Burnt Bridge Cellars 2013 Les Collines Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $40

The first urban winery in Vancouver, Wash., since Fort Vancouver invested rather heavily in this Cab, starting with one of the Walla Walla Valley’s top sites and following that with 22 months in 75% new French oak. Hence, there’s an early greeting of dark chocolate, but there also are aromatics…

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Cloudlift Cellars 2013 Panorama Merlot, Columbia Valley, $26

A product of South Seattle Community College’s Northwest Wine Academy, Tom Stangeland devoted more Merlot than ever before to his proprietary Panorama red blend – enough (78%) to prompt him to label it it as Merlot. He pulled from Joel Hattrup’s acclaimed Elephant Mountain Vineyard in the Rattlesnake Hills, Arianses…

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Merry Cellars 2013 Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley, $46

Palouse winemaker Patrick Merry helped create a culture for Pacific Northwest wine in Pullman, Wash., and he uses fruit from acclaimed Seven Hills Vineyard in Oregon to burnish his reputation with Bordeaux varieties. A product of a warm vintage, the fruit came in from the field at 26 Brix on…

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Barnard Griffin 2014 Rob’s Red Blend, Washington, $14

Best Buy! Rob Griffin takes the credit for stitching together this remarkably approachable blend of Merlot (53%), Cabernet Sauvignon (33%), Syrah (8%) and Malbec (6%) that’s loaded with milk chocolate, black cherry, dark plum and vanilla bean aromas. Cherry juice and chocolate-covered almonds begin to describe the flavors, backed by…

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Colter’s Creek Winery 2013 Arrow Rim Red, Idaho, $25

Colter’s Creek Arrow Rim Red, a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre once again shows Idaho can star in producing Rhône blends. The Julietta, Idaho, winery labeled it Idaho red wine because when it was made that was the only recognized AVA for its vineyard location above the rimrocks at…

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Dumas Station Wines 2013 Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $32

This bottling marks a first for Walla Walla Valley grower/winemaker Jay DeWitt and Dumas Station – a full-on, 100 percent Merlot – and the results from Birch Creek Vineyard and Minnick Hills Vineyard are superb. His program of 40% new oak creates aromas reminiscent of black raspberry jam, black cherry…

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Tightrope Winery 2015 Tip-Toe, Okanagan Valley, $22

The Okanagan Valley of British Columbia and the Alsace seem to share enough climatic conditions to make them both ideal for Germanic white wines. Tightrope Winery near Penticton exploits that, then draws on traditional French grapes as well, combining Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Viognier and Chardonnay into its 2015 Tip-Toe blend. The…

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Seven of Hearts 2013 Special Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $49

Yamhill-Carlton grower/winemaker Byron Dooley uses his Luminous Hills Vineyard (40%) as part of this three-site blend with Armstrong (Ribbon Ridge) and Bjornson (Eola-Amity Hills) of five separate clones. The juice is both special and complex, opening with aromas of white pepper, dried strawberry, raspberry and black cherry, joined by whiffs…

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Canoe Ridge Vineyard 2014 The Expedition Merlot, Horse Heaven Hills, $15

Best Buy! Canoe Ridge Vineyard has given “The Expedition” title to its wines, playing off the ridgetop site named by Lewis and Clark after they noted in 1805 that it looked like an overturned canoe. The winery’s 2014 Merlot from the Horse Heaven Hills offers a hint of pepper, then…

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Garry Oaks 2014 Zweigelt, Salt Spring Island, $16

British Columbia’s Salt Spring Island is worth a summer visit via B.C. Ferries simply for its innate beauty. But it’s also home to some capable wineries, chief among them Garry Oaks Estate, which crafts several varieties of wines and consistently makes excellent Zweigelt, an Austrian grape created only in 1922…

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