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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Schmidt Family Vineyards 2012 Merlot, Applegate Valley, $34

There’s now a decade of age on these vines planted in Oregon’s Kubli loam soil by Calvin Schmidt as part of his original 12-acre project that’s grown beyond that. He and his children picked it at nearly 25 Brix then devoted two years of it to French oak (30% new…

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Sleeping Dog Wines 2014 Buoy Vineyards Sweet Aurora Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Yakima Valley, $21

Larry Oates traditionally produces this dessert-style with Sauvignon Blanc as a cheery memorial to founding mascot Aurora, the beautiful rescue dog who passed on in 2013. The nose of honey, apple, Asian pear, straw and minerality leads to flavors of baked apple pie with notes of kiwi. Ample acidity akin…

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Heymann Winery NV Cranberry Wine, Washington, $16

The Heymanns continue to excel with fruit wines, particularly cranberry, and their latest release offers remarkable complexity. It starts with aromas of pure cranberry with dried pineapple and a touch of earthines. Inside, there’s brightness on the entry with this high-acid fruit, and the residual sugar of 7 percent gives…

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Scatter Creek Winery 2012 Koko Indulgence, Washington, $25

South Sound winemaker Terril Keary continues to recruit adventurous winesters to Tenino, Wash., and his delicious dessert offerings continue to impress. Chocolate is the focus of this fortified wine, and the enticing nose is akin to Devil’s Food Cake with raspberry sauce. Its flavor profile takes you on quite a…

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