Drumheller Wines 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $12

Best Buy! This young, value brand by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, spearheaded by winemaker Tim Jones, is on the rise. Named for the Drumheller Channels created during the Ice Age Floods near Othello, Wash., it focuses on fruit from the Wahluke Slope. As a product of a record-hot growing year,…

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Leah Jørgensen Cellars 2013 Mae’s Vineyard Grand Reserve Cabernet Franc, Applegate Valley, $75

A product of Virginia, Leah Jorgensen was selling Loire Valley wines to restaurants and embassies in Washington, D.C., but an invite to Oregon Pinot Camp in 2004 changed her life. By 2011, she’d launched Leah Jorgensen Cellars. Mae’s Vineyard, owned and farmed organically near Jacksonville, Ore., by the Quady family,…

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Brooks Winery in Oregon creates Great American Eclipse experience

Janie Brooks Heuck is director of Brooks Wines in Amity, Ore. (Photo by Andréa Johnson Photography/Courtesy of Brooks Winery) AMITY, Ore. – For a number of wineries in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, the 2017 vintage might well be remembered for the Great American Eclipse. And as usual, Janie Brooks Heuck had…

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Spindrift Cellars 2014 Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $32

A couple of older Willamette Valley sites established in 1978 – Woodhall and Mary’s Peak vineyards – were blended with significantly younger Deerhaven Vineyard (1997) for an expressive dry-farmed Pinot Noir. All three lots spent a year by themselves in French barrels, presenting an aromatic theme of toasty oak, grilled…

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Upsidedown Wine 2014 Method Red, Washington, $25

Seth and Audrey Kitzke have created their own brand to not only showcase different styles of wine from their family’s Kitzke Cellars but also to assist some of their favorite non-profit groups. Their Method Red from the 2014 vintage is a tip of the cap to Super Tuscans, a blend…

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Private Barrel Auction shows off unique Washington wines

Winemaker Mike Januik talks to a potential bidder at last year’s inaugural Private Barrel Auction, which took place at Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, Wash. (Photo by Richard Duval Images) WOODINVILLE, Wash. – On Friday, the Auction of Washington Wines will play host to its annual Private Barrel Auction, in…

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Canoe Ridge Vineyard 2014 The Explorer Red Blend, Horse Heaven Hills, $22

Downtown Walla Walla winemaker Bill Murray pulls from beyond Canoe Ridge Vineyard for this Syrah-dominant blend with Cabernet Franc (27%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (24%), yet he stays within Precept’s other vineyards in the Horse Heaven Hills as Wallula and Alder Ridge combine to supply most of the fruit. Nearly 18…

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Gordon Estate 2015 Reserve Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $28

There’s a bit hedonism and a lot of fruit behind this reserve Chardonnay from historic Gordon Estate, but there’s not an overabundance of oak. Harvested on Aug. 27 off Kamiak Vineyard, which overlooks the Snake River, it spent almost exactly one year in a barrel program of 40% new French…

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Winter’s Hill Winery 2015 Reserve Pinot Blanc, Dundee Hills, $29

The Gladhart family’s 35-acre pocket in the higher elevations of the Dundee Hills seems to suit grapes native to Burgundy, and understated Pinot Blanc does deliciously well here. In the warm vintage of 2015, these berries were harvested Oct. 3, and a percentage of the pressed wine made it into…

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Cloudlift Cellars 2015 Lucy Rosé of Cabernet Franc, Yakima Valley, $14

Best Buy! There are more than 20 wineries among the Seattle Urban Wineries group, and furniture craftsman Tom Stangeland beat most of them, setting up shop in Georgetown well in advance of his debut commercial vintage in 2009. Cabernet Franc has been a signature variety for him, and Stangeland continues…

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