Overview


Washington Wine Report is an independent publication focused on bringing Northwest wine to you and bringing you to Northwest wine. Our goal is:
  • To help you select Pacific Northwest wines at a variety of price levels
  • To keep you up-to-date about the Northwest’s wineries, vineyards, and individuals
  • To help you plan trips to wine country
  • To connect you to the larger wine community

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Reviewed Wineries

2014: The Year in Washington Wine

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 0 comments

What follows is an excerpt from an article in the Winter issue Washington Tasting Room magazine. 

A peek at the 2014 harvest plus a review of what’s trending in Washington’s wine industry

Washington State growers and winemakers saw their second straight warm growing season in 2014. For many vineyard sites in Eastern Washington, it was their warmest growing season on record. Growers appreciated the relatively stress-free year which was without frosts, freezes and other significant events. Read rest of article here.

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Fresh Sheet December 30th 2014

Tuesday, December 30, 2014 0 comments

Today’s Fresh Sheet – reviews of new and recent releases – includes wines from sommes des partiesSilverback VineyardsColumbia WineryErathAnam Cara CellarsKramer Vineyards, and La Crema.

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Walla Walla Valley Report 2014

Monday, December 29, 2014 0 comments


This report on the Walla Walla Valley includes wines from Cayuse VineyardsNo GirlsAbejaWoodward CanyonDelmas, and Maison Bleue.


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Pic of the Vine - December 2014

Sunday, December 28, 2014 0 comments

The cold winter blues is our choice for the last Pic of the Vine of 2014. This image from resident photographer Richard Duval was captured while roaming a favorite site in the Walla Walla Valley on a ten-degree day.

“Winter in wine country offers a different and demanding view of old friends like Les Collines Vineyard,” Duval said. “Balancing snow, frost, and cold are a challenge but the results are captivating glimpses of what these vineyards do in the off-season – sleep!”

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The Evolution of Force Majeure

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 0 comments

Changes are afoot at Woodinville’s Force Majeure. Earlier this year the winery hired Todd Alexander (pictured left) as winemaker and general manager. Alexander previously served as winemaker at the cult Napa Valley winery Bryant Family.

The move to hire a full time winemaker at Force Majeure was in part accelerated by the departure of partner Ryan Johnson. Johnson, who also stepped aside from managing Ciel du Cheval Vineyard this year, had been a driving force on the viticultural side for Force Majeure.

“Ryan’s a great viticulturalist and I would love for him to still be involved, but I also have to respect life choices,” said owner Paul McBride. Renowned grower Dick Boushey was subsequently brought on to manage the winery’s estate site.

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from December 8th to 21st 2014. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country…

Wine Enthusiast writes about Betz Family purchasing land in Walla Walla Valley (article by yours truly).

The News-Press (Florida) recommends Pinot Blanc for the holidays.

Wines and Vines writes about Betz Family purchasing 40 acres at SeVein. They also write about the Oregon Wine Institute planning for the future.

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The December Virtual Tasting is tonight! The wine is the Treveri Cellars Brut Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine NV. This wine retails for $14 and is widely available. The tasting will take place tonight, Wednesday December 17th, from 7-8pm Pacific.

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from the winery or a local retailer

2. Tweet your comments about the wine on Twitter between 7 and 8pm Pacific on the specified date using the hashtag #treveri. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport.

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from December 1st to 7th.  Read previous round-ups here.

From around the world…

The Globe and Mail writes about the 14 Hands Hot to Trot White Blend.

Drinks Business Review writes about Erath releasing its first wine from Willakia Vineyard.


From around the country…

The San Francisco Chronicle gives a preview of its Top 100 white wines, with a call out to Analemma. They also write about top Pinot Noirtop Zinfandel and other redstop Cabernets and blendsChardonnayother whitessparkling wines, and top Rhone-style reds.

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With the holidays coming up and holiday parties aplenty, it’s time to take a look at value wines $15 and under. This will be the final segment of what has historically been the ‘Five Wines Under $15’ series over the years as I transition all of my Washington reviews to Wine Enthusiast. Look for postings on value wines based on Wine Enthusiast reviews in 2015.

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Five Years of a Full Pull

Monday, December 8, 2014 0 comments

In October Seattle’s Full Pull Wines celebrated its five-year anniversary with one person I spoke to traveling all the way from California for the sold-out event (read a Focus Report from Full Pull's early days here).

Below, I talk with friend and former blogger Paul Zitarelli about the impetus for Full Pull, where the company has gone over the last five years, and what’s next. Zitarelli also talks about their négociant-style Full Pull & Friends wine offerings, reviewed below.

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wines from November 22nd to 30th. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the world…

The Drinks Business asks, Burgundian or Oregundian?

CTV New Ottawa recommends the Seven Falls Cabernet Sauvignon.

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The December Virtual Tasting wine is the Treveri Cellars Brut Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine NV. This wine retails for $14 and is widely available. The tasting will take place on Wednesday December 17th from 7-8pm Pacific.

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from the winery or a local retailer

2. Tweet your comments about the wine on Twitter between 7 and 8pm Pacific on the specified date using the hashtag #treveri. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport.

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The Winter 2014/2015 issue of Washington Tasting Room has a cover article titled 'The Year in Wine: A peak at the 2014 harvest & review of what's trending." See a list of newsstand locations. Issue 112 of Art Culinaire has an article titled 'A winemaker's tale' on Kyle MacLachlan's Pursued by Bear. See a list of local retailers. Finally, the book Walla Walla Winery Dogs has a short piece on the Walla Walla Valley. Look for it at area tasting rooms.

See a list of other publications, most with weblinks, here.

Enjoy!

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Playing catch up, a round-up of stories on Northwest wines from November 8th to 21st.  Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country…

At Wine Spectator, Jim Laube writes about Oregon’s 2012 vintage. The magazine also gives a 2014 harvest report.

Wine Enthusiast writes about Oregon’s Salud! Pinot Noir auction (article by yours truly).

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November Pic of the Vine

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 0 comments

Post-harvest is a special time in the vineyard notes resident photographer Richard Duval. His November vineyard prowls included this morning visit to the rolling rows of Spring Valley Vineyard, just north of Walla Walla, long a favorite shooting site.

“With the grapes pulled and the temperature starting its downward slide, the vines begin to settle down for their long winter’s sleep,” Duval said. “But in what could almost be described as a salute to a great season, the vines marshal their waning energy for one last, glorious burst of color - a finale to fall and a forerunner to winter. Enjoy!”

Click on the picture to see a larger image. See previous Pic of the Vine images here.

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from November 1st to 7th 2014. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the world…

The Globe and Mail writes about the 2012 Charles & Charles Post No. 35 Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah.


From around the country…

At Wine Spectator, Matt Kramer gives a shout out to Oregon wine.

Orange Coast Magazine writes about the H3 Cabernet Sauvignon.

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2014 Harvest Collage

Friday, November 7, 2014 0 comments

The harvest season in Washington provided resident photographer Richard Duval ample photo opportunities as he crisscrossed the state taking it all in. Selecting just one image from his travels would be near impossible so Duval assembled this collage.

“From Yakima Valley to Walla Walla to Chelan, I got up close to the magic that begins with the hard work of harvest,” he said. “Now we have only to wait for the magic in the bottle.”

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

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Buckle your seatbelts for a round-up of stories on Northwest wine from October 8th to 31st. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the world…

Winnipeg Free Press writes about Pursued by Bear.


From around the country…

Wine Spectator writes about the passing of Eric Dunham. At the magazine, Harvey Steiman writes that big name Burgundians have arrived in the Willamette Valley, writes about Oregon Riesling, and writes about the next wave of Oregon vineyards.

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The pendulum in Washington has been swinging far and wide of late. 2010 saw the coolest vintage since 1999. 2011 was even cooler still, for some growers, their coolest vintage on record. 2012 was then a year that tracked to 20-year heat accumulation averages. 2013 was one of the warmest years on record. 2014 has been warmer still and for many sites, their warmest vintage on record.

The white wines from each of these vintages have been reflective of these differences. 2010 and 2011 brought some thrilling white wines, some of the best I've had from the state, with good intensity of fruit flavors and noticeably higher acid levels (read a summary of 2010 whites and a summary of 2011 whites). The 2012 white wines meanwhile were markedly higher in alcohol than recent years, with many labeled north of 14%. The reasons for this are not entirely clear given how average the year was in terms of heat accumulation. Still, a great many high quality white wines were produced that vintage, with Chardonnay in particular showing well (read a summary of 2012 whites).

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Fresh Sheet October 20th 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014 0 comments







Today’s Fresh Sheet – reviews of new and recent releases – includes wines from Kevin White WineryKerloo CellarsBrian Carter CellarsColumbia CrestLong Shadows project wines, Guardian CellarsMaryhill Winery and more.
Note: These are reviews for wines received and sampled prior to October 1st when my responsibilities changed for Wine Enthusiast to cover all of Washington.

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The November issue of Wine Enthusiast has an article I wrote on the The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater appellation proposal. The October issue of Alaska Airlines magazine has an article on touring west coast wine regions (Note: the link opens a .pdf). Finally, as previously noted, the October issue of Seattle Metropolitan contains this year's Top 100 Washington wines as well as a number of other articles.

Enjoy!

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from October 1st to 7th. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the world…

Decanter writes about Oregon’s ‘juggernaut’ vintage.

Business Day Live writes about Portland’s urban wineries.

The Guardian writes about Hedges.

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This year's Top 100 Washington wines from Seattle Metropolitan magazine is now available on-line. If you have not already picked up a hard copy, which is still available on newsstands, you can read the electronic version here.

The article is broken up into a series of sublists with "jump to" sections below the introduction. In addition to the Top 100, there are also articles on the top wines under $25 and under $15The Rocks region, and how to taste 700 wines in 13 days.

Enjoy!

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While 2014 has been another warm year in Washington, many grape growers in particular are quite pleased with the results.

“From a growers perspective, everything went right,” said Kent Waliser of Sagemoor Vineyards. “Consider, except for a few isolated exceptions, we had no fall freeze last year, no winter damage, no frost damage, no real disease pressure, warm steady growing weather, good fruit set, generally resulting in larger berries which has resulted in tonnages higher than estimated.” Waliser noted that this was a considerable difference from the previous four years.

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from September 22nd to 30th. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the world…

Ottawa Citizen recommends the Michelle Brut.


From around the country…

ESPN talks with Drew Bledsoe of Doubleback.

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September Pic of the Vine

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 0 comments

Harvest exploded in September in just about every appellation in the state. "Red Mountain showed its fruit in glorious color," noted resident photographer Richard Duval. "While prowling Cadence's Cara Mia Vineyard on the lower portion of the mountain, I captured this seemingly endless display of Cabernet. Two days later, it was picked and heading to crush."

Click on the picture to see a larger image. See previous Pic of the Vine images here.

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The September Virtual Tasting is tonight! The wine is the J. Bookwalter Notebook NV4 Red Wine. This wine retails for $15 and is widely available. The tasting will take place tonight, Tuesday September 30th, from 7-8pm Pacific.

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from the winery or a local retailer

2. Tweet your comments about the wine on Twitter between 7 and 8pm Pacific on the specified date using the hashtag #bookwalter. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport.

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I am currently working on an article on the state of the Washington wine landscape two-plus years after the implementation of Initiative 1183. This initiative privatized liquor sales and made a number of other changes to the state's liquor laws. I am interested in interviewing winemakers, distributors, and retailers for this article. If you are interested in sharing your thoughts on what the effects of this initiative have been on your business, please contact me at wawinereport@gmail.com.

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from September 15th to 21st. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the world…

Jamaica The Gleaner writes about Washington wine.

The Toronto Sun writes about Charles & Charles.


From around the country…

Wine Spectator writes about Drew Bledsoe’s Doubleback. They also write about Charles Smith planting his flag in Seattle and Derek Jeter carrying around Oregon Pinot Noir.

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I had the pleasure recently to talk with Andy Perdue at Great Northwest Wine about my new assignment at Wine Enthusiast and other matters. You can read the story and listen to the podcast here.

Enjoy!

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The Northwest Chardonnay Renaissance

Thursday, September 25, 2014 0 comments

There is no question that Chardonnay is in the midst of a renaissance in the Northwest. As I wrote last year, you can’t call it a comeback because Chardonnay never really left. Despite the Anything But Chardonnay movement of years past and a swing in styles from butter bombs to sleek stainless steel offerings and everything in between, Chardonnay has consistently been the most consumed wine variety in the U.S. (by far). Increasingly, however, numerous Northwest vintners are showing a renewed commitment to creating high quality offerings.

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The September Virtual Tasting wine is the J. Bookwalter Notebook NV4 Red Wine. This wine retails for $15 and is widely available. The tasting will take place on Tuesday September 30th from 7-8pm Pacific.

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from the winery or a local retailer

2. Tweet your comments about the wine on Twitter between 7 and 8pm Pacific on the specified date using the hashtag #bookwalter. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport.

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Talking about the 2014 growing season in Washington, winemaker Josh Maloney of Milbrandt Vineyards summed it up by quoting the movie Biloxi Blues: “Man it's hot. It's like Africa hot. Tarzan couldn't take this kind of hot.”

 Indeed, 2014 has been another warm growing season in Washington. Most markers from budbreak through veraison have been approximately one to two weeks ahead of historical averages due to the warmth of the year. “Things started early and never slowed down, pretty much across the board,” Maloney said.

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The October issue of Seattle Metropolitan magazine is coming out this week and contains this year’s Top 100 Washington wines list. This is the fifth year that I’ve had the pleasure to write this article for the magazine.

This year’s list was drawn from over 700 submissions, meaning that making the list was the most competitive it's ever been. Wines were tasted in varietal sets and scored using a 100-point system (read the complete methodology in the issue). These ratings were subsequently used to create the list (similar to last year, we did not publish these scores to avoid any conflicts with my work for Wine Enthusiast). The wines were then organized into various sublists. These lists are as follows:

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from September 8th to 14th. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the world…

The Globe and Mail writes about American wineries you should visit.


From around the country…

At Wine Spectator, Harvey Steiman writes about Milbrandt. He also writes an extended article about Charles Smith (both may require a subscription).

The Napa Valley Register writes about Walla Walla.

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I am pleased to announce that, as of October 1st, my tasting responsibilities for Wine Enthusiast will expand to include reviewing wines for all of Washington as well as the Oregon sides of the Walla Walla Valley and Columbia Valley.

This will obviously significantly impact what is posted in this space. My plan is as follows:

Existing submissions: All Washington wines already submitted to Washington Wine Report including wines sent in up to the end of September will be reviewed in this space. My goal is to post these reviews as quickly as possible to clear out the existing backlog as I transition to reviewing all Washington wines for Wine Enthusiast.

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Washington Wine Report is dedicated to the wines and wineries of the Pacific Northwest. Samples received from other regions may or may not be reviewed at the discretion of the editor.

All wines are reviewed by Sean P. Sullivan. Read about how wines are rated and reviewed here. For information on how to submit wines, please contact Sean at wawinereport@gmail.com.

Editor's Note: As of October 2014, I am reviewing all Washington wines, as well as wines from the Oregon sides of the Walla Walla Valley and Columbia Valley, at Wine Enthusiast magazine. This means that I will no longer be formally reviewing Washington wines in this space. Rather, I will be posting either impressionistic notes on wines without a formal review attached or posting previously published scores from Wine Enthusiast. I will continue to review Oregon wines and wines from other areas here. See a breakdown of the areas that I will be covering for Washington Wine Report and for Wine Enthusiast in the table below.

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“2012 is a watershed vintage for us,” said Steve Griessel, co-owner of Betz Family Winery, about the winery’s latest releases. “We wanted to take quality to the next level.”

To do so, the Betz team took a new approach in evaluating its wines. In previous years, each barrel received an evaluative score that was used to assess quality. Starting with the 2012 vintage, Griessel, winemaker Bob Betz, and assistant winemaker Tyson Schiffner also subsequently rank ordered each barrel. Both numbers were subsequently used as quality cutoffs.

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from September 1st to 7th. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the world…

National Post writes about the International Pinot Noir Celebration.


From around the country…

The Washington Post writes about crowdsourced wines.

Forbes gives five destinations for wine lovers.

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Buckle your seat belts! An extended round-up of stories on Northwest wine from August 8th to 31st. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the world…

Courier Islander (British Columbia) writes about Washington wine.

The Toronto Star says to head to Washington and Oregon for top notch sips.

Hamilton Spectator (Ontario) writes about the Elk Cove Pinot Gris.

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August Pic of the Vine

Sunday, August 31, 2014 0 comments

From the French term that means "the onset of ripening," véraison is the critical point in the growing season when wine grapes change color. While véraison is a signal to vineyard managers and winemakers that harvest is nigh, for resident photographer Richard Duval, it means one thing: color.

“Véraison is the checkered flag of the vineyard cycle,” Duval said. “It means the vines are digging in with all energy now churning toward ripening. The grape clusters explode with hues from silky greens to deep purple and that opens the palette for endless photo compositions.”

Duval captured this example at RockWall Cellars in Omak, Washington. Click on the picture to see a larger image.

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from August 1st to August 7th.  Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country...

Wine Enthusiast writes that NFL stars talk Washington State wine (article by yours truly).

St Louis Today writes about five unusual places to stay, including a wine barrel in Walla Walla.


From around the blogosphere...

The Wine Economist writes about the Walla Walla Valley’s next step: the SeVein project.

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In the September issue of Wine EnthusiastI interview former NFL quarterbacks Damon Huard and Dan Marino about their Washington wine project - Passing Time. Read the interview on-line here.

See a list of other print publications, most with links, here.

Enjoy!

NB: The print version of this interview erroneously referred to the winery as being located in Walla Walla. This has been corrected in the on-line version.

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Fresh Sheet August 7th 2014

Thursday, August 7, 2014 0 comments



Today’s Fresh Sheet – reviews of new and recent releases – includes wines from Andrew WillTulpen CellarsLong ShadowsBoomtown by Dusted ValleyAuclair WineryL’Ecole No 41Chateau Ste. MichelleColumbia CrestDomaine PouillonStottle WineryButy, and Cadaretta.

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It would not be an exaggeration to say that Andrew Januik has winemaking in his blood. Januik is the son of Washington winemaker Mike Januik (Januik Winery and Novelty Hill), who has been making wine in Washington for thirty years.

Andrew Januik first became involved in Januik and Novelty Hill in 2000 at age 13, helping out on weekends and during the summer. Come 2004, he worked his first harvest.

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from July 22nd to 31st. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country…

Wine Spectator talks with Kerry Shiels of Cote Bonneville and DuBrul Vineyard.

Capital Gazette writes about Cayuse Vineyards.

Wines & Vines writes that Northwest vintners take heat in stride.

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In a resurrection of the Five Wines Under $15 column, we make up for lost time with a jumbo-sized edition looking at wines from Ste. Michelle Wine Estates (we'll do the same with other wineries next month).

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Fresh Sheet July 30th 2014

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 0 comments

Today's Fresh Sheet – reviews of new and recent releases – includes wines from AvenniaWilliam Church WineryMatthewsTenor WinesTwo VintnersCovington CellarsRenegade Wine Co. & Modern Wine Project, Palencia Wine CompanySol Stone, and Native Sun.

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July Pic of the Vine

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 0 comments

In eastern Washington, flowers and vines are showing off their summer colors.

“You’ll often see beds of flowers at the end of vineyard rows," said resident photographer Richard Duval. "It’s not just for the aesthetic appeal - though that certainly is pronounced. Plants also act as insectaries which can improve biodiversity and aid in pest management. Visiting Tapteil Winery, I captured a hard working rose garden and lavender bed that rings this beautiful Red Mountain vineyard.”

See previous Pic of the Vine images here.

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from July 15th to July 21st. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country...

The San Jose Mercury News writes about Red Mountain reds.

The Lowell Sun writes that Bledsoe's on the mark with Doubleback.

The Lima News (Ohio) writes about the Walla Walla Valley.

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The July Virtual Tasting is tonight! The wine is the 2013 Milbrandt Vineyards Traditions Pinot Gris. This wine retails for $13 and is widely available. The tasting will take place from 7-8pm Pacific tonight, Wednesday July 23rd.

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from the winery or a local retailer (see below)

2. Tweet your comments about the wine on Twitter between 7 and 8pm Pacific on the specified date using the hashtag #Milbrandt. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport.


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A round up of stories on Northwest wine from July 8th to July 14th.  Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country…

Time writes that Washington state wine is the new Bordeaux.

Wine Spectator writes about the purchase of Wines of Substance by Charles Smith. They also write about Massachusetts passing a direct shipping law with a push from Drew Bledsoe (Doubleback).

Wine Enthusiast writes about falling in love with wine.

The Chicago Tribune writes about Washington wine.

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Veraison in eastern Washington

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 0 comments

Veraison - the changing of color of the grapes - is underway in eastern Washington. This picture from Lacey Lybeck (@LaceyLybeck) shows veraison in Malbec at Milbrandt Vineyards' Clifton Hills Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope. Lybeck also noted veraison occurring in Merlot at both Clifton Bluffs and Clifton Hills.

Meanwhile in the Yakima Valley, Dustin Tobin, General Manager at Arthur Den Hoed Farms, noted that veraison was occurring in Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Malbec as of July 15th.

As always, veraison can only mean one thing - that harvest is right around the corner. While there is still a lot of growing season left, 2014 is currently shaping up to be another warm year, tracking closely to 2013 numbers in terms of Growing Degree Days (see WSU's Growing Degree Day chart). Most markers of the growing season have been tracking considerably ahead of historical averages throughout the year. As always though, the story in Washington gets written in September and October - at least in terms of red wines. Stay tuned.

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The July Virtual Tasting wine is the 2013 Milbrandt Vineyards Traditions Pinot Gris. This wine retails for $13 and is widely available. The tasting will take place on Wednesday July 23rd (Please note, this is a week earlier than our typical tastings).

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from the winery or a local retailer (see below)

2. Tweet your comments about the wine on Twitter between 7 and 8pm Pacific on the specified date using the hashtag #Milbrandt. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport.

To make it more convenient for people to purchase the wines used in our Virtual Tastings, we are teaming up with a locally run, on-line wine shop, ImpulseWine.com. Instead of having to search for

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Tasting Note Database Updated

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 0 comments

The Tasting Note Database has been updated to the current date. See the database here. Read an explanation of the fields here.

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I am honored and humbled to announce that Washington Wine Report won 'Best Single Subject Blog' at the Wine Blog Awards this past weekend - the second consecutive year it has received this accolade. It was a great group of finalists this year that included Señorita VinoThe Wine BarNew York Cork Report, and On the wine trail in Italy. I encourage you all to check out these sites.

This has not been the easiest of years as I try to maintain this site and earn a living writing about wine. I have not been nearly as successful at either as I might like! But I will keep trying, and I sincerely appreciate everyone's support.

To the judges and the individuals who voted for this site this year, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. To all, I will continue to try to shine a light on what is going on here in the Northwest in the months and years to come. Thank you all so much for following along.

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A round up of stories on northwest wine from July 1st to July 7th.  Read previous round-ups here.  

From around the world…

Hindustan Times writes that Oregon is only hours from Napa Valley but a world away.


From around the country...

The Philadephia Inquirer writes that for picnics, Merlot is the way to go.

Communities Digital News writes that Yakima has a cornucopia of good wine.

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The July/August issue of Edible Seattle has an article I wrote on Washington rosé titled, "Summer in a Glass." See a list of newsstand locations here or subscribe here. Additionally the July/August issue of Vineyard & Winery Management has an article I wrote titled, "Oregon Winegrowers Combat Herbicide Drift." Find information about subscriptions here.

See a list of previous publications (most with links/downloads).

Enjoy!

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from June 22nd to June 30th. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the world…

Harper’s Wine & Spirit Trade Review writes that Jackson Family expands its Oregon holdings.


From around the country...

The Washington Post writes about American Riesling: 5 great bottles to try. They also write that U.S. Riesling production ranks second worldwide.

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Well folks, the Fourth of July is almost upon us, and with summer now firmly in hand, let’s take a look at the 2013 rosé vintage.

As you will recall, 2013 was a warmer year here in the Northwest with a dramatic cool down in the second half of September (read a harvest report from Vineyard & Winery Management). In terms of the rosés, many of them have a bigger, riper style that is reflective of this warmth. Some producers were able to hold on to the acidity in the wines. Others were less successful in this regard (I’ve found the latter to be especially true in some of the whites that have been released thus far; more on that later). Overall though, there are plenty of enjoyable wines to go around at a variety of price points.

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The June Virtual Tasting is tonight! The wine is the 2012 A to Z Oregon Chardonnay - our first foray into Oregon. This wine retails for $14 and is widely available. The tasting will take place tonight (Monday June 30th) from 7-8pm Pacific.

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from the winery or a local retailer (see below)

2. Tweet your comments about the wine on Twitter between 7 and 8pm Pacific on the specified date using the hashtag #AtoZwine. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport.


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A round up of stories on Northwest wine from June 15th to June 21st. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country...

Forbes Magazine writes about Maryhill.

The Washington Post writes about Riesling, way beyond sweet.

The Northwest Herald writes that temperature shifts help balance Washington wine.

Wine Spectator writes about A to Z becoming a B Corp. Harvey Steiman writes about Washington’s 2011 reds testing theories of ripeness.

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June's Pic of the Vine is a fresh look at a favorite locale of resident photographer Richard Duval. "Though we often cover the same events, Sean and I seldom find ourselves next to one another," noted Duval. "But this past week, we both participated in the media tour for Celebrate Walla Walla, which included a morning visit to the Upper Mill Creek vineyards of Walla Walla VintnersFIGGINS, and Yellowbird. One look at this rich view from Yellowbird - surely one of the best views in the Walla Walla Valley - and we quickly agreed that it was custom made for this month's selection."

Click on the picture for a larger image.

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Reminder, last day to vote on the Wine Blog Awards where Washington Wine Report is a finalist for 'Best Single Subject Wine Blog.' Vote here (Hint: click on the big, red 'Vote!' button). 

The June Virtual Tasting wine is the 2012 A to Z Oregon Chardonnay - our first foray into Oregon. This wine retails for $14 and is widely available. The tasting will take place on Monday June 30th from 7-8pm Pacific.

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from the winery or a local retailer (see below)

2. Tweet your comments about the wine on Twitter between 7 and 8pm Pacific on the specified date using the hashtag #AtoZwine. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport.

To make it more convenient for people to purchase the wines used in our Virtual Tastings, we are teaming up with a locally run, on-line wine

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A reminder that voting continues for the Wine Blog Awards where Washington Wine Report is a finalist for 'Best Single Subject Wine Blog.' Please vote! 

A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from June 8th to June 14th.  Read previous round-ups here.

From around the world...

Harpers Wine & Spirit Trade Review writes that Oregon wineries boost profile through direct sales.

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The Summer edition of Washington Tasting Room magazine has an article I wrote on L'Ecole No 41 titled, "New Heights in the Walla Walla Appellation." See a list of newsstand locations here.

See a list of previous publications (most with links/downloads).

Enjoy!

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Reminder to vote for Washington Wine Report for 'Best Single Subject Wine Blog' at the Wine Blog Awards. To do so, click on the big red 'Vote' button found here. Voting continues until June 19th. 

A round up of stories on northwest wine from June 1st to June 7th. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country...

The Wall Street Journal writes about the best of Washington wines (video). They also take a look inside Washington state's Warehouse Wineries.

The Napa Valley Register writes about Pritchard Hill winemaker Todd Alexander heading north to Force Majeure.

Men's Journal writes about the rise of Oregon's canned wine empire.

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I am humbled to announce that Washington Wine Report is again among the finalists for ‘Best Single Subject Wine Blog’ at the Wine Blog Awards. This is the fourth year in the last five that the site has been a finalist in this category, winning the honor for the first time last year.

There is an excellent group of finalists in this category this year that includes Señorita VinoThe Wine BarNew York Cork Report, On the wine trail in Italy, and this site. The finalists are selected by a group of judges, the winner by a combination of public vote (50%) and judges’ votes. While personally, I feel that some of my fellow finalists have outshined this space in the last year, I encourage you to vote for whomever you wish. You can do so at wineblogawards.org by clicking on the large red ‘Vote!’ button. Voting continues until June 19th at 11:59pm…somewhere.

I would also like to note that fellow Washingtonian Jameson Fink of Wine Without Worry is a finalist for ‘Best Writing on a Wine Blog.’ He is more than deserving of your vote, and if you are not already following his writing, you should be! My congratulations to him and to the other finalists this year.

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Catching up, a round-up of stories on Northwest wine from May 22nd to May 31st.  Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country...

San Luis Obispo Tribune writes that Syrah puts down roots in Washington state.

Stark Insider writes that one in ten west coast wineries are likely to sell in the next ten years.

Wine Spectator writes about Archery Summit bringing in a new team.

Parade names the Waters Winery 2012 Forgotten Hills Syrah as its wine of the week.

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Bloom in eastern Washington

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 1 comments

Bloom is occurring in eastern Washington as evidenced by this picture of Cabernet Sauvignon from Double Canyon Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills, courtesy of vineyard manager William Beightol. Beightol said that the bloom date was tracking ahead of historical averages.

"It seems to be a very rapid entry into bloom and some great weather this week," he said. "Hopefully, we will see little or no wind or rain." Some vineyard managers in other areas of the Columbia Valley have noted that their sites are approximately seven to ten days ahead of historical averages at present.

Click on the picture to see a larger image. See a chart of Washington's 2014 Growing Degree Days.

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from May 15th to May 21st.  Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country...

The San Francisco Chronicle writes about Analemma (highly recommend checking this winery out).

The San Jose Mercury News writes about Washington's Syrahs.

The Tampa Bay Times writes about the Chehalem ‘Inox’ Chardonnay.

Forbes asks whether Chardonnay is Oregon’s next big thing (Answer: yes).

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The May Virtual Tasting is tonight! The wine is the L'Ecole No 41 2013 Columbia Valley Chenin Blanc. This wine retails for $14 and is fairly widely available.

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from the winery or a local retailer

2. Tweet your comments about the wine on Twitter between 7 and 8pm Pacific tonight (May 28th) using the hashtag #lecole41. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport.

Join us!


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May Pic of the Vine

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 0 comments

Spring abounds as this image from Corvus Cellars’ Red Mountain vineyard vividly illustrates. As resident Washington Wine Report photographer Richard Duval notes, “Wine lovers heading to Revelry at Red Mountain this weekend will be greeted by these green vineyards that blanket the mountain and surrounding areas. It’s time to take the wine outside!”

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from May 8th to 14th.  Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country...

The St. Louis Dispatch writes that dry riesling and gewürztraminer are more food-friendly.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune writes about Washington whites.

Wine Enthusiast writes about Washington winemakers who are also mountain climbers.

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The May Virtual Tasting wine is the L'Ecole No 41 2013 Columbia Valley Chenin Blanc. This wine retails for $14 and is fairly widely available. The tasting will take place on Wednesday May 28th from 7-8pm Pacific.

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from the winery or a local retailer (see below)

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from May 1st to May 7th.  Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country...

The Minneapolis Star Tribune writes that wine-wise, Washington does right by whites.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat writes about Chicken Tagine with (Chateau Ste. Michelle) viognier.

Wines & Vines writes about Washington State students releasing wines.

Wine Enthusiast writes that Union Wine Company acquires Amity Vineyards.

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The May-June issue of Vineyard & Winery Management has an article I wrote on recent investments in Washington titled "Northwest Tipping Point" (Note: downloads .pdf).

See a list of previous publications here.

Enjoy!

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A round up of stories on Northwest wine from April 22nd to 30th. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country...

The Wall Street Journal writes that Seattle is the land of serious sommeliers.

The Los Angeles Times writes that Washington wineries have fun with Recommendeuer. They also write about ‘An American Wine Story.’

The San Jose Mercury News writes about yours truly.

Shanken Daily News writes about V2 Wine Group.

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Please note that on the April 30th Fresh Sheet there was a lack of congruence between the star ratings listed and the parenthetical definitions of these star ratings for several wines. Specifically, several wines showed a four star rating () but showed a parenthetical rating of "(Good)" which would equate to three stars. Each of these wines should have been displayed as (Good). This has been fixed and a corrected version can be seen here. My apologies for the error and any confusion it may have caused.

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