Columbia Crest 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $45

Ray Einberger’s team could rightfully claim “Crest is Best” after the 2005 vintage of this wine was named No. 1 in the world by Wine Spectator. Sugar Ray’s protégé/successor, Juan Muñoz Oca, pulled from Columbia Basin vineyards Beverly and StoneTree as well as Shaw on Red Mountain in this warm,…

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Telaya Wine Co. 2013 Turas, Snake River Valley, $32

Idaho’s Snake River Valley has a proven track record for producing fine Syrah grapes, which form the foundation for Telaya’s 2013 Turas, a blends of Syrah (55%), Petit Verdot (27%) and Malbec. A Syrah-based blend was the first wine for the Garden City winery and has become its flagship blend.…

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Mt. Hood Winery 2014 Estate Pinot Noir, Columbia Gorge, $28

Homegrown winemaker Rich Cushman rules the Pinot Noir class by crafting the flagship wine for the Bickford family in the Columbia Gorge town of Hood River, Ore. There’s little sign of oak in the nose of blueberry jam, cherry juice and plum flesh from this product of estate vines first…

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Scatter Creek Winery NV Peach Breeze, Yakima Valley, $14

Best Buy! South Puget Sound winemaker Terril Keary incorporates peach juice into his Chardonnay, making for a slightly off-dry drink that works remarkably well. The nose is reminiscent of walking through a farmers market in summertime with aromas of a peach pie a la mode and Bartlett pear. There’s no…

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Cinq Cellars 2013 The Professors, Yakima Valley, $28

Cinq Cellars of Redmond, Wash., dubbed its Cabernet Sauvignon-focused red blend “The Professors” to honor the faculty members of the University of Washington and Washington State University who have helped foster Washington’s wine industry through their research and encouragement. For grapes, Cinq reached into the Yakima Valley, Washington’s oldest AVA,…

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Passing Time 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $75

DeLille Cellars alum Chris Peterson developed the playbook for Great Northwest Wine’s top-ranked wine of 2015, and the Woodinville winemaker has followed up that debut 2012 vintage by throwing another tight spiral for retired quarterbacks Dan Marino and Damon Huard using Milo May’s Discovery Vineyard. There’s opulence and complexity starting…

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L’Ecole No 41 2013 Syrah, Columbia Valley, $25

L’Ecole No. 41, the Walla Walla Valley’s famous schoolhouse winery, had compiled a consistent record of A-list Syrah over decades. Now it can add its 2013 Columbia Valley version to that honor roll. Fresh game, plum, blueberry and blackberry aromas lead off, followed by more of the same fruit flavors,…

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Daven Lore Winery 2012 Merlot, Horse Heaven Hills, $29

Daven Lore Winery of Prosser, Wash., brought in Merlot from the adjacent Horse Heaven Hills for this wine, then cranked out another gold medal wine. It opens with sweet aromas of blackberry fruit augmented by deeper tones of blueberry and black currant. Its flavor profile sports ripe summer blackberries and…

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Smasne Cellars 2012 Upland Vineyard Cabernet Franc, Snipes Mountain, $44

Nobody makes more wines from Snipes Mountain, an upthrust in the middle of the Yakima Valley near the community of Sunnyside, than Robert Smasne. And Upland Vineyard is one of the historic plantings in Washington wine country, with a legacy that stretches back to 1917. This elegant yet powerful Cabernet…

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Quady North 2015 Pistoleta, Rogue Valley, $20

Based in Medford, Ore., second-generation vintner Herb Quady tapped fruit from the Rogue Valley for its 2015 blend of 40% Viognier, 25% Roussanne, 25% Marsanne and 10% Grenache Blanc. Called Pistoleta and sporting a pair of derringers on its label, it’s highly aromatic, with spice, pear, melon and and lime…

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