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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2017 vintage off to cool start in Pacific Northwest

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Greg Jones, a professor at Southern Oregon University and one of the wine world’s leaders in climate research, presents a report Feb. 14, 2017 at the Idaho Wine Commission annual meeting in Boise. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine) ASHLAND, Ore. — Climate researcher Greg Jones confirmed on Tuesday what…

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Winter’s Hill Winery 2015 Estate Pinot Gris, Dundee Hills, $19

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Russell Gladhart’s second vintage as the winemaker after taking over for his wife, Delphine, and Pinot Gris from this record-warm vintage began to be harvested Sept. 26 from the family’s certified L.I.V.E. estate in the middle of the Dundee Hills. There’s neither oak nor malolactic fermentation involved in this bottling,…

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Ryan Patrick Vineyards 2015 Redhead Red Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $15

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Best Buy! A trio of Wahluke Slope vineyards, including Milbrandt-owned Clifton Bluff and top-notch Northridge, provided Jeremy Santo with the material to create this fleshy and juicy crowd-pleasing red. Cabernet Sauvignon (68%) drives the blend with additives of Syrah (11%), Merlot (11%) and Petit Verdot to create aromas of fruit…

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Ghost Hill Cellars 2013 Bayliss-Bower Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton, $42

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The Bayliss family established their vineyard near Carlton, Ore., in 1999, but the land near Abbey Road has been a part of its bloodlines for more than a century. Their largest production of Pinot Noir is this four-clone blend, and they stick with their traditional percentages of Pommard (45%), 777…

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