Convergence Zone Cellars 2010 Mistral, Red Mountain, $28

The mistral is a strong winter wind that howls through the Rhône Valley of France. This red blend is inspired by the region, as it comprises Grenache (67%), Mourvédrè (22%) and Syrah from two top Red Mountain vineyards: Ciel du Cheval and Read Heaven. This opens with aromas of wintergreen,…

Continue reading

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2009 Limited Release Mourvedre, Wahluke Slope, $30

Head winemaker Bob Bertheau used grapes primarily from Stone Tree Vineyard on the arid Wahluke Slope – a region known as the backbone of the Washington wine industry because it provides the foundation for so many wines. This Rhône red opens with aromas of Ovaltine, cherry fruit leather and vanilla,…

Continue reading

Lookout Point Winery NV Two Coyotes, Rattlesnake Hills, $24

This is a nonvintage blend because it includes Malbec from 2010 and Grenach from 2011, both using grapes from Two Coyote Vineyard near the Yakima Valley town of Zillah. It’ somewhat rare to see a nonvintage blend in Washington, but this one is superb. This opens with aromas of boysenberry,…

Continue reading

Elk Cove Vineyards 2012 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, $19

Second-generation winemaker Adam Campbell crafts simply stunning Pinot Gris. This might be as good as it gets year in and year out. In fact, we have a difficult time remembering the last time we didn’t give it our top rating in a blind judging. This newly released white opens with…

Continue reading

Convergence Zone Cellars 2010 Virga, Red Mountain, $28

This Woodinville, Wash., producer is crafting some superb wines using Red Mountain grapes. This is a Southern Rhône blend of Mourvédrè (55%) from Red Heaven Vineyard and Syrah from Ciel du Cheval. The result is a wine with aromas of sarsaparilla, blackberry, black pepper and chocolate and flavors of cherry,…

Continue reading

Erath Winery 2010 Leland Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $50

Leland, not far from Oregon City, has been one of founder Dick Erath’s favorite vineyards for a long time. His first vineyard-designated Leland was in 1987, the same year he began contracting for all of its grapes. This version of the Leland opens with alluring aromas of black olive, ginger,…

Continue reading

Woodward Canyon Winery restaurant re-opens for second season

Woodward Canyon Winery’s Reserve House Restaurant is open for its second season. (Photo by Colby Kuschatka, courtesy of Woodward Canyon) LOWDEN, Wash. — There are a number of outstanding lunch spots in Walla Walla, Wash., but Woodward Canyon Winery again provides east-bound wine lovers a seasonal oasis beyond the outskirts…

Continue reading

Maryhill Winery 2010 Les Collines Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $40

Norm McKibben, one of the legends of the Walla Walla Valley wine scene, owns and operates this gorgeous vineyard just north of the state line. It’s a 240-acre site that has high elevation, which helps protect it from spring and fall frosts that are notorious in the valley. This Cab…

Continue reading

Apolloni Vineyards 2010 Estate Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $27

Alfredo Apolloni is the owner and winemaker for this family winery in the northern Willamette Valley town of Forest Grove, Ore. It’s a delicous and moderately priced Pinot Noir that opens with aromas of cranberry, white pepper, fresh rhubarb and even pineapple. On the palate, it offers flavors of red…

Continue reading

Maryhill Winery 2010 Alder Ridge Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $40

Alder Ridge is an 800-acre vineyard in the southern Horse Heaven Hills owned by Precept Wine/Winemakers LLC. It is less than an hour’s drive east of Maryhill Winery and is highly regoarded for its warm-climate grapes, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon. This example opens with aromas of cedar, red currant, black raspberry…

Continue reading