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Washington Wine Report is an independent publication focused on bringing Northwest wine to you and bringing you to Northwest wine. Our goal is:
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'14 Tour Guide

Reviewed Wineries

Reminder: December’s Virtual Tasting is scheduled for Thursday 12/18. Read more about it here.

Please note that the list below represents Washington Wine Report’s 2008 Wines of the Year. The 2008 Reader Survey Wine of the Year continues for five more days. Please vote!

During 2008, I sampled over 500 Washington wines. While this might seem like an extraordinary number, given that there are more than 500 wineries in Washington making, say, ten wines a piece, it is less than one tenth of the wine being made in the state. But that is the joy of Washington wine. There is so much good wine out there.

In selecting these wines, I evaluated based on score, price, and my overall excitement about the wine. In terms of excitement, I focused on wines that stood out in the weeks and months after I sampled them. I included wines that I rated during the 2008 year regardless of whether they were released in 2008 or 2007. The majority were released this year, and all were available on the shelves in 2008. I tried to only list one wine per winery. However, I made some exceptions, particularly in the case of Long Shadows.

There are, of course, many excellent wineries and wines that I have not been able to visit and sample. Of note, I did not sample any of the new releases from top producers Cayuse and Leonetti. While their omission from any list of top Washington wines may seem criminal, I will gladly serve my time for this offense and drink these wines at the end of my sentence when they have some bottle age on them.

In terms of my top wines of 2008, there was Quilceda Creek 2005 Cabernet, Corliss Estates 2003 Cabernet, and everything else. The wines from these two wineries were so exceptional that they are quite simply in a class by themselves. I will have a write-up on Corliss Estates in my Walla Walla Holiday Barrel Tasting 2008 Report due out in January 2009.

Download a PDF version of my Top 50 wines with tasting notes here.

Ratings shown in parentheses. Without further ado…

Washington Wine Report’s 2008 Wines of the Year

1. Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 $115 (**)
2. Corliss Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 $75 (**)

3. Ensemble Release No. 3 $45 (**)

4. Long Shadows Chester Kidder 2004 $50 (**)

5. Chateau Rollat Edouard 2005 $62 (**)

6. Long Shadow Pirouette 2005 $50 (**)

7. Spring Valley Frederick 2005 $50 (**)

8. Poet’s Leap Botyris Late Harvest Riesling 2005 $50 (**)

9. Owen Roe DuBrul Vineyard Cabernet 2005 $60 (**)

10. Mark Ryan Water Witch Klipsun Vineyard 2006 $45 (**)

11. K Vintners Morrison Lane Syrah 2006 $45 (**)

12. 21 Grams Walla Walla Valley 2005 $125 (**)

13. Andrew Will Champoux Vineyard 2006 $59 (**)

14. Gorman Winery The Bully Red Mountain 2006 $42 (**)

15. Saviah Cellars Malbec 2005 $30 (*)

16. Cougar Crest Anniversary Cuvee 2005 $32 (**)

17. Amavi Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 $28 (**)

18. Columbia Crest Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 $27 (*)

19. Chateau Ste Michelle Boreal Syrah 2005 $30 (**)

20. Va Piano Semillon 2007 $22 (*)

21. Bunnell Family Cellars A Pic 2005 $28 (**)

22. Dumas Station Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 $25 (*)

23. Tamarack Sagemoor Reserve 2005 $50 (**)

24. McCrea Non Sequitor 2006 $20 (*)

25. Walla Walla Vintners Cabernet Walla Walla 2005 $36 (*)

26. Whitman Narcissa Red 2004 $24 (**)

27. Morrison Lane Nebbiolo 2003 $35 (*)

28. Five Star Merlot 2006 $32 (*)

29. Couvillion Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 $25 (*)

30. Novelty Hill Roussanne Stillwater Creek 2006 $22 (*)

31. Covington Cellars Viognier 2007 $20 (*)

32. Dunham Double River Syrah 2005 $65 (**)

33. Boudreaux Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 $50 (*)

34. Gilbert Cellars Estate Syrah 2005 $26 (*)

35. Januik Red Wine 2006 $20 (*)

36. Grae Eagle Red Wing 2005 $25 (*)

37. Betz La Serenne Syrah $60 (*)

38. Abeja Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 $42 (*)

39. Trust Syrah 2006 $28 (*)

40. Syncline Cellars Subduction Red 2007 $18 (*)

41. Arlington Road Cellars Imperium Riesling 2006 $28 (**)

42. Rulo Syrca 2006 $18 (*)

43. Gramercy Syrah Lagniappe 2005 $32 (*)

44. Woodward Canyon Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2007 $24 (*)

45. L’Ecole Perigee 2005 $49 (*)

46. Syzygy Saros 134 Columbia Valley 2005 $45 (*)

47. Ardenvoir Semillon 2007 $22 (*)

48. Matthews Red Mountain Syrah 2005 $50 (*)

49. Forgeron Cellars Zinfandel 2005 $30 (*)

50. DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Blanc 2007 $34 (*)

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8 comments

  1. dinner Says:
  2. Very nice report. Your work is appreciated by this reader

     
  3. Anonymous Says:
  4. Have you tried Sapolil Cellars yet in Walla Walla? They are next to Cayuse on Main Street, and are putting out some beautiful wines.

     
  5. I actually just tried Sapolil Cellars for the first time at Holiday Barrel Tasting at the beginning of the month and came away extremely impressed. Look for notes on their wines in my Walla Walla Holiday Barrel Tasting 2008 report due out in January.

     
  6. Dinner, thanks for the kind words. I have to admit, I have received several comments like this of late which I then sadly realized were from the robots. Yes, they post comments too. So I was quite relieved to realize that your comment actually said something specific to the blog and that you were a real person. Not that I have anything against robots, as long as they are reading the blog and not just commenting! Thanks again.

     
  7. Kimberly Says:
  8. This is a great list, Sean - I am impressed that you included a few whites ;).

     
  9. Anonymous Says:
  10. col solare? 2005 is fantastic

     
  11. I haven't tried the 2005 Col Solare yet. Loved the 2004 though.

     
  12. HardRow Says:
  13. Great list. Thanks for the recommendations and the prices!

     

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