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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Schmidt Family Vineyards 2014 Pinot Gris, Applegate Valley, $22

Cal Schmidt and his family in Southern Oregon shined at the 2016 Cascadia Wine Competition, earning three gold medals, and while they grow much of the fruit for their program, they contracted with Aardvark Vineyards in Ashland for this pleasant Pinot Gris. Aromas of Mandarin orange, lemon oil and Pink…

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Kludt Family Winery 2012 Cougar Ridge Reserve Merlot, Lake Chelan, $38

Wapato Point Cellars winemaker Jonathon Kludt also heads up this label under the name of his family, who in 2000 launched Chelan County’s first bonded winery. Cougar Ridge has been featured as a single-vineyard Merlot bottling for several years, including under the Wapato Point brand, and this latest vintage is…

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Seven of Hearts 2013 Armstrong Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge, $35

Willamette Valley winemaker Byron Dooley took his five-clone harvest, leading with Pommard (50%), in late September/early October. It was a move that came days after the torrential rains had made their way across the Pacific after a Southeast Asia typhoon. Armstrong Vineyard, one of the southernmost, lower-elevation sites on Ribbon…

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Moon Curser Vineyards 2014 Contraband Series Arneis, Okanagan Valley, $26

This Italian white grape rarely is seen in the Pacific Northwest, but one would hope the work in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley by Chris and Beata Tolley along the U.S./Canada border will prove to be inspiring. Its gorgeous nose is reminiscent of ambrosia salad, divinity and Red Haven peach. The…

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Dobbes Family Estate 2012 Fortmiller Vineyard Syrah, Oregon, $50

A couple of decades ago, when he was the lead winemaker at Willamette Valley Vineyards, Joe Dobbes’ talent with Southern Oregon fruit led to the quick embrace of the Griffin Creek brand among Willamette Valley wine lovers. He hasn’t lost his touch  with Syrah, thanks to his collaboration with growers…

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