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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Chateau Ste. Michelle 2014 Limited Release Chenin Blanc, Horse Heaven Hills, $24

Bob Bertheau and white winemaker David Rosenthal are doing some of Washington state’s top work in spotlighting this Loire Valley grape, and their comparatively small-lot work with Chenin Blanc from their 34-year-old Horse Heaven Vineyard is beautiful. They refer to this as their “melon-style wine,” and it’s brimming with tones…

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Burnt Bridge Cellars 2013 Blend X Red Wine, Walla Walla Valley, $40

College Cellars graduate Ben Stuart continues to enjoy his homecoming to the Portland/Vancouver area as the new winemaker for Burnt Bridge Cellars, not far from historic Fort Vancouver. The Walla Walla Community College product recently took over for cancer researcher/winemaker David Smith, and Stuart did an impeccable job blending this…

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