Charles Smith Wines 2014 The Velvet Devil Merlot, Washington, $13

Best Buy! While it’s Cab and Syrah that generate a lot of the red headlines in Washington, it’s Merlot that remains the state’s workhorse grape. Charles Smith’s team sourced from seven sites, including Art denHoed in the northern reaches of the Yakima Valley, Goose Ridge near Richland and Sundance on…

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Melanie Krause, Cinder Wines uses Riesling to top Idaho Wine Competition

Melanie Krause, who produced the best Riesling at the 2017 Cascadia International Wine Competition, followed that up at the 2017 Idaho Wine Competition, where her 2016 Off-Dry Riesling was voted best of show. (Photo courtesy of Cinder Wines) CALDWELL, Idaho – An off-dry Riesling from one of Pacific Northwest’s top…

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Red Rhone blends a delicious Northwest trend

Grenache destined for Milbrandt Vineyards ripens on Washington’s Wahluke Slope. Washington Grenache is on the rise in popularity. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine) Among the most exciting developments in the Pacific Northwest wine country in recent years is the emergence of red Rhône blends, commonly called GSMs because of…

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Cloudlift Cellars 2014 Panorama Merlot, Columbia Valley, $26

In recent vintages, Tom Stangeland began to focus his Panorama project on Merlot, and his continued relationship with Elephant Mountain and Arianses allows him to take this to the next level. Ripe and alluring aromas of black cherry and blackberry include coffee and chocolate. Inside, it’s lighter and more hedonistic…

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Santo takes over for Munnell at Mercer Estates

Jeremy Santo, a product of Washington State University and the Yakima Valley town of Prosser, is the new head winemaker for Mercer Estates. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine) PROSSER, Wash. – One product of Washington State University and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is taking over for another at Mercer…

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Canadian giant Peller to acquire Black Hills, Gray Monk, Tinhorn

California native Sandra Oldfield and her family have entered into an agreement to sell Tinhorn Creek Vineyards in Oliver, British Columbia, to Canadian giant Andrew Peller, which also announced plans to purchase Black Hills Estate Winery and Gray Monk Estate Winery. (Photo courtesy of Tinhorn Creek Vineyards) Canadian giant Andrew…

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We tend to think of Oregon as Pinot Noir country. Rightly so, s they harvested more than 50,000 tons of the red French grape last fall. Varner-Traul Vineyard in Talent, Ore., is the estate vineyard for Ledger David Cellars. The Rogue Valley site, first planted in 2006, spans 15 acres…

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Elk Cove Vineyards 2015 Clay Court Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains, $60

When this young 15-acre Pinot Noir project devoted to Pommard, Dijon 115 and 777 clones became available in 2009, the Campbell family jumped at it. And it’s become a smashing success – not only for winemaking son, Adam, but also for his tennis-loving parents. A product of a record-hot vintage…

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Luke 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Wahluke Slope, $25

For decades, Thomas Vogele has sold bottles for some of the continent’s highest-profile wineries. In 2012, he began to develop his own brands, starting with Luke. There’s the mystical tale of a man named “Luke” surrounding the label, while what’s inside the bottle features his growing relationship with the Wahluke…

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Cairdeas Winery 2016 Lawrence Vineyard Nellie Mae White Wine, Columbia Valley, $24

Charlie Lybecker remains devoted to Rhône Valley varieties and continues to sharpen his approach by focusing on Lawrence Vineyard in the proposed Royal Slope American Viticultural Area for the blend of Viognier (60%) and Roussanne (40%). There’s no oak involved, which keeps it fruity and lively, starting with aromas of…

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