Walla Walla Community College grads excel in West Coast judgings

Victor Palencia, a graduate of Walla Walla Community College’s winemaking program, grew up helping his father manage vineyards in the Yakima Valley. These days, Palencia is one of Washington state’s most prolific and decorated winemakers. (Photo by Richard Duval Images) WALLA WALLA — From Mattawa to Maine, graduates of the…

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‘Style council’ to lead Oregon Chardonnay Celebration

Mimi Casteel of Bethel Heights Vineyard provides some levity during the 2015 Oregon Chardonnay Symposium for moderator Rajat Parr and panelists, left to right, Jason Lett of The Eyrie Vineyard, John Paul of Cameron Winery, Craig Williams and Thomas Bachelder at Stoller Family Estate in Dayton. Lett and Paul are…

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Browne Family Vineyard 2014 Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley, $35

Waterbrook winemaker John Freeman in Walla Walla continues to favor Cabernet Franc from Blackrock Vineyard near Red Mountain for his showcase work with this Bordeaux variety for Precept Wine CEO Andrew Browne. There’s an addition of Merlot (10%) from Mirage Vineyard near the eastern banks of the Columbia River north…

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Sip McMinnville Wine and Food Classic turns 25 next month

McMINNVILLE, Ore. — Next month, organizers of the Sip McMinnville Wine and Food Classic will celebrate the silver anniversary of a festival that’s outgrown the local armory and spent the past decade at the acclaimed Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum. The weekend-long Sip McMinnville Wine and Food Classic runs March…

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San Juan Vineyards 2016 Estate Siegerrebe, Puget Sound, $22

This release signals the last bottling of Siegerrebe at San Juan Vineyards under the ownership of co-founder Yvonne Swanberg, who sold her property and brand to the owners of Corliss Estate in Walla Walla, effective Feb. 1. Some of these grapes come off the first parcel Swanberg and her late…

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Stemilt Creek Winery 2014 Transforming Traditions Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley, $34

The Mathison family began growing tree fruit in the Wenatchee Valley in 1893, and they began planting vineyards for wine in 2001. Their vines reach above the Columbia River up to 1,600 feet elevation, representing one of the highest sites for viticulture in Washington. In 2014, they seemed to have…

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Succession Wines 2016 Evolution White Wine, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $24

This winery on the north shore of Lake Chelan blended Sèmillon and Roussanne from the Ancient Lakes appellation, one of the Pacific Northwest’s most exciting growing regions. On the nose it unfolds with aromas of jasmine and notes of pear and spice. On the palate, it is loaded with flavors…

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The Conqueror Winery 2014 Red Blend, Horse Heaven Hills, $27

Napa-native Bill Murray worked extensively with Canoe Ridge Vineyard during his time as a Walla Walla winemaker for Precept, and he leads this big but approachable red blend with Cabernet Franc. However, the influence of Syrah (25%) is obvious. Aromas and flavors of Rainier cherry, blueberry jam on toast and…

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Marshall Davis Wines 2015 Seven Hills Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $36

This band of brothers — Matt Marshall, Ryan Marshall and Sean Davis — established their vineyard and brand in 2011 in Oregon’s Yamhill-Carlton American Viticultural Area. They sought to offer their fans more than Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from their 6-acre vineyard, so Davis began making big reds from stellar…

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Goose Ridge Vineyards 2015 g3 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $15

The Monson family and its 2,200 acres of vineyard just south of Red Mountain serve as the foundation for many Washington wines. The remarkable bounty of Goose Ridge Vineyard in the proposed Goose Gap appellation paves the way for this delicious entry level g3 tier. Andrew Wilson’s team presents this…

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