WildAire Cellars 2012 Ellis Vineyard Viognier, Rogue Valley, $19

Matt Driscoll makes his Pinot Noir in Gaston, Ore., by using some of the Willamette Valley’s top vineyards, but he reaches into warmer Southern Oregon for one of the most delicious examples of Viognier released this year. The enjoyable aromas feature lemon cream, peach, apricot, Honeycrisp apple, honeysuckle and vanilla.…

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Duck Pond Cellars 2011 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, $12

Best Buy! The Fries family is one of the largest producers of value wines in the Pacific Northwest, and its Pinot Gris ranks as one of the region’s most consistent and available. They concentrate on estate sites in the Salem Hills cropped to 2 tons per acre, resulting in a…

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Winter’s Hill Vineyard 2010 Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, $34

Quite a neighborhood has sprung up around the Gladhart farm in Dayton, Ore., which the family started in 1961. Their 35-acre estate vineyard, certified as sustainable in 1999, is bordered by Domaine Serene, Stoller and Vista Hills, and this release from nerve-wracking vintage certainly stands alongside  those producers. It’s classic…

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Washington wine harvest starts with Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris

Bins are loaded with Sauvignon Blanc grapes at Woodward Canyon Winery’s estate vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley. (Photo courtesy of Woodward Canyon Winery). Washington’s wine grape harvest is just getting started, with wineries bringing in a little Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris so far. Kevin Corliss, director of vineyard…

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Waterbrook Winery 2012 Riesling, Columbia Valley, $11

Best Buy! Washington Riesling comes in all forms – from spine-tinglingly dry to ultra-sweet. This affordable version from one of Walla Walla’s oldest producers has just enough sweetness to lift the bright fruit and round out the acidity. It opens with aromas of pineapple, lemon custard and rosewater, followed by…

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L’Ecole No. 41 2012 Alder Ridge Vineyard Grenache Rosé, Horse Heaven Hills, $20

Winemaker Marty Clubb has been working with Grenache from Alder Ridge for several years, using it in his Columbia Valley Syrah. In recent years, he has recognized it for its potential as a pink wine, and this is the delicious result. It opens with aromas of lemon, dried strawberry and…

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Seven of Hearts 2011 Durant Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, $35

Owner/winemaker Byron Dooley uses grapes from vines that are as much as 40 years old in this vineyard-designated bottling. This is a classic Dundee Hills Pinot Noir with high-toned red fruit taking center stage. It opens with aromas of strawberry jam, saddle leather and violet, followed by flavors of Rainier…

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‘You Will Be My Son’ pits winemaking father against son

‘You Will Be My Son’ is a new French language film about a winemaking father who considers turning his back on his son. (Photo courtesy of Cohen Media Group) A new film set in a Saint-Emilion winery and vineyard pits an overbearing father and demanding winemaker against his son, who…

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Champoux Vineyards’ famed Circle Block Cab vineyard better after replant

Paul Champoux, owner of Champoux Vineyards in Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills, talks about his vines and his decision to replant one of his oldest blocks. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine) ALDERDALE, Wash. – When you own one of the top vineyards on the West Coast, it has to hurt…

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Apex Cellars 2011 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $15

Best Buy! Longtime Yakima Valley winery Apex Cellars is now owned by Precept Wine in Seattle and has a tasting room at the Winemaker’s Loft in Prosser, Wash. This yummy and affordable white reveals aromas of green apple, lime and pineapple, followed by clean, refreshing and bone-dry flavors of Asian…

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