Chateau Ste. Michelle 2014 Limited Release Jonté Sauvignon Blanc, Yakima Valley, $20

As a Ste. Michelle employee, longtime Yakima Valley winemaker Katie Nelson spent several weeks working the 2014 harvest in the Marlborough region of New Zealand, and she produced this delicious small lot of Sauvignon Blanc for Chateau Ste. Michelle a few months after her return. (Nelson joined Charles Smith’s team…

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Ryan Patrick 2013 Rock Island Red, Columbia Valley, $20

Rock Island Red is a red blend that features 44% Merlot and 44% Syrah. It’s a compatible marriage of Bordeaux and Rhône grapes that shows off cured meat with blackberry and spice aromas below. On the palate, the Syrah and Merlot share their blackberry flavors, then Syrah reminds the sipper…

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Pacific Northwest vineyards track ahead of 2015

Three-year-old vines of Grenache reach toward the hot spring sun at Double D Vineyards, an estate planting along the Columbia River for Rocky Pond Winery in Orondo, Wash. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine) Records for high temperatures continues to fall and growing degree days remain in uncharted territory, and…

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Smasne Cellars 2011 The Farmer Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $22

Robert Smasne’s family has been farming in Washington’s Yakima Valley for more than a century, and it’s a heritage he pays homage to with many of his labels. His stellar work with Cabernet Sauvignon continues with this bottling from a cooler vintage, beginning with pleasing toast aromatics, black fruit, dark…

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Lindsay Creek Vineyards 2013 Chardonnay, Washington, $18

Lewis-Clark Valley winemaker Art McIntosh sent this Chardonnay from the Columbia Valley through new French oak for six weeks just prior to filtering. It offers aromas of dried pear, caramel, maple nut, vanilla and orchard blossoms that give way to pleasing flavors of Ambrosia apple, Bartlett pear and pineapple. Touches…

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Pacific Rim Winemakers 2012 Selenium Vineyard Noble Wine Riesling, Yakima Valley, $39

Nicolas Quille and Steven Sealock would seem to be as devoted as ever to the exploration of Riesling in its many shapes and styles, and their majestic young package for their late-harvest “Noble Wine” is downright fascinating. The golden nectar doesn’t let you down, either. Amazing aromas of dusty white…

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Obelisco Estate 2012 Malbec, Red Mountain, $45

Obelisco Estate used 100% estate-grown Red Mountain fruit for this wine, which displays its home AVA’s warm-climate, deep fruit. Combined with Malbec’s natural tendency to produce grapes with color from the heart of darkness, this wine shows off deep, dark plum and summer blackberry aromas and flavors, closing with graceful…

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Naches Heights Vineyard 2013 Grenache, Yakima Valley, $30

Naches Heights vintner Phil Cline stayed close to home in finding the grapes for his Grenache, tapping Two Coyote Vineyard he works with in the Yakima Valley. The result is an aromatic Rhône-influenced red wine that displays pomegranate, blackberry and spice in the glass, then juicy pomegranate, blackberry and blueberry…

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Van Duzer Vineyards 2013 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $32

Van Duzer Vineyards near Dallas, Ore., drew on several Willamette Valley sources for its 2013 Pinot Noir, crafting a wine that startles the taster with licorice elements in its opening aromas, backed by cherries and spice. On the tongue, there are more cherries and licorice, plus a hint of blueberry,…

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Strange Folk Wines NV La Bohéme White Wine, Snake River Valley, $12

Boise winemaker Jed Glavin, whose primary label is Split Rail Winery, shows his nonconformist side with the wine-in-a-can Strange Folk Wines program. The source of this 100 percent Riesling from the 2014 vintage is Skyline Vineyard, Idaho’s largest site, and he presents it with 2% residual sugar. Aromatically, it hints…

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