Westport Winery Garden Resort 2014 Mermaid Merlot, Yakima Valley, $28

Coastal winemaker Dana Roberts collaborates with Two Blondes – the estate vineyard of acclaimed maritime winemaker Chris Camarda of famed Andrew Will – for this swimmingly easy-drinking Merlot. Bing cherries, cocoa powder, mint and brushy aromas lead to a jammy tasting profile of strawberry and raspberry with chocolaty oak. Plush…

Continue reading

Cabernet Franc a gentler version of Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Franc grapes are grown throughout Washington’s Columbia Valley, where Bordeaux varieties thrive. (Photo by Niranjana Perdue/Great Northwest Wine) Cabernet Franc often is viewed as a kinder, gentler version of Cabernet Sauvignon, kind of like its little brother. More correctly, it’s more of a father figure. DNA testing in 1997…

Continue reading

Seven of Hearts 2014 Vigna Giovanni Vineyard Riesling, Yamhill-Carlton, $21

Willamette Valley winemaker Byron Dooley takes a complex approach to this age-worthy Riesling, starting with Vigna Giovanni Vineyard – a site southeast of the town of Yamhill and established in 1983. His use of 60% neutral French barrels for the Oct. 11 harvest helps create aromas of baked apple and…

Continue reading

Washington wineries brace for epic storm

Blain and Kim Roberts, owners of Westport Winery on the Washington coast, are bracing for this weekend’s storm. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine) WESTPORT, Wash. – Kim Roberts remembers when she was building her winery a decade ago. She remembers the 100-mph sustained winds, the 96 trees that came…

Continue reading

Elk Cove Vineyards 2014 Clay Court Vineyard Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains, $60

Second-generation winemaker Adam Campbell continues to enjoy watching the maturation of this 15-acre vineyard adjacent to his tennis-playing parents home on Parrett Mountain. This vintage marks the 13th vintage for Clay Court, and the abundantly superb 2014 growing season allowed the Campbells to more than double production from the prior…

Continue reading

Northwest Cellars 2013 Boushey Vineyard Mourvèdre, Yakima Valley, $28

orthwOne of the Northwest’s top winemaking partnerships is that of Kirkland vintner Robert Delf and Prosser winemaker Robert Smasne, and this two-barrel production from Dick Boushey’s block of Mourvedre offers the Rhone grape’s signature of black pepper. Those dashes are met with aromas and flavors of dark purple fruitiness akin…

Continue reading

Aubichon Cellars 2014 Chardonnay, Willamette Valley, $35

Jim Sanders’ work with Burgundy varieties in the Willamette Valley continues to impress, and this reserve approach with a single-vineyard Chardonnay from the Chehalem Mountains provides skilful balance. He opted for 16 months of barrel aging in predominantly neutral oak, which allows for a golden color with aromas of light…

Continue reading

Sawtooth Estate Winery 2013 Vineyard Select Skyline Red, Snake River Valley, $12

Best Buy! Idaho-grown winemaker Meredith Smith earned the promotion to associate winemaker for Sawtooth during this 2013 vintage, and her meticulous approach to blending Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Syrah and Malbec shows with this delicious and affordable blend from Precept’s own Skyline Vineyard. Two years of 30% new French…

Continue reading

Brilliance of Oregon Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir from one vineyard in Oregon wine country can taste completely different than Pinot Noir grown on a nearby hill in a different AVA. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine) When you focus on one grape, you get pretty good at it. This works in the Old World with…

Continue reading

Mercer Canyons 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $14

Best Buy! The Mercer family continues to grow its reach while promoting the Horse Heaven Hills growing region with this second label that’s available across the country in 47 states thanks to its partnership with industry giant Southern Wine and Spirits. Dead Canyon Vineyard and vaunted Spice Cabinet fruit are…

Continue reading