Forgeron Cellars 2013 Primitivo, Wahluke Slope, $35

One of the prime spots in the Pacific Northwest for Italian varieties is Tedd Wildman’s StoneTree Vineyard, which explains why longtime Walla Walla winemaker Marie-Eve Gilla devotes her Primitivo to this hot site. She brought this lot back to the winery on Sept. 26, pressed it off on Oct. 10,…

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Cadence Winery 2012 Cara Mia Vineyard Camerata, Red Mountain, $60

The estate vineyard for Georgetown vintners Ben Smith and Gaye McNutt, this Cabernet Sauvignon is one of two bottlings they produce from the site they planted in 2004. The aromatic greeting hits on chalkboard dust, cherry jam and cola with blackstap molasses and a whisper of menthol from the Cabernet…

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Snoqualmie Vineyards 2014 ECO Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $13

Best Buy! Perhaps it’s the magic of pixie dust from the region around tiny Paterson, Wash., where Snoqualmie’s Joy Andersen made this 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon from organic Columbia Valley grapes. Whatever the source, this Ste. Michelle Wine Estates product stands out for its spicy black cherry and blackberry aromas and…

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Browne Family Vineyards 2014 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $30

There aren’t as many of these reserve-style versions of Chardonnay produced in the Pacific Northwest as there once were, but John Freeman’s work in Walla Walla on behalf of Precept Wine CEO Andrew Browne ranks among the region’s best. It starts with fruit from Sagemoor, Oasis and the estate planting…

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Telaya Wine Co. 2013 Boushey Vineyards Sruth Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $27

Earl Sullivan and Telaya — Wine Press Northwest magazine’s 2016 Idaho Winery of the Year – work with famed Washington grower Dick Boushey for this Boise winery’s most readily approachable red wine to date, a blend of Merlot (40%), Cabernet Franc (40%) and Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 22 months in…

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Skylite Cellars 2012 Verhey Vineyard Malbec, Yakima Valley, $32

Robert Smasne’s winemaking skills helped put Skylite Cellars on the map in Walla Walla and beyond, and he also introduced the Hodgins to sites such as Dave Verhey’s vineyard – the source of this marvelous Malbec. It was planted in 2001, two years prior to Smasne beginning his work for…

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Cadence Winery 2012 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard, Red Mountain, $45

Viewed for more than a decade as one of the state’s cult producers, Ben Smith continues to serve as a leader in Washington for his pursuit of proprietary Bordeaux-inspired blends with a focus on some of the Columbia Valley’s top vineyards. Here, it’s a partnership with Red Mountain’s most recognized…

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Maison De Padgett Winery NV The Smoking Gun Coffee Port-style, Rattlesnake Hills, $20

David and Andrew Padgett loaded another delicious round in the chamber with this latest edition of their coffee-flavored Port-style wine from the Padgett family’s vastly underrated fortified program in the Yakima Valley’s Rattlesnake Hills. The vapor trail of hazelnut coffee, vanilla cream and flan comes to life in a dangerous…

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JoieFarm Winery 2014 Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, $24

JoieFarm drew on vineyards on the Okanagan region’s Naramata Bench and in Summerland for this Pinot Noir. The result is a cool-climate, elegant drink featuring red cherries, cranberries and refined oak and light spice. On the palate, it is seductively smooth instead of aggressively edgy like some of its southern…

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Dumas Station Wines 2012 Minnick Hills Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $60

Grower/winemaker Jay DeWitt produces a reserve Cab for Dumas (DOO-Muss) Station when he feels that vintage is worthy. It helps explain why he only bottled one (2010) since the 2007 vintage, but there’s little doubt 2012 ranks as one of the Pacific Northwest’s most balanced of the century. So he…

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