Willamette Valley Vineyards 2010 Elton Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills, $45

For many years, winemakers have loved the fruit they’ve gotten from Elton vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills. Planted in 1983, it is owned by Dick and Betty O’Brien and considered one of the state’s top vineyards. A few years ago, Willamette Valley Vineyards CEO Jim Bernau managed to lease the…

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Cinder Wines 2010 Tempranillo, Snake River Valley, $28

The grapes for this Tempranillo come from Rocky Fence and Sawtooth vineyards, and winemaker Melanie Krause – another graduate of the Universit of Ste. Michelle – has crafted them into a big, spicy red. It opens with aromas of tobacco leaf, red cherry and cola. On the palate, it’s a…

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Canoe Ridge Vineyard 2010 Reserve Cherry Street Red, Columbia Valley, $24

Winemaker Bill Murray blended Syrah (54%), Malbec (30%) and Grenache from the estate Canoe Ridge Vineyard as well as Canyon Vineyard Ranch to craft this delicious and reasonably priced red wine. It is a stylish blend with aromas of boysenberry, blueberry, chocolate orange and freshly ground nutmeg, followed by juicy…

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Dusted Valley Vintners 2011 Stone Tree Vineyard Mourvedre, Wahluke Slope, $39

The boys are at it again. Brothers-in-law Chad Johnson and Corey Braunel made their name with Syrah, and now they are crafting another Rhône red with equal artistry. The grapes come from grower Tedd Wildman’s vineyard on the remote Wahluke Slope. It opens with aromas of cedar, poached plum and…

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Convergence Zone Cellars 2010 Storm Front, Red Mountain, $28

This Woodinville, Wash., winery is crafting some impressive wines, primarily using Red Mountain grapes. This delicious red blend includes Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. It opens with aromas of purple and blue fruit, including boysenberry and blueberry. On the palate, it opens with bold juicy flavors of cherry,…

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Pacific Northwest wineries build events around Mother’s Day

Arbor Crest Wine Cellars and other members of the Spokane Wineries Association will participate in Mother’s Day Weekend events Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Flickr. Click through for credit) Sunday in the Pacific Northwest will be a day to celebrate mothers with brunch, flowers and regional wine. Some tasting rooms that…

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Pacific Rim Winemakers 2011 Vin de Glaciere Riesling, Columbia Valley, $14

Best Buy! This dessert wine from Pacific Rim is made in and interesting style. The grapes are picked fairly early (for dessert wine) to retain natural acidity, then frozen in a faux ice wine style and pressed. The result is delicious and affordable. It opens with huge aromas of honey…

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Canoe Ridge Vineyard 2010 Reserve Merlot, Horse Heaven Hills, $24

This longtime Walla Walla winery started as a collaboration between famed Chalone Wine Group of California and Washington partners, then was purchased by an international beverage company. Now it’s owned by Precept Wine in Seattle and is thriving again. This upper-tier Merlot offers aromas of fresh cedar, red currant and…

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At Barnard Griffin, 30 years is just the beginning

Rob Griffin is owner and winemaker of Barnard Griffin in Richland, Wash. This marks the 30th year of the winery. (Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine) RICHLAND, Wash. – When Deb Barnard and Rob Griffin launched their winery 30 years ago, Washington wine country was still the wild west. The American Viticultural…

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Diversion NV Riesling, Washington, $15

Best Buy! This easy-drinking Riesling from Rainier Wine in Seattle is a delicious combination of quality and value. It opens with aromas of fresh-squeezed lime juice, flint, fresh-cut pineapple and lemon zest. On the palate, it offers gorgeous flavors of blood orange, apple and spice. It provides a sense of…

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