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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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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Kontos Cellars 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $38

This second-generation winemaking family sourced from Pepper Bridge and Summit View vineyards for its stellar Cabernet Sauvignon. Its aromas lead off with black cherries, blackberries and black currants. On the palate, the black currants become more prominent, then the flavors merge with fine-grained tannins, chocolate and licorice at the close.…

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Snoqualmie Vineyards 2014 ECO Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $13

Best Buy! Perhaps it’s the magic of pixie dust from the region around tiny Paterson, Wash., where Snoqualmie’s Joy Andersen made this 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon from organic Columbia Valley grapes. Whatever the source, this Ste. Michelle Wine Estates product stands out for its spicy black cherry and blackberry aromas and…

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Browne Family Vineyards 2014 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $30

There aren’t as many of these reserve-style versions of Chardonnay produced in the Pacific Northwest as there once were, but John Freeman’s work in Walla Walla on behalf of Precept Wine CEO Andrew Browne ranks among the region’s best. It starts with fruit from Sagemoor, Oasis and the estate planting…

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Telaya Wine Co. 2013 Boushey Vineyards Sruth Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $27

Earl Sullivan and Telaya — Wine Press Northwest magazine’s 2016 Idaho Winery of the Year – work with famed Washington grower Dick Boushey for this Boise winery’s most readily approachable red wine to date, a blend of Merlot (40%), Cabernet Franc (40%) and Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 22 months in…

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Skylite Cellars 2012 Verhey Vineyard Malbec, Yakima Valley, $32

Robert Smasne’s winemaking skills helped put Skylite Cellars on the map in Walla Walla and beyond, and he also introduced the Hodgins to sites such as Dave Verhey’s vineyard – the source of this marvelous Malbec. It was planted in 2001, two years prior to Smasne beginning his work for…

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Maison De Padgett Winery NV The Smoking Gun Coffee Port-style, Rattlesnake Hills, $20

David and Andrew Padgett loaded another delicious round in the chamber with this latest edition of their coffee-flavored Port-style wine from the Padgett family’s vastly underrated fortified program in the Yakima Valley’s Rattlesnake Hills. The vapor trail of hazelnut coffee, vanilla cream and flan comes to life in a dangerous…

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JoieFarm Winery 2014 Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, $24

JoieFarm drew on vineyards on the Okanagan region’s Naramata Bench and in Summerland for this Pinot Noir. The result is a cool-climate, elegant drink featuring red cherries, cranberries and refined oak and light spice. On the palate, it is seductively smooth instead of aggressively edgy like some of its southern…

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