Mercer Estates 2014 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $42

The Mercer family’s Cavalie Vineyard is a particular sweet spot for Cabernet Sauvignon, and winemaker Jessica Munnell pulled Malbec (16%) from Spice Cabinet Vineyard for the well-crafted presentation of Cab. Fun aromas of Chukar Cherry, plum, Lucky Charms Blue Diamond marbit and light toast. The superb fine-grained tannin structure allows…

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Vino La Monarcha 2014 Malbec, Wahluke Slope, $20

The Wahluke Slope continues to burnish its reputation for red wines, and Victor Palencia knows this region as well as anyone with his work for Jones of Washington and clients at his Mattawa custom-crush facility. Here, the Walla Walla Community College grad also shines with his one of his own…

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Aubichon Cellars 2015 Pinot Noir, Oregon, $35

A decade ago, Jim Sanders went beyond just the hired gun for Tom Mortimer’s Le Cadeau Vineyard’s Equinox Pinot Noir program to partner in their successful Aubichon Cellars brand in Oregon’s North Willamette Valley. The Mortimer planting on the southern edge of Parrett Mountain traditionally forms the base of this…

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Lenné Estate 2014 Cinq élus Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton, $72

It translates to “five chosen,” and Steve Lutz dedicates the best barrel of each of the five Pinot Noir clones that are the focus of his dry-farmed estate near Yamhill, Ore. He planted his 15-acre site across Laughlin Road from WillaKenzie Vineyards in 2001, and 2014 is only the second…

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Beresan Winery 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $35

Founder/grower Tom Waliser pulled from his Yellow Jacket and Waliser vineyards, two of the oldest sites in what is now The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater, and winemaker Tom Glase wove the fruit into a complex example of Cabernet Sauvignon from a stellar vintage. It’s beautifully expressive, deep and complex with…

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Nine Hats Wines 2016 Riesling, Columbia Valley, $14

Best Buy! The sister label of Walla Walla’s Long Shadows Vintners program is spearheaded by the brilliant Gilles Nicault, who doubled production of this Riesling over the 2015 vintage. And yet, there’s no drop-off. He continues to present this with a theme of stone fruit flavors and citrusy acidity, ranging…

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Vidon Vineyard 2015 Estate Apollo Chardonnay, Chehalem Mountains, $60

Korean War veteran Don Hagge spent much of his post-Navy career as a physicist with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, particularly missions 7 through 13 of Project Apollo. This launching of the Apollo Chardonnay signals another stage in the Space Exploration Series by this octogenarian grower/winemaker near Newberg, Ore.,…

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Charles Smith Wines 2015 Kung Fu Girl Riesling, Washington, $12

Best Buy! Sure, the branding is a marketer’s dream, and the label broadly reads “Washington State,” but the wine’s pedigree stems from Jerry Milbrandt’s Evergreen Vineyard in the Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley – the foundation of many of the Columbia Valley’s top Rieslings. Jasmine, citrus and lychee aromas include…

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Wine By Joe 2016 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $15

Best Buy! Joe Dobbes, one of Oregon’s most successful wine producers, removes pretense and packs some fun into this rosé from Pinot Noir. He offers it as a bargain, thanks in part to the fruit off his 189-acre Sea Breeze Vineyard west of Salem, Ore., and he creates the rosé…

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Saviah Cellars 2013 Malbec, Walla Walla Valley, $30

Richard Funk, one of Washington’s top winemakers, pulls from three vineyards not far from his winery near Milton-Freewater, Ore., for this spicy, earthy and jammy Malbec that’s true to the variety. Dense flavors of plum and black cherry pick up a hint of mint and minerality, a juicy combination of…

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