5th annual Cascadia Wine Competition begins today

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  The 2017 Cascadia Wine Competition begins today in Hood River, Ore. (Photo by Richard Duval Images) HOOD RIVER, Ore. – The fifth annual Cascadia Wine Competition begins this morning at the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel. The judging attracted more than 900 entries from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho.…

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Ancient Lakes fascinates as young Washington wine region

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Several of the Columbia Basin’s Ancient Lakes near Quincy, Wash., are found in the canyon between Evergreen Vineyard and Ancient Lakes Vineyard, and both plantings were established by the Milbrandt brothers. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine) Some of Washington’s oldest vines are in the state’s newest American Viticultural Area.…

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6 bills for Washington wineries alive in state Legislature

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Six of the nine wine-related bills introduced this year at the state Legislature remain alive. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine) OLYMPIA, Wash. — It appears that Washington wineries are on their way to being able to operate as many as four tasting rooms. However, prospects look grim for a…

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Red Mountain vineyards pour 2016 wines for winemakers

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Samples of 2016 wines are showcased during Red Mountain Grower Tasting on Feb. 7, 2017. (Photo by William Pollard Jr. @wild4wawine) BENTON CITY, Wash. — Even when Washington’s smallest appellation is wearing a wardrobe of snow, Red Mountain still might be the hottest spot in the state for winemakers in…

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Drink Washington State 2014 Enjoy Walla Walla Carménère, Walla Walla Valley, $26

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Empire State native Brad Binko turned his back on the life of a somm for that of a winemaker, and the recent grad from College Cellars in Walla Walla now earns high marks outside of the classroom with much of his juice. This Carm is an amped-up Cabernet Franc, offering…

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Le Cadeau Vineyard 2015 Pinot Noir, Oregon, $38

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Tom Mortimer’s vines on the southern edge of Parrett Mountain have entered their third decade of life, and this bottling represents a blend through the 16-acre vineyard which he found thanks to Harry Peterson-Nedry of Chehalem Wines fame. The nose shows the ripeness of the historically hot 2015 vintage, offering…

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Mercer Estates 2015 Reserve Chardonnay, Horse Heaven Hills, $29

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Previous vintages saw Jessica Munnell dedicate her reserve Chardonnay to Zephyr Ridge Vineyard, but the maturation of young Eagle & Plow Vineyard – now the Mercer family’s largest planting – deems it worthy of playing a role in this program. Half of the lots involved new French oak barrels for…

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Martinez and Martinez Winery 2013 Petit Verdot, Horse Heaven Hills, $30

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Sergio Martinez grows the grapes, both across his estate near Champoux Vineyard and for Alder Ridge Vineyard, and his son, Andrew, turns them into wine. This three-barrel lot exudes aromas of sugared plum, vanilla bean and horehound, which extends into the flavors that include chocolate-covered pomegranate and the firm tannins…

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William Church Winery 2013 Billy’s Vintage Sur La Mer Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $38

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The Balsleys have earned a reputation as one of the best blending houses in Woodinville, and Noah Fox Reed furthers that with this Meritage-style blend of Merlot (58%), Cabernet Sauvignon (18%), Petit Verdot (8%), Cabernet Franc (8%) and Malbec. Its pedigree of Red Willow, Dineen, Elephant Mountain, Gamache and Northridge…

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Wind Rose Cellars 2013 Bravo Rosso Red Table Wine, Washington, $22

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Olympic Peninsula winemaker David Volmut continues his tradition of success with this Italian-themed blend. Barbera (52%), Primitivo (24%), Nebbiolo (4%) and Dolcetto (2%) get a Super Tuscan-type influence from Cabernet Sauvignon (18%), and the blend spent 20 months in 30 percent new French oak. As a result, the nose is…

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