Walla Walla Vintners 2013 Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $30

Back in 1995 when Myles Anderson and Gordy Venneri decided to launch Walla Walla Vintners, they wondered if they were too late to the party. After all, the Walla Walla already had seven wineries. More than 20 years later, the two run one of the state’s most successful wineries, and…

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William Grassie Wine Estates 2013 Libération Syrah, Columbia Valley, $35

Owner/winemaker Bill Grassie produces his wines in Woodinville and also has planted a vineyard at his property in Fall City, a tiny community in rural eastern King County. The grapes for this wine come from east of the Cascades, and it is a beautiful effort. Aromas of blackberry cobbler, lightly…

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Brian Carter Cellars 2012 Corrida Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $34

Brian Carter, has a well-earned a reputation as a master of blending. His 2012 Corrida (Spanish for bullfight) red blend of 62% Tempranillo, 17% Graciano, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon 6% Merlot and 4% Garnacha illustrates why and shows his skill with building a blend focused on the grapes of Spain. Using…

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Cascade Cliffs 2014 Barbera, Columbia Valley, $55

This tiny Wishram, Wash., winery excels with out-of-the-mainstream grape varieties. This 2014 Barbera opens with dark red and blue aromas and flavors lush with black cherries, blackberries and black raspberries. It finishes with crisp acidity that can easily handle herbed roast pork or duck breasts. This earned a double gold…

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Lauren Ashton Cellars 2013 Roussanne, Columbia Valley, $25

Woodinville vintner Kit Singh develops this white wine native to the Rhone Valley in France starting with respected Dineen Family Vineyards in the Yakima Valley’s Rattlesnake Hills. The dentist ferments the lot using a combination of new French oak, neutral oak and stainless steel, which sets the table for opening…

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Merry Cellars 2013 Crimson Red Wine, Washington, $28

Gonzaga grad Patrick Merry moved to Washington State University to further his education in computer science and hasn’t left Pullman, where the hometown Cougars proudly wear crimson and gray as the school colors. He’s named this proprietary red blend accordingly, and the product of his 10th commercial vintage of is…

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Oregon Wine Board publishes its first touring guide

The 84-page 2016 Oregon Wine Touring Guide is a joint publication of the Oregon Wine Board and SagaCity Media. PORTLAND, Ore. — It’s rather poignant that the Oregon Wine Country License Plate has paved the road for the first Oregon Wine Official Touring Guide. Release of the inaugural 84-page guide…

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Tucannon Cellars 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $40

Phil Warren’s winery is a stone’s throw from the Yakima River and across Demoss Road from the Red Mountain American Viticultural Area on the parcel that served as the home for the now-defunct Oakwood Cellars. His latest expression of Cab offers aromas of huckleberry, President plum, black cherry and Craisins…

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Columbia Crest 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $45

Ray Einberger’s team could rightfully claim “Crest is Best” after the 2005 vintage of this wine was named No. 1 in the world by Wine Spectator. Sugar Ray’s protégé/successor, Juan Muñoz Oca, pulled from Columbia Basin vineyards Beverly and StoneTree as well as Shaw on Red Mountain in this warm,…

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Telaya Wine Co. 2013 Turas, Snake River Valley, $32

Idaho’s Snake River Valley has a proven track record for producing fine Syrah grapes, which form the foundation for Telaya’s 2013 Turas, a blends of Syrah (55%), Petit Verdot (27%) and Malbec. A Syrah-based blend was the first wine for the Garden City winery and has become its flagship blend.…

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