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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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.,…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

Seven Bridges Winery 2013 Kolibri Vineyard Reserve Malbec, Columbia Valley, $32

Portland winemaker Bob Switzer sources from eight vineyards in Washington for his impressive Seven Bridges portfolio featuring Bordeaux varieties, and here he casts a spotlight upon Kolibri Vineyard, a 7-acre planting just south of historic Cold Creek Vineyard in the northwestern foothills of Washington’s Rattlesnake Mountain. Aromas of black cherry,…

Continue reading

Duck Pond Fries Family Cellars 2016 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, $14

Best Buy! The Fries family and winemaker Trevor Chlanda have the luxury of working with estate vineyards in the Willamette Valley as well as the warmer Umpqua Valley for their program. It is their St. Jory site north of Salem, cropped to a remarkably low 2 tons per acre for…

Continue reading

Ponzi Vineyards 2014 Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $65

The bountiful 2014 growing season in the Willamette Valley allowed Luisa Ponzi to double production of her family’s reserve Pinot Noir, and yet it merited our top rating for the second straight vintage. Her sources range from the north slope Chehalem Mountains estate sites of Abetina, Aurora and Madrona Vineyards…

Continue reading

Barnard Griffin 2015 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $14

Best Buy! The hottest vintage in Rob Griffin’s 39th year of winemaking in Washington state meant he and winemaking daughter, Megan Hughes, brought in their Chardonnay from their estate Caroway Vineyard and longtime farming families at Arete, Lonesome Spring Ranch, Crawford vineyards earlier than ever. About a third of this…

Continue reading