L’Ecole No. 41 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $40

Owner/winemaker Marty Clubb blended grapes from six top vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley, including Seven Hills, Loess, Ferguson Ridge, Pepper Bridge, Va Piano and Yellow Jacket. Despite a cool, difficult year, he managed to craft a rich, full-bodied and complex red. It opens with aromas of minerality, plum, black…

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Victor Palencia returns to Walla Walla to launch winery

Victor Palencia is the owner and winemaker of Palencia Wine Co., Walla Walla’s newest winery. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine) WALLA WALLA, Wash. – It’s been a decade since Victor Palencia first came to the Walla Walla Valley, a high school kid who was enchanted with the wine industry…

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British Columbia Wine Institute elects 2 new board members

The British Columbia Wine Institute lists 12 wineries and more than 600 acres of vineyard in the Similkameen Valley. (Photo courtesy of BCWI) OSOYOOS, British Columbia — The British Columbia Wine Institute recently added Spencer Massie of Clos du Soleil and David Wilson of Mission Hill Family Estate to its…

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Gordon Estate 2012 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $14

Best Buy! Jeff Gordon planted his vineyard in the 1980s on a beautiful location overlooking the Snake River just upstream from the Columbia River near Pasco, Wash. The winery has opened a tasting bar in Pasco and is working on a second one in Vancouver, Wash. This Chardonnay opens with…

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Abacela 2012 Viognier, Umpqua Valley, $22

Viognier tends to be a difficult grape to grow – and, ultimately, wine to make. One of the issues is the grape tends to be high in pH and, thus, low in acidity. Not so with this superb example from Southern Oregon. This opens with aromas of mint, lemon curd…

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Seven of Hearts 2011 Pinot Gris, Oregon, $18

This Carlton, Ore., winery began in 2006 and produces a wide array of wines from Oregon and Washington. This classy Pinot Gris offers aromas of fresh fig, jasmine, rose petal and lemon, followed by flavors of ripe pear, apricot, lemon and lime. It’s a zesty wine that will pair well…

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Waterbrook Winery 2011 Reserve Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $15

Best Buy! This delicious and affordable Chardonnay is produced by one of Walla Walla’s first wineries (circa 1984), which now is owned by Precept Wine in Seattle and has a beautiful showcase winery just west of downtown Walla Walla. This white wine opens with aromas of pear, apricot, apple and…

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San Juan Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Franc, Horse Heaven Hills, $28

There’s nothing but Cabernet Franc in this bottle, and it’s dominated by Alder Ridge Vineyard fruit taken Oct. 20 of that year. Chris Primus, longtime winemaker at this Friday Harbor destination, also targets French oak for this release, although only 10% of that barrel program is new. It makes for…

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Bite of Seattle creates section for Washington wineries, jazz musicians

The Groupon Bite of Seattle, which began in 1982, returns to the Seattle Center with a section for 10 Washington wineries surrounded by jazz musicians. (Christopher Nelson Photography/Courtesy of Festivals Inc.) SEATTLE – Ten wineries from Washington state will be featured July 19-21 at Wine & Jazz during the Groupon…

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Naches Heights Vineyard & Winery, 2012 Two Coyote Vineyard Can-Can, Yakima Valley, $12

Best Buy! Owner/winemaker Phil Cline more than doubled production of his proprietary blend of Viognier (53%), Chardonnay (28%) and Roussanne, which comes from a small vineyard he manages in the Rattlesnake Hills. The frolicking aromas kick out hints of candy corn, piña colada hard candy and banana chips. There are…

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