Ponzi Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, $22

For the third straight vintage – each of them warmer than the next – Luisa Ponzi merits our top rating for her rosé from Pinot Noir, a blend of Dion, Merten and estate plantings nearly five decades old. It carries a gorgeous light cherry hue and hints at cherries, peach…

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Cedar River Cellars 2013 Bella Bella Barrel Select Syrah, Columbia Valley, $38

A single barrel of free-run Syrah juice from Burgess Vineyard in Pasco, Wash., makes for an inviting, sexy and silky release by Micah Nasarow, a young winemaker on the rise in the Renton Highlands near Lake Kathleen. Chocolaty aromas with plum, blueberry and sweet red bell pepper lead to a…

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Amelia Wynn 2013 Petit Verdot, Columbia Valley, $32

Bainbridge Island winemaker Paul Bianchi continues his impressive run of showy wines in West Coast competitions with this bottling from Stillwater Creek Vineyard in the Frenchman Hills near Royal City, Wash. He uses no French oak, but instead relies on Hungarian and American wood to help develop the nose of…

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Dusted Valley Vintners 2013 Stoney Vine Vineyard Tall Tales Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $60

At this point, the federal government won’t allow the Wisconsin boys at Dusted Valley to use The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater as the American Viticultural Area on the label of this wine – even though they own this vineyard. That’s because their winery in Walla Walla is not in the…

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Columbia Crest 2013 Reserve Grenache, Horse Heaven Hills, $35

Rancher-turned-grower Mike Andrew’s Coyote Canyon Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills ranks among the favorite sites of Columbia Crest final boss Juan Muñoz Oca, and here’s one of the state’s largest productions featuring Grenache – a rather rare and expensive red Rhône grape that’s on the rise in Washington state.…

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Spangler Vineyards 2012 Cabernet Franc, Southern Oregon, $27

Francophiles will appreciate Umpqua Vally winemaker Pat Spangler’s work with this lot of Cabernet Franc, which he brought into his Roseburg, Ore., winery on Oct. 8. There’s an abundance of leafiness and bell pepper in the nose, but there’s fruitiness of black cherry taffy and cola nut, too. It comes…

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Daven Lore Winery 2014 Rosé, Yakima Valley, $18

Prosser winemaker Gordon Taylor takes a “why mess with success” approach to his off-dry rose, which he leads with Sangiovese (41%) from Lonesome Spring Ranch and backblends with Petit Verdot (20%) from Scott Fisher and estate Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Its medium salmon color leads to aromas of dried…

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King Estate Winery 2014 Domaine Pinot Gris, Oregon, $30

One of the Northwest’s priciest Pinot Gris also ranks among the best. The King family’s team selects top lots from its remarkable estate for its Domaine program, and clones 146 and 152 spend five months on the lees in stainless steel tanks to build mouth feel. The wine releases starfruit…

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Northwest Cellars 2012 Intrigue Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $28

While its price remains stable, the blending program for Robert Delf’s Intrigue is rather fluid each year. This time, the Kirkland, Wash., vintner and winemaker Robert Smasne focused on Bordeaux varieties – Malbec (25%), Merlot (20%), Petit Verdot (20%), Cabernet Sauvignon (15%) and Carménère (5%) with Syrah as a backblender…

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Van Duzer Vineyards 2013 Saffron Fields Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton, $60

The Yamhill-Carlton AVA yielded the fruit for Florent-Pierre Merlier’s 2013 Saffron Fields Pinot Noir. And the result from this grass seed farm-turned-vineyad is aromas of violets, sandalwood, cherry, blueberry compote and spice that lead into flavors of sweet cherries, blueberry skin and whispers of chocolate, closing with a touch of…

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