O•S Winery 2013 Sonas Cabernet Franc, Yakima Valley, $25

Using grapes from Sheridan Vineyard in the Yakima Valley, this winery in the south Seattle neighborhood of Georgetown has created a beautiful and elegant Cab Franc. Aromas of dried purple lavender and black cherry give way to flavors of huckleberry, vanilla cream and sweet dried herbs. It’s all backed by…

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Zerba Cellars 2013 Zinfandel, Walla Walla Valley, $45

The prominent letter “Z” emblazoned on Zerba Cellars’ label is the perfect symbol for the Walla Walla Valley winery’s 2013 Zinfandel. Drawing on grapes from his home AVA, winemaker Doug Nierman crafted another gold medal winner for the Milton-Freewater, Ore., winery. In the glass, vanilla, black currants, blackberries and raisins…

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Elk Cove Vineyards 2014 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $29

Elk Cove Vineyards has built a long record of crafting fine Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley grapes, and its 2014 adds to that reputation furthered by second-generation winemaker Adam Campbell. Drawing on vineyards in the valley’s north end, this latest version yields cherry, blackberry and blueberry aromas and flavors, plus…

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Burnt Bridge Cellars 2013 Les Collines Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $40

The first urban winery in Vancouver, Wash., since Fort Vancouver invested rather heavily in this Cab, starting with one of the Walla Walla Valley’s top sites and following that with 22 months in 75% new French oak. Hence, there’s an early greeting of dark chocolate, but there also are aromatics…

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Cloudlift Cellars 2013 Panorama Merlot, Columbia Valley, $26

A product of South Seattle Community College’s Northwest Wine Academy, Tom Stangeland devoted more Merlot than ever before to his proprietary Panorama red blend – enough (78%) to prompt him to label it it as Merlot. He pulled from Joel Hattrup’s acclaimed Elephant Mountain Vineyard in the Rattlesnake Hills, Arianses…

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Merry Cellars 2013 Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley, $46

Palouse winemaker Patrick Merry helped create a culture for Pacific Northwest wine in Pullman, Wash., and he uses fruit from acclaimed Seven Hills Vineyard in Oregon to burnish his reputation with Bordeaux varieties. A product of a warm vintage, the fruit came in from the field at 26 Brix on…

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Barnard Griffin 2014 Rob’s Red Blend, Washington, $14

Best Buy! Rob Griffin takes the credit for stitching together this remarkably approachable blend of Merlot (53%), Cabernet Sauvignon (33%), Syrah (8%) and Malbec (6%) that’s loaded with milk chocolate, black cherry, dark plum and vanilla bean aromas. Cherry juice and chocolate-covered almonds begin to describe the flavors, backed by…

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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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