintage, and two of them grown not far…

Continue reading

Mercer Estates 2013 Cavalie Vineyard Block 93 Eagle & Plow Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $100

Patriotism runs deep at Mercer Estates, starting with owner Rob Mercer, who reenlisted in the Marine Corps after the 9/11 attacks. His vineyard manager, John Derrick, had a friend who lost his life as a passenger helping to save others on United Flight 93. Upon returning home, Rob and John…

Continue reading

JM Cellars 2014 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $38

John Bigelow of Woodinville has crafted a lovely example of Chardonnay combining grapes from two stellar sites in the Columbia Basin with a reputation for shining with whites – Conner Lee and Stillwater Creek. It opens with an oak and lemon overlay of aromas, followed by lemon, tart apple and…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

Smasne Cellars 2012 County Line Red, Columbia Valley, $25

Robert Smasne grew up along County Line Road in the Yakima Valley, and so this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (48%), Petit Verdot (21%), Merlot (6%), Carménère (3%) and Cabernet Franc is no afterthought for him. In fact, he traditionally features many of his prized grape sources, Coyote Canyon and Phinny…

Continue reading

Tantalus Wines 2013 Old Vines Riesling, Okanagan Valley, $30

Its roots stretch back to 1978, and New Zealand native/Aussie-trained David Peterson’s scintillating work with these old vines in the hills just east of Kelowna, British Columbia, have turned this Riesling into one of Canada’s most famous wines. International acclaim continues to grow for Tantalus because of this Riesling, which…

Continue reading

Three of Cups 2013 Le Justice Red, Yakima Valley, $32

Mike Metheny chose to produce a GSM-style blend during his first commercial vintage, and it’s proven to be the most popular offering at his Artisan Hill tasting room in Woodinville, Wash. He pulled the Grenache (40%) from Lonesome Spring Ranch in Benton City, while the Mourvèdre (40%) and Syrah both…

Continue reading