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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:
  • To help you select Pacific Northwest wines at a variety of price levels
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'16 Tour Guide

Reviewed Wineries

Below is the first installment of my Wine Enthusiast reviews to be published to this space. They are reviews for the December 31, 2014 issue of the magazine and encompass the appellations that I was assigned to review prior to my assuming review responsibilities for all of Washington October 1st of last year.

Wines are listed alphabetically by winery. Read additional information on how I review wines here. All of these reviews are freely available on-line at the Wine Enthusiast Buying Guide. There is also a freely available Wine Enthusiast Tasting Guide app.

In terms of these wines, The 2012 Columbia Crest Les Chaveaux Red Wine (91pts, $15) is a terrific value wine. One of the best I've come across of late. The 2010 Den Hoed Andreas Cabernet Sauvignon (94 points, $80) meanwhile is a wine for the ages, a cellar-worthy wine with a long life ahead of it. Newcomer Double Canyon continues to impress with its 2012 Double Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon Double Canyon Vineyard (93, $48). The 2012 Woodward Canyon Celilo Vineyard Chardonnay Columbia Gorge (92 points, $66) is a both a gorgeous example of this variety and an exceptional representation of this vineyard.

On a separate note, regarding these listings, it's going to take me some time to fully work out the display of them here. If you see any issues or errors, please let me know. I will be posting more recent sets shortly.

Wine Enthusiast Wine Reviews December 31 2014


90
14 Hands
2011
The Reserve
Red Blend
Horse Heaven Hills
$30

Near equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec with a healthy dash of Petit Verdot providing the frame, it displays notes of toast, coffee, chocolate, plum and woodspice with abundant blue fruit and coffee flavors.









89
Apex
2011

Merlot
Horse Heaven Hills
$30

The aromas of roasted coffee bean, chocolate, and dark raspberry are light, while the palate is elegant in style with a good sense of balance and a lingering finish.









88
Apex
2012
The Catalyst
Red Blend
Horse Heaven Hills
$15

A little over half Syrah with a balance of Merlot, barrel fermented in French and American oak—20% new—it shows notes of clove, dusty spice, and blackberry. The palate is medium bodied and flavorful with slightly astringent tannins with tart cherry and cranberry notes on the finish.









86
Bergevin Lane
2011
Wild Child
Merlot
Wahluke Slope
$28

This wine doesn’t seem entirely finished with notes of blueberry, char and barrel spice that haven’t fully melded. It’s medium bodied with coffee and vanilla flavors backed by astringent tannins, finishing on a sharply bitter note.









88
Browne Family
2011

Petit Verdot
Columbia Valley (WA)
$32

A blend of Canyon Vineyard Ranch and Summit View vineyards, it shows appealing notes of vanilla, clove, flowers and cocoa. It’s a big, burly mouthful of a wine with firm, slightly dry tannins that need some time to settle in. Best after 2016.









87
Browne Family
2011

Merlot
Columbia Valley (WA)
$37

The oak—52% new French— gets out in front of the fruit with notes of cocoa powder and woodspice overpowering herbs and red fruit. The palate is elegant in style, with barrel notes carrying through on the finish.









90
Canoe Ridge
2011
Estate Grown Blocks 14 & 11 Merlot
Columbia Valley (WA)
$47

An aromatic and fruit filled wine with notes of cherry cordial, raspberry, herb and barrel accents. It has sweet cherry flavors with firm tannins and well balanced acidity. Best after 2017.









89
Canoe Ridge
2011
Estate Grown Block 2 Cabernet Sauvignon
Columbia Valley (WA)
$47

A moderately aromatic wine with notes of melted butter, vanilla, plum, herbs and woodspice. The tannins are firm and tightly wound, needing some time to come together. Best after 2016.









88
Columbia Crest
2013
Reserve Estate Unoaked Chardonnay
Horse Heaven Hills
$24

Fermented in concrete and aged sur lie for five months, it brings notes of pear and pineapple with mineral accents. The palate is lighter in style with a supple feel, finishing a bit short.









89
Columbia Crest
2012
H3
Merlot
Horse Heaven Hills
$15

Nearly 100% Merlot with just a pinch of Cabernet Sauvignon blended in, it brings an assortment of red fruit notes along with plum, milk chocolate and coffee. The barrel flavors play a big part in the show with the tannins giving a lightly chalky feel.









88
Columbia Crest
2012
H3
Cabernet Sauvignon
Horse Heaven Hills
$15

Varietal notes of cherry, black currant and dried herbs accented by barrel notes of milk chocolate and vanilla. It’s medium bodied, showing some grit to the tannins.









91
Columbia Crest
2012
H3 Les Chevaux
Red Blend
Horse Heaven Hills
$15

A blend of 60% Syrah, 27% Merlot and a handful of other varieties added to the mix, this aromatically pops, with complex notes of plum, blueberry, smoke, chocolate and floral accents. It’s silky smooth in feel, with abundant chocolaty flavors that help it go down far too easy. Best Buy









89
Columbia Winery
2013
Grenache
Rosé
Horse Heaven Hills
$24

This wine is electric pink in color, with notes of strawberry bubblegum and cranberry. It drinks off dry, with watermelon and red fruit flavors that linger on the finish.









91
Den Hoed
2010
Marie’s View Wallula Vineyards Red Blend
Horse Heaven Hills
$80

A blend of five different varieties with Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah making up 70% of the mix, it brings intriguing notes of cranberry, raspberry jam and fruit leather. The palate is full bodied with rich dried cherry flavors and firm tannins that need time in the cellar to soften.









94
Den Hoed
2010
Andreas Wallula Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
Horse Heaven Hills
$80

This classically styled, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon brings vibrant notes of cherry pith, cassis, fresh herb, macerated cranberry, mineral and an undertone of barrel spice. It’s densely packed with rich, layered fruit flavors, firm, tightly wound tannins and tart acids. A wine for the ages. Best from 2020–2030. Cellar Selection









93
Double Canyon
2012
Double Canyon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Horse Heaven Hills
$48

Somewhat light in color, this is an aromatically appealing wine that shows a complex assortment of coffee, vanilla, pencil lead, cherry, blueberry and high-toned herbal notes. It’s exquisitely polished in its styling, with plush tannins and a long, lingering finish. A pretty expression of the variety that shows a great degree of elegance and deftness, it drinks well out of the gate but continues to improve with additional time to breathe. Editor's Choice









91
Dowsett Family
2013
Celilo Vineyard
Gewürztraminer
Columbia Gorge (WA)
$22

A vibrantly aromatic, dazzling wine with abundant notes of lychee and rose petal. It’s on the lighter side of medium bodied and drinks dry with a lot of hang time on the pronounced, floral finish. Editor's Choice









92
Kerloo
2012
Upland Vineyards
Syrah
Snipes Mountain
$40

This is an aromatic wine containing 8% Viognier, with perfumed notes of flowers and orange peel along with wet gravel, plum and smoked meat. The blue fruit flavors are intense and pure, backed by a squeeze of chalky tannins. Best after 2016.









87
La Chanterelle
2012

Syrah
Wahluke Slope
$42

New oak takes the lead on the nose of this wine, with notes of vanilla and toffee followed by cranberry and cherry. It’s high octane, with a concentrated cherry flavor and alcoholic warmth.









88
McKinley Springs
2010

Malbec
Horse Heaven Hills
$24

On first pour this wine seems slightly reduced, after which it shows notes of baking spices and plum. It’s medium bodied and plush in feel with silky smooth tannins, but the concentration seems wanting.









88
Milbrandt
2013
The Estates
Viognier
Wahluke Slope
$22

An aromatic wine with notes of creamsicle and orange blossom. It’s medium bodied with well delineated stone fruit flavors and a lick of tart acidity that seems surprising for the variety and vintage.









91
Milbrandt
2011
Sentinel Northridge Vineyard Red Blend
Wahluke Slope
$55

A Cabernet-based blend, with Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot, this offers pleasing aromatic complexity, with notes of coffee, dark fruit and vanilla, accented by floral overtones. The palate is full bodied, with abundant coffee and cherry flavors backed by firm tannins. The fruit and oak seem to tussle a bit at present; try after 2017.









88
Milbrandt
2013
The Estates
Chardonnay
Ancient Lakes
$22

On first pour it is the oak —25% new French—that leads with prominent notes of vanilla, but as it opens up these recede to reveal baked apple, butterscotch and pear. It’s creamy and almost unctuous in feel with the sweetness of the fruit giving the suggestion of residual sugar.









87
Ross Andrew
2012
Glaze
Cabernet Sauvignon
Columbia Valley (WA)
$17

An appealing wine with notes of milk chocolate, plum and dried herbs. The new French oak is dialed back and the tannins are soft and plump, helping it go down easy.









88
Ross Andrew
2010

Cabernet Sauvignon
Columbia Valley (WA)
$42

Light in color with notes of dusty plum, chocolate and spice. The palate is on the lighter side of medium bodied with abundant cherry flavors and chalky, firm tannins that need time to unwind. Best after 2016.









89
Ross Andrew
2013

Pinot Gris
Columbia Valley (WA)
$20

An aromatically appealing wine with notes of star fruit, pear, citrus and mineral. It drinks just a hair off dry, with rich fruit flavors and a lingering finish that keep you coming back for more.









90
Savage Grace
2013
Copeland Vineyard Cabernet Franc
Rattlesnake Hills
$26

Whole berry fermented and aged seven months in neutral oak, it shows appealing notes of dried herbs, raspberry and cherry. The palate is fruit focused with a abundant sweet raspberry flavors that linger on the finish.









91
Savage Grace
2013
Celilo Vineyard
Chardonnay
Columbia Gorge (WA)
$26

A lightly aromatic wine with notes of lees, apple, mineral and spice. It’s medium bodied with a thick, textured feel showing good weight and intensity to the fruit flavors along with well balanced acidity. A uniquely styled wine without an easy comparison in the region. Editor's Choice









92
Savage Grace
2013
Underwood Mt
Riesling
Columbia Gorge (WA)
$21

An aromatically vibrant wine with notes of slate, peach, apricot and citrus. It drinks off dry, with exquisitely balanced acidity and a lot of depth and richness to the fruit flavors. Impressive stuff. Editor's Choice









91
Savage Grace
2013
Dineen Vineyard
Malbec
Rattlesnake Hills
$27

Coming in at 12.8% alcohol—nearly unheard of for a Washington red, particularly in a warm vintage—it brings appealing notes of dark plum accented by black pepper and dried herbs. It’s silky soft in feel with a dazzling sense of texture and purity with little apparent oak influence.









87
Waterbrook
2013
Reserve
Riesling
Columbia Valley (WA)
$12

A vibrantly aromatic wine with notes of apricot, tangerine and white flower. It drinks medium sweet with abundant jasmine and stone fruit notes that linger on the finish. Best Buy









87
Waterbrook
2011
Reserve
Malbec
Columbia Valley (WA)
$24

Though only seeing about a quarter new oak—mostly American—it’s this aspect that stands out with notes of vanilla and woodspice which overpower notes of cherry, plum and pepper. Still, it’s pleasant enough with quite tart fruit flavors and abundant wood accents.









86
Waterbrook
2013

Sauvignon Blanc
Columbia Valley (WA)
$12

A blend of Oasis and Sagemoor vineyards aged in stainless steel, this wine shows the warmth of the vintage with notes of tropical fruit, grass and melon. It drinks a touch off dry, with the concentration a bit lacking but pineapple flavors pull it together on the finish.









87
Waterbrook
2013

Pinot Gris
Columbia Valley (WA)
$12

This is an aromatic offering with notes of pineapple, kiwi and pear. It drinks toward medium sweet—9 g/L residual sugar—with abundant tropical flavors that help it go down easy. Best Buy









88
Waterbrook
2013

Chardonnay
Columbia Valley (WA)
$12

With 4% Viognier giving this wine a distinct floral lift, it’s aromatic with notes of nectarine, pear and toasty barrel spice. It’s creamy, almost oily in feel, with an assortment of stone fruit flavors that carry through the finish. Best Buy









87
Waterbrook
2011
Reserve
Cabernet Sauvignon
Columbia Valley (WA)
$24

Coming from the cool 2011 vintage, this wine clocks in at 13.3% alcohol—low by Washington’s recent standards. The notes of herbs, coffee and vanilla are light and elusive with an elegant styling to the tart, tangy cherry flavors, with the concentration not seeming entirely there.









87
Waterbrook
2012
Icon Reserve
Cabernet Sauvignon
Columbia Valley (WA)
$35

A moderately aromatic wine with notes of green herb, citrus and cherry. It’s medium bodied with chalky tannins and abundant mocha flavors with the concentration seeming a bit lacking.









89
Waterbrook
2011
Reserve
Merlot
Columbia Valley (WA)
$24

This is an aromatically appealing wine with notes of cocoa, coffee, cherry and woodspice. It’s full bodied with a lot of richness to the tart cherry flavors that need some time to settle in.









92
Woodward Canyon
2012
Celilo Vineyard
Chardonnay
Columbia Gorge (WA)
$66

This single vineyard wine shows both the warmth of the vintage and the coolness of this site, showing depth and richness to the fruit flavors while retaining good acidity. It brings notes of apple, peach and lees with light barrel accents—20% new French—and a creamy feel. Enjoy with shrimp stir fried in olive oil for a pairing nirvana.


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