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
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'16 Tour Guide

Reviewed Wineries

Below are my Wine Enthusiast reviews for March 2015. 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.

These reviews include some stand-out Syrahs from the 2012 vintage, including the Avennia 2012 Arnaut Syrah Boushey Vineyard Yakima Valley ($50, 95 points) and the Rôtie Cellars 2012 Northern Blend Syrah Washington ($40, 94 points). There are also some great values to be had, including the Cadence 2012 Coda Red Mountain ($25, 92 points) and Dumas Station 2012 Cowcatcher Red Blend Walla Walla Valley ($2492 points). The reviews also include an impressive - and well priced - release from newcomer J&J Vintners in the form of the J & J 2012 Les Collines Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley ($30, 92 points).

As I've mentioned before, it's going to take me some time to fully work out the display of these scores here. If you see any issues or errors, please let me know. See previous Wine Enthusiast reviews here.

Wine Enthusiast Wine Reviews March 2015

Andrew Januik 2012 Stone Cairn Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $40 91 points
The second vintage from this winery brings roasty-toasty barrel notes along with coffee, butterscotch, cherry, pencil lead and an herbal grace note. The chocolate and cherry flavors are silky in feel backed by a gentle squeeze of tannins, with coffee flavors lingering on the finish.

Apex 2013 Late Harvest Sémillon Columbia Valley $15 87 points
Aromatically intriguing, it offers notes of apricot, dried pear and soda water. It’s full of sweet stone fruit flavors but doesn’t quite have the concentration to keep it all together.

Avennia 2012 Justine Red Blend Columbia Valley $40 93 points
This stunning blend of Mourvèdre (49%), Grenache (28%) and Syrah brings a complex, nuanced assortment of mineral, raspberry, white pepper, thistle and carob notes. It’s richly flavored, layered, dense and supple showing both great subtlety and intensity, with fruit flavors that linger after the last sip.

Avennia 2013 Oliane Sauvignon Blanc Yakima Valley $25 91 points
This 100% varietal comes from two standout vineyards—Boushey (70%) and Red Willow.Made with native yeast and barrel-fermented, it is aromatically mesmerizing with kiwi, lemon oil and herbs. As opulent as the aromas seem, the wine is quite restrained in style with a panoply of citrus and stone fruit flavors framed by vivid, mouthwatering acidity.

Avennia 2012 Arnaut Syrah Boushey Vineyard Yakima Valley $50 95 points
This wine shines with notes of smoked meat, mineral, dark coffee and earthy funk. The flavors are dense, rich and voluptuous, while retaining an exquisite sense of balance. It’s an exclamation point of a wine that’s approachable now. Editor's Choice

Bergevin Lane 2012 Linen Merlot Yakima Valley $14 86 points
This wine doesn’t seem to have fully ripened, with green herbs along with plum and reductive notes. It’s full bodied in feel with scratchy tannins.

Bergevin Lane 2012 Calico Red Blend Columbia Valley $15 89 points
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Petit Verdot, this wine suggests smoke, cocoa, dry chocolate, dark fruit and barrel spices. The flavors are chocolaty and candy-bar sweet backed by a firm grip of tannins.

Bergevin Lane 2013 Love-Struck Viognier Columbia Valley $22 89 points
Richly aromatic, this offers notes of honeysuckle, nectarine and vanilla (18% new oak). It’s full bodied with abundant stone fruit flavors and light oak accents with a touch of bitterness on the finish.

Betz Family 2012 Cuvée Frangin Red Blend Columbia Valley $33 91 points
A new wine for this winery, this comes from declassified barrels from its other programs. This blend of Merlot (36%), Syrah (26%), Cabernet Sauvignon (23%) and Petit Verdot delivers a whole lot of immediate appeal with its notes of smoke, char, black currant, huckleberry and plum. The flavors are full and lush with a creamy, supple feel and soft tannins.

Betz Family 2012 Besoleil Red Blend Columbia Valley $45 91 points
A blend of Grenache (50%) and Cinsault (20%) along with equal parts Mourvèdre and Syrah, this wine draws you into the glass with notes of smoked meat, bark, raspberry, blue fruit and peppery spices. It brings a rich, mouthful of generous fruit flavors that hit the delicious gong and then linger to hear it resonate.

Betz Family 2012 La Serenne Syrah Yakima Valley $55 93 points
Aromatically still in its shell, this wine offers notes of mineral, pepper, smoked meat, barrel spices and dark-blue fruit. However, flavors are already singing, with waves of rich, intense fruit that almost overwhelm the senses. This velvet hammer of a wine should only reveal more charms with additional time in the bottle. Best from 2017 to 2022. Cellar Selection

Betz Family 2012 La Côte Patriarche Syrah Yakima Valley $55 93 points
Coming from the oldest block of the oldest Syrah vineyard in the state (1986 plantings), this wine brings a pleasing assortment of herbs, blue plum, mineral and spice along with a kiss of smoked meat. It’s focused and rich with densely packed fruit flavors and tannins that show a surprising amount of heft. Best after 2017. Cellar Selection

Betz Family 2012 La Côte Rousse Syrah Red Mountain $55 92 points
This aromatically appealing wine brings aromas of blue fruit, barbecue briquettes, herbs, mineral and assorted spices. The fruit flavors are lithe yet intense, with a squeeze of tannins that lead to a supremely long finish.

Blacksmith 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $22 87 points
This wine doesn’t fully come together, with a somewhat uncomfortable mixture of grapy aromas, wood and herbs. It’s medium bodied with cherry flavors and grainy tannins, trailing toward the finish.

Blacksmith 2012 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $18 87 points
Coming from an assortment of warm and cool climate vineyards and blended with 6% Roussanne, this pleasing wine offers notes of grilled corn on the cob, white peach, pepper and hay. Abundant stone fruit flavors are supported by a creamy feel, finishing just a touch bitter.

Blacksmith 2012 Merlot Columbia Valley $18 88 points
This appealing wine features notes of woodspice, herbs, mint, coffee and jammy red fruit. It’s full bodied in feel with coffee and red fruit flavors that linger.

Blacksmith 2012 Red Blend Columbia Valley $18 86 points
This blend holds Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc, with no variety making up more than 29%. The aromas tussle with notes of blackberry, green herbs, coffee and woodspice. It’s medium bodied with cherry flavors and chalky tannins.

Browne Family Vineyards 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $36 88 points
The aromas bring plenty of appeal, with notes of coffee, herbs, vanilla and woodspice. However the concentration of the cherry flavors doesn’t seem entirely there, tapering toward the finish where the oak takes over.

Cadaretta 2011 Springboard Red Blend Columbia Valley $50 93 points
A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Petit Verdot coming from the cool 2011 vintage, this wine leans into the savory with notes of leafy herbs, cherry, raspberries and woodspice. The supple, textured, dazzling mouthfeel is the star of this show, with elegance and deftness leading to an exceptionally long finish. Editor's Choice

Cadaretta 2013 SBS Columbia Valley $23 88 points
Distinctively greenish in tinge, this blend of Sauvignon Blanc (72%) and Sémillon is aromatic with notes of melon, kiwi and pineapple. It’s creamy in feel, with fresh fig and tropical flavors.

Cadaretta 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $40 88 points
This moderately aromatic wine features notes of black cherry, clove and abundant high-toned herbs. A supple mouthfeel with black fruit flavors accompanies firm, dry tannins.

Cadence 2011 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red Wine Red Mountain $45 93 points
A blend of Cabernet Franc (35%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (18%) with the rest equal parts Merlot and Petit Verdot, this wine offers brooding notes of herbs, black currant, mineral and flowers. The lighter color belies its rich structure of firm tannins and tart, lively acids that merit time in the cellar to be fully appreciated. Best after 2018 but will be well worth the wait. Cellar Selection

Cadence 2011 Taptiel Vineyard Red Wine Red Mountain $45 92 points
This blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cabernet Franc and 18% Merlot offers complex, alluring aromas of dried herbs, flowers, dry chocolate and black currant along with a prominent mineral streak. The fruit flavors are elegant and supple in feel. A pleasing interplay between the structured tannins and acid creates a sense of tension through the lingering finish.

Cadence 2011 Camerata Cara Mia Vineyard Red Wine Red Mountain $60 92 points
This wine is 79% Cabernet Sauvignon with the rest equal parts Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. It offers brooding notes of dried herbs, cassis, spicebox, blackberry and anise. Flavors are rich yet refined with mouthwatering acids and exquisitely polished tannins.

Cadence 2012 Coda Red Mountain $25 92 points
Despite coming from declassified barrels from the winery’s other programs, the quality still hits a very high mark on this blend of Cabernet Franc (33%), Cabernet Sauvignon (29%), Merlot (29%) and Petit Verdot. The aromas of cranberry, herbs, plum and mineral are generous followed by good depth to the fruit flavors and bitters on the finish. As always with this winery, it’s the balance of acid and tannins that most impresses. Give a one hour decant. Editor's Choice

Cadence 2011 Bel Canto Cara Mia Vineyard Red Mountain $60 92 points
Cabernet Franc (84%) takes the lead with the rest equal parts Merlot and Petit Verdot. It offers a complex assortment of herbs, including thyme and sage, along with floral notes, blackberry and anise. It’s restrained yet fully flavored with a captivating feel and firm, fine-grained tannins. A complete dazzler that will only improve with some additional time in the cellar. Best from 2014 on. Cellar Selection

Canvasback 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $40 90 points
Coming from a who’s who of Red Mountain vineyards, the inaugural release of this brand from Duckhorn Vineyards offers generous notes of dark coffee, espresso bean, dark cherries, sage and vanilla, with a pleasing interplay between fruit and barrel (64% new French). The plum and coffee flavors are restrained in style, with well-integrated tannins.

Coach House 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $30 89 points
A cool-vintage red that clocks in at a low (for Washington) alcohol, this wine is aromatically reticent with notes of green herbs, cherry, tomato paste and barrel spices. It’s tart with puckering acid and firm tannins, but good fruit intensity throughout. Drinking quite young now, it will be best after 2017 and should have a long life ahead of it.

Coeur d'Alene 2012 Cabernet Franc Washington $32 88 points
The aromas are light on this wine with notes of dried herbs, mocha and anise. It’s soft and elegant in its styling but with rich fruit flavors and dry, chalky tannins.

Coeur d'Alene 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Washington $32 91 points
This wine brings notes of plum, dried herbs, mocha and wood spice. It’s rich and silky in feel with sharp-edged acids, showing some warmth on the finish.

Coeur d'Alene 2013 Reflection Chardonnay Washington $26 87 points
This is a lightly aromatic wine with notes of peach, pear and apricot along with a floral top note. It’s pleasant and easy-drinking, with sweet fruit flavors softening its descent.

Coeur d'Alene 2013 Chenin Blanc Washington $18 85 points
A blend of Chenin Blanc (75%), Chardonnay (20%) and Viognier barrel-fermented in French oak and acacia, this wine brings notes of dried apple and flowers, drinking off dry.

Coeur d'Alene 2012 Syrah Washington $28 89 points
Coming from Stillwater Creek, Alder Ridge and McKinley Springs vineyards, this wine offers much to love, with notes of blueberry pie, toffee, vanilla and barrel spices. Flavors are rich and hedonistic, accented by quite tart acids and tannins that provide a somewhat surprising squeeze.

Coeur d'Alene 2012 Scarlet Lake Syrah Washington $28 88 points
This directly appealing wine has notes of fresh blueberry pie, char and barrel spices. It’s richly flavored with blue fruit, showing excellent depth and intensity. Seemingly out-of-place tart acids and astringency need some time to (hopefully?) settle.

Col Solare 2011 Red Wine Red Mountain $75 92 points
This is Col Solare’s first release to be designated from Red Mountain, with its estate vineyard making up 87% of the blend. Principally Cabernet Sauvignon along with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, the wine features notes of red and black fruit, high-toned herbs, chocolate and barrel spices. It shows a good mixture of elegance and power with a supple feel and well structured tannins. Best from 2018 to 2023. Cellar Selection

Col Solare 2010 Red Wine Columbia Valley $70 91 points
Made from 90% Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec sprinkled in, this wine starts out quite reticent, with notes of scorched earth, mocha, herbs, woodspice and cherry. It’s full bodied and very tightly wound at present, with firm, chalky tannins that need significant time in the cellar to stretch their legs. Best after 2018.

Convergence Zone 2011 Storm Front Red Wine Red Mountain $29 87 points
After starting out reduced, this cool-vintage blend of Merlot (43%), Cabernet Franc (32%), Malbec (33%) and Mourvèdre offers cranberry, herbs and chocolate. It’s soft and easy drinking—a surprise given the structure often seen in this appellation—with chocolate and cherry flavors taking the lead.

Corvus 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $39 88 points
This 100% varietal is completely made with fruit from Red Mountain Vineyard. Brightly aromatic, the wine offers notes of cherry cordial, black licorice and vanilla, with the volatiles amped up but just in check. It’s rich, high-octane and liquorous with abundant cranberry flavors.

Corvus 2010 Syrah-Petite Sirah Red Mountain $29 91 points
A blend of 60% Syrah from Ambassador Vineyard and 40% estate-grown Petite Sirah, this brightly aromatic wine conveys raspberries, dark cherries and vanilla. It’s fruit forward, richly flavored with red fruit that leads to a cranberry-filled finish.

Ded.Reckoning 2013 Plunder Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $15 89 points
Immediately appealing, this draws you into the glass with dark plums and blackberries accented by barrel spices. It’s medium bodied with a silky feel, plush fruit flavors, and a lingering, fruit-filled, almost irresistible open finish.

Ded.Reckoning 2012 Cutlass Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley $20 88 points
This young wine shows notes of vanilla, herbs, cherry, barnyard, and cinnamon accented by brooding barrel spices. The fruit flavors are medium bodied and quite tart with the tannins tightly wound. Oak notes carry through on the warm finish. Best from 2016 on.

Ded.Reckoning 2012 No. 10 Malbec Columbia Valley $35 88 points
This bottle is quite unusual for a Washington Malbec with abundant notes of freshly squeezed Meyer lemon, plum and herbs. Still, it’s well constructed with tart, plush plum flavors that keep you coming back to it.

Ded.Reckoning 2012 Flintlock Merlot Yakima Valley $20 84 points
This wine is aromatically untoward with notes of seabreeze, green herbs, citrus and wood. It’s medium bodied, somewhat gritty in feel, with barnyard flavors.

DeLille 2011 Chaleur Estate Red Wine Red Mountain $85 91 points
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (65%), Merlot (25%) and Cabernet Franc from Klipsun, Ciel du Cheval, and Upchurch vineyards, this wine offers brooding notes of bittersweet chocolate, assorted red and black fruit, licorice, mineral and high-toned dried herbs. Reserved in style, it’s full of coffee and cherry flavors, with mouthwatering acids and enough structure to go the distance.

DeLille 2012 Four Flags Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $67 92 points
A blend of top vineyards Ciel du Cheval (28%), Upchurch (26%), Grand Ciel (25%) and Klipsun, this 100% varietal wine is aromatically reserved with notes of café au lait, black currant, dusty chocolate and fresh herbs. Fruit flavors are concentrated and rich with firm tannins that will benefit from additional time in the bottle. Best after 2017. Cellar Selection

DeLille 2011 Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $160 91 points
This aromatically pleasing wine brings notes of black licorice, barrel tones, coffee and green herbs. It’s concentrated and flavorful with abundant cherry notes backed by expertly managed tannins. It doesn’t shy away from the variety’s herbal side but this is cool vintage Cabernet.

Doyenne 2012 AIX Red Blend Red Mountain $39 91 points
Still coming into its own, this blend of Syrah (60%) and Cabernet Sauvignon from top sites Grand Ciel, Ciel du Cheval, Upchurch and Klipsun vineyards offers reticent notes of blackberries, herbs and roasted meat. It’s loaded with rich, powerful dark fruit flavors that linger on the finish.

Doyenne 2013 Roussanne Red Mountain $38 93 points
This stunner of a wine brings notes of nut oil, ripe, fresh-off-the-tree peach and mouthwatering apricot. It’s nectarous and rich with a rounded feel and abundant sweet fruit flavors that linger. Terrific stuff—a benchmark for the variety in the state. Editor's Choice

Doyenne 2011 Grand Ciel Vineyard Syrah Red Mountain $68 93 points
This aromatic offering has notes of mineral, fireplace, cured meat and game. It’s creamy and rich in feel, showing great texture, depth and richness, with savory flavors out in front of the fruit initially. It’s just starting to stretch its legs, so give it plenty of time to open up.

Dumas Station 2012 Cabernet Franc Walla Walla Valley $32 93 points
This 100% varietal wine brings notes of fresh herbs, red fruit, vanilla and clove. It’s supple, textured and soft in feel with a captivating sense of balance, well-framed acidity, and lightly chalky tannins.

Dumas Station 2012 Cowcatcher Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $24 92 points
This standout blend is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon (39%) and Merlot (36%) with the balance Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Petit Verdot. It brings appealing notes of mocha, Rainier cherry, flowers, vanilla and herbs, with a supple, creamy feel and good richness to the fruit flavors, which are perfectly framed by tart acidity.

Dumas Station 2012 Syrah Walla Walla Valley $34 92 points
This guaranteed crowd-pleaser suggests dark raspberries, blueberries and pepper, with vanilla accents. It packs a big, rich, flavorful punch with a compelling, palate-coating texture and lingering finish.

Efesté 2011 Upright Merlot Klipsun Vineyard Merlot Red Mountain $39 88 points
This 100% varietal wine offers notes of plum, coffee, herbs and woodspice. Coffee and cherry flavors are surrounded by lightly chalky tannins that will benefit from time in the cellar.

Fall Line 2011 Boushey Vineyard Red Wine Yakima Valley $30 92 points
Coming from one of Washington’s most highly regarded vineyards, this standout blend of Cabernet Franc (36%), Merlot (33%), Cabernet Sauvignon (17%) and Petit Verdot (14%) delivers the goods with cherry, dried herbs, anise and bittersweet chocolate.Like many wines from this vintage, it’s elegantly styled but brings a silky, deceptively rich feel with fruit flavors that linger.

Fall Line 2011 Artz Vineyard Red Wine Red Mountain $30 92 points
This blend of 45% Cabernet Franc, 44% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Sauvignon impresses with its accents of dried herbs, cherry and bittersweet chocolate. It’s palate-coating in feel, with a dazzling sense of texture backed by fine-grained tannins.

Fall Line 2011 Red Willow Vineyard Red Wine Yakima Valley $30 89 points
A blend of Cabernet Franc (47%), Merlot (39%) and Cabernet Sauvignon, this cool-vintage wine ventures toward the green and leafy with abundant herb and savory notes. It’s elegant in style, with a supple feel and fine-grained tannins.

Fall Line 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley $30 88 points
Coming from Boushey (60%), Artz (33%) and Red Willow vineyards, this wine is fruit-forward with notes of raspberries, red currant and pencil eraser. The cranberry flavors are elegant, pure and tart with a light grip of tannins.

Fall Line 2011 Exhibition Red Blend Yakima Valley $22 88 points
This kitchen sink-style blend brings appealing notes of cranberry, black plum, dark flowers and licorice. It’s elegant in style, with soft fruit flavors and minimal new oak influence.

Fall Line 2012 Tempranillo Yakima Valley $22 91 points
Hailing from an esteemed vineyard best known for its Syrah, this 100% varietal wine delivers notes of dried herbs, red fruit and milk chocolate. It displays a captivating, layered mouthfeel showing a lot of subtlety and balance leading to an extended finish.

Fidelitas 2012 Optu Red Wine Red Mountain $50 92 points
This appealing blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (77%), Merlot (13%), Cabernet Franc (7%) and Petit Verdot offers notes of bittersweet chocolate, dark cherry, herbs, black licorice, floral notes and coffee. It’s power-packed and concentrated with layered dark fruit flavors, with a fine sense of tension between the fruit, acid and tannins. Best from 2019–2026. Cellar Selection

Fidelitas 2012 4040 Red Wine Red Mountain $32 91 points
This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (54%), Merlot (33%), Cabernet Franc (8%) and Petit Verdot hails from six up-and-coming vineyards on Red Mountain. It suggests coffee and cream, vanilla and dark cherry, with a high-toned herbal grace note. The feel is soft and supple with coffee flavors that linger, winning on its elegant, ultracharming appeal.

Fidelitas 2012 Quintessence Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $60 93 points
This 100% varietal wine from a young, emerging vineyard was aged in mixture of new French (86%) and American oak. It’s aromatically brooding with notes of dark coffee, vanilla, dark cherry, herbs and chocolate. The polished black fruit flavors are rich yet light on their feet with the tannins combed to a fine sheen and mouthwatering acids. Best from 2020–2027. Cellar Selection

Fidelitas 2012 Red Heaven Vineyard Merlot Red Mountain $45 91 points
This young vineyard is starting to make a name for itself with winemakers, and this 100% varietal wine demonstrates why. It’s a classically Washington Merlot that shows appealing aromas of milk chocolate-covered raspberries. The feel is supple with sweet, luscious red fruit flavors that linger.

Fidelitas 2013 Optu White Blend Red Mountain $32 91 points
This blend of Sauvignon Blanc (60%) and Sémillon—all from Klipsun Vineyard—saw only eight months of neutral French barrel aging. It brings a pleasing assortment of fig, herbs, tropical fruit and corn silk notes with a broad, creamy texture and a drawn-out finish. Editor's Choice

For a Song 2012 Caliche Lake Vineyard Chardonnay Columbia Valley $10 85 points
This aromatically unusual wine features notes of peppermint, honeycomb and apricot. It’s front loaded in feel, pulling up short on the back half. Best Buy

For a Song 2012 Caliche Lake Vineyard Riesling Columbia Valley $10 90 points
Though not labeled as such, this thrilling Riesling comes from the Ancient Lakes appellation and brings aromatic notes of peach, orange blossom and pear. It drinks medium-sweet with abundant stone fruit flavors. Best Buy

Genoa 2011 Danforth Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $37 90 points
This aromatic wine brings aromas of blackberry, vanilla, licorice and medicine cabinet. It’s reserved in style but flavorful, with abundant notes of blackberry and anise backed by lightly chalky tannins.

Genoa 2011 Even Keel Red Blend Red Mountain $29 88 points
This wine offers notes of vanilla, coconut, chocolate and cherry candy. It’s richly flavored with a core of dark fruit backed by lightly grippy tannins.

Genoa 2011 Ketch Red Blend Red Mountain $37 88 points
This blend of Syrah (57%), Merlot (29%) and Sangiovese suggests candied raspberries, blue fruit, vanilla, cola and fruit leather. Rich, concentrated flavors give a sense of confection with the tannins providing a chalky feel.

Genoa 2011 Traveler Red Blend Red Mountain $29 87 points
A blend of Sangiovese (66%), Cabernet Sauvignon (22%) and Merlot, this wine offers hints of dark raspberries, black currant, vanilla and herbs. It’s broad and flavorful with somewhat astringent tannins that hopefully will mellow with some additional time in bottle.

Gordon Brothers 2009 Tempranillo Columbia Valley $40 86 points
The aromas of char, sawdust and vanilla seem to clash with the notes of herbs, leather and cedar. The fruit flavors are lighter in style with the oak (50% new French along with third-fill American) taking over the show.

Gordon Estate 2013 Reserve Estate Grown Chardonnay Columbia Valley $28 90 points
A light golden hue, this richly aromatic wine offers notes of toasty barrel spices, apricot and dried mango. It’s full bodied, almost unctuous in feel, with abundant, sweet stone-fruit flavors and a lingering finish.

Gordon Estate 2012 Estate Grown Late Harvest Gewürztraminer Columbia Valley $35 92 points
Light golden brown in color, this richly aromatic wine offers notes of brown sugar, dried pineapple, papaya and lychee. A whopping 270.8g/L residual sugar, it’s thick, honeyed and sugary sweet with cinnamon, honey and granulated brown sugar flavors that linger on the finish.

Gordon Estate 2012 Merlot Columbia Valley $25 88 points
The aromatic notes of vanilla, tire rubber, cocoa and woodspice don’t seem in harmony. It’s a shame because the rich cranberry and raspberry flavors serve up plenty of enjoyment.

Gordon Estate 2012 Tradition Red Blend Columbia Valley $45 91 points
Half Syrah and half Cabernet Sauvignon, with 40% new French oak, this wine draws you in with its notes of blackberries, milk chocolate and anise. It’s broad and fleshy in feel, with abundant coffee and cherry flavors backed by ample acidity.

Gorman 2011 The Albatross Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $80 89 points
Blended with 20% Petit Verdot, this unusual offering brings notes of mushroom, herbs, smoke and dark cherries. It’s tightly wound with a firm squeeze of tannins.

Gorman 2012 The F.O.G Malbec Red Mountain $80 93 points
Light purple in color, this aromatically appealing, fruit-forward wine has notes of dark plum, dried herbs and peppery spices along with a mocha top note. It’s plump and velvety in feel, with concentrated yet lithe fruit flavors that linger effortlessly on the long, fruit-filled finish that kicks it up a notch.

Gorman 2012 Zachary’s Ladder Red Blend Red Mountain $30 89 points
This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Syrah (32%) and Petit Verdot offers notes of blueberries and high-toned herbs that don’t entirely seem to marry. Flavors are rich and concentrated with a supple feel.

Gorman 2012 The Pixie Syrah Red Mountain $45 94 points
A blend of Klipsun and Ciel du Cheval vineyards aged in 50% new French oak, this wine brings brooding notes of blackberry bramble, blueberry, mineral, herbs and potpourri. The palate-coating blue-fruit flavors are exceptionally dense, rich and sweet and lead to a hyper-extended finish.

Gorman 2012 The Evil Twin Syrah-Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $65 93 points
Made from 75% Syrah with the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, this is barrel fermented and aged in 100% new French oak. A hedonistic wine, it offers notes of mineral, dark cherries, herbs, earth and smoked meat. It’s supple, rich and creamy in feel, with abundant cherry flavors that show great concentration and intensity.

Hamilton 2010 Malbec Red Mountain $40 88 points
This wine brings a very Washington Malbec profile of plum and green herbs along with barrel accents. The flavors are straight down the fairway with vanilla notes lingering on the finish.

Henry Earl 2010 Homesteader Red Wine Red Mountain $40 88 points
Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon take the lead on this Bordeaux-style blend that brings overt notes of vanilla, coconut and dark fruit, with the barrel notes riding high. It’s full bodied and rich with the oak overtaking the varietal flavors but still offering appeal.

Henry Earl 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $45 89 points
This wine offers notes of woodspice, butterscotch, coffee and blackberry. The fruit flavors are lighter in style with mouthwatering acids and firm, grippy tannins that need some time or perhaps a big, juicy steak to tame them.

Henry Earl 2010 Merlot Red Mountain $35 89 points
This aromatic wine conveys notes of Mounds Bar and dark cherries along with a whiff of volatility. It’s full bodied with semisweet fruit flavors along with abundant vanilla accents.

J & J 2012 Les Collines Vineyard Malbec Walla Walla Valley $35 88 points
This 100% varietal wine offers notes of coffee, vanilla and plum. It’s medium bodied with espresso flavors and firm, slightly gritty tannins.

J & J 2012 4 Boys Les Collines Vineyard Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $19 88 points
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (52%), Syrah (24%), Merlot (19%) and Malbec, this appealing single-vineyard wine suggests vanilla, freshly ground coffee, dark fruit and spices. It’s sweet and richly flavored, with a firm squeeze of tannins.

J & J 2013 Les Collines Vineyard Riesling Walla Walla Valley $14 88 points
This aromatic wine offers notes of apricot, flowers and jasmine. It drinks off dry with abundant stone fruit flavors.

J & J 2012 Les Collines Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $30 92 points
Coming from one of the state’s top Syrah sites, this wine dazzles the senses with notes of freshly roasted coffee, char, dark plum and sweet spices. It’s medium bodied with thoroughly delicious coffee flavors backed by a soft feel. Editor's Choice

Kirkland Signature 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $18 85 points
Aromas of plum, herbs and confection come along with barnyard notes that jut out. The fruit flavors are dry and chalky with medicinal notes taking over. Drink now.

Kyra 2013 Chenin Blanc Columbia Valley $15 87 points
This is an enticingly fragrant wine with notes of pear and melon. It drinks off dry with sweet fruit flavors that linger on the finish.

L'Ecole No. 41 2013 Luminesce Seven Hills Vineyard Estate Grown White Wine Walla Walla Valley $22 92 points
This standout blend of Sémillon (60%) and Sauvignon Blanc dazzles with notes of fig, pineapple, kiwi and herbs. It’s richly flavored, with a creamy texture and a supremely long finish.

L'Ecole No. 41 2013 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $22 90 points
This warm-vintage wine strikes a perfect mix of restraint and intensity with its abundant notes of peach and pear. It’s lightly creamy in feel with deft fruit flavors that show an exquisite sense of balance throughout.

L'Ecole No. 41 2013 Sémillon Columbia Valley $15 89 points
Coming from seven different vineyards spread across the Columbia Valley, this wine—which includes 13% Sauvignon Blanc—brings notes of fig, browned butter and candy corn. It’s full bodied with a creamy texture and a warm finish.

Mark Ryan 2012 Long Haul Red Wine Red Mountain $50 91 points
Hailing from top sites Klipsun, Kiona and Ciel du Cheval, this wine is near equally split between between Merlot (49%) and Cabernet Franc (44%), with the balance Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Notes of dark raspberries and flowers with abundant oak accents lead to surprisingly silky tannins for this appellation and producer.

Mark Ryan 2012 Dead Horse Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $55 91 points
This wine still seems to be in its shell with brooding notes of bittersweet chocolate, blackberry, raspberry and woodspice. It’s a full-bodied mouthful of a wine. Layered black and red fruit flavors show good depth and density along with a firm structure of supporting tannins. Just a baby now, it should last well in the cellar until 2025 or more.

Mark Ryan 2012 Crazy Mary Mourvèdre Red Mountain $48 93 points
A blend of Ciel du Cheval and Force Majeure vineyards, this wine brings a mix of pomegranate, dark raspberry, dried tobacco, crushed rock and peppery spices. It explodes on the palate with rich, dense, cranberry and spice flavors that linger. Editor's Choice

Mark Ryan 2012 Wild Eyed Syrah Red Mountain $48 92 points
Hailing from Ciel du Cheval and Force Majeure vineyards, this aromatic wine offers pomegranate, dried leaves, mocha and crushed flowers. It’s luxuriously creamy in feel with abundant red fruit flavors.

Mercer 2012 Eagle & Plow Block 93 Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $100 89 points
This 100% varietal wine conveys notes of mortared green herbs, plum, cherry, medicine cabinet and vanilla. It’s medium bodied with a supple, enticing feel. Baking spice, cherry and coffee flavors linger on the (very, very) long, coffee-filled finish. The aromas don’t all come together but this wine is worth exploring for the remarkable finish, which is about as good as it gets.

Mercer 2013 Reserve Zephyr Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay Horse Heaven Hills $32 88 points
Lightly aromatic, this conveys notes of straw and spiced, canned pear. It’s full bodied in feel, with with elegant apricot flavors that lead to a warm finish.

Mercer 2011 Merlot Columbia Valley $26 88 points
The oak, a mixture of French and American, vies with the fruit for attention. Notes of vanilla and woodspice get out in front of the variety’s cranberry and raspberry aromas and flavors. It’s tart, puckering and fruit-filled, with a chalky feel to the tannins.

Milbrandt 2013 Traditions Chardonnay Columbia Valley $13 88 points
This appealing wine has notes of pear, apple and apricot along with high-toned barrel accents. It’s medium-plus bodied with a rich feel delivering a lot of quality and value, finishing sweet. Best Buy

Milbrandt 2012 Brothers’ Blend Red Blend Columbia Valley $17 88 points
A blend of seven different varieties, this wine is aromatic and fruit forward, recalling blueberry pie and cocoa with a citrus top note. It’s plush but still deft in feel with soft tannins and abundant blue-fruit flavors.

Mullan Road 2012 Red Wine Columbia Valley $45 89 points
A first-release from this winery founded by Napa Valley’s Dennis Cakebread, this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc from Seven Hills Vineyard shows notes of tomato leaf, chocolate, cherry and vanilla. The oak (44% new French and American) initially takes the lead. Fruit flavors are focused and soft, with the oak giving the tannins a slightly astringent feel.

North by Northwest 2012 NxNW Red Blend Columbia Valley $15 90 points
A blend of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, this wine shows intriguing notes of orange peel, plummy fruit, smoke and a barrel top note. It’s plush and richly flavored, with a soft, luxurious feel. Best Buy

Northstar 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $41 88 points
Coming from two of the state’s finest vineyards—Cold Creek and Klipsun—this cool-vintage, 100% varietal wine shows an unusual Washington Cabernet profile of blueberry and plum along with herbs and a kiss of vanilla. It’s soft and supple in feel with elegant coffee and blue fruit flavors.

Northstar 2010 Premier Merlot Columbia Valley $85 93 points
A standout wine, this 100% varietal shows notes of raspberries, plum, bittersweet chocolate and barrel spices. It’s classically styled with layer upon layer of fruit flavors, showing richness yet deftness with a real sense of freshness and vibrancy. It has all of the stuffing to lay down in the cellar until 2030 or more. Drinks best at 62 degrees. Cellar Selection

Northstar 2010 Merlot Walla Walla Valley $50 92 points
This wine is still in its shell, with notes of dark raspberries, cocoa and barrel spices. It’s lusciously rich, dense and layered with firm tannins that need time in the cellar to soften. Just a baby now, it will be best from 2017 on. Cellar Selection

Northstar 2010 Merlot Columbia Valley $41 91 points
True to the vintage, this is a more aromatically brooding wine than often found from this winery, with notes of dark raspberries, vanilla and assorted barrel spices. It’s full bodied, layered and rich with cherry and raspberry flavors showing a lot of depth and intensity. Best after 2017.

Northstar 2010 Stella Maris Red Blend Columbia Valley $29 92 points
This blend of Merlot (61%), Cabernet Sauvignon (27%), Syrah (8%) and Petit Verdot brings notes of anise, black currant, herbs, mint and raspberries. The palate brings good depth of flavors and richness while showing both elegance and precision.

Pacific Rim 2013 Made from Organic Grapes Riesling Columbia Valley $16 88 points
This wine brings a lot of appeal, with notes of mandarin orange, Bosc pear and jasmine. It leans toward medium-sweet with ripe peach flavors but without the acid to hold them entirely together.

Pacific Rim 2013 Dry Riesling Columbia Valley $10 86 points
Appealing notes include pear, jasmine and orange blossom. It drinks a hair off dry with stone fruit flavors that seem a bit dilute. Best Buy

Pacific Rim NV Flowers Brut Méthode Champenoise Riesling Washington $19 89 points
This aromatic sparkler has appealing notes of kiwi and pineapple. It drinks dry with abundant fruit and spice flavors.

Pamplin 2011 JRG Red Wine Columbia Valley $30 91 points
A blend of Merlot (51%), Cabernet Sauvignon (37%), Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot, this wine (predominantly sourced from Horse Heaven Hills) offers appealing notes of graphite, cocoa, cherry cola, barrel spices and red and blue fruit. It’s focused, rich and flavorful with a silky, captivating, refined feel.

Pamplin 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $50 91 points
Almost entirely varietal (3% Petit Verdot) with the fruit mostly split between Elephant Mountain and Alder Ridge vineyards, this wine is a bit aromatically locked up at present with notes of cherry, green herbs and blue fruit. It’s medium bodied in feel, with the oak dialed back (33% new French), tart acids and a gentle squeeze of tannins with bitters on the finish. It should only improve with additional time in the bottle and has a lot life ahead of it.

Pendulum 2012 Red Blend Columbia Valley $18 91 points
A kitchen-sink blend of varieties with Merlot (44%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (26%) taking the lead, this wine offers appealing aromas that suggest high-toned, sweet barrel spices, plum and herbs. It’s loaded with cranberry, cherry and plum flavors with a rich mouthfeel that keeps the interest high.

Proper 2012 Estate Syrah Walla Walla Valley $42 93 points
The aromas on this Rocks District wine pop with huckleberry, black and green olive, plum and mineral. It’s dazzlingly polished and textured in feel, with nuanced, detailed smoked meat and savory flavors. It nonetheless retains an exquisite sense of balance and restraint, capped off by an outrageously long finish. Editor's Choice

Robert Ramsay 2011 Phinny Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $35 88 points
This 100% varietal wine seems to still be in its shell, with light notes of coffee, plum and licorice along with other barrel spices. The fruit flavors are supple with some heft to the tannins and a tart lick of acidity that spruces things up. A lot of good things are going on here but they don’t quite all come together.

Robert Ramsay 2012 McKinley Springs Cinsault Horse Heaven Hills $32 89 points
A seldom-seen near 100% offering of this variety (6% Syrah is blended in), this wine shows notes of herbs, sugared plum, thistle and chocolate. It coats the palate from end to end with silky soft, almost pillowy fruit and savory flavors that keep the interest high.

Robert Ramsay 2012 Upland Vineyards Grenache Snipes Mountain $35 88 points
This aromatic wine brings a potpourri of freshly rubbed sage, Dimetapp, bay leaf and sweet tobacco. It’s broad yet light in feel with a pretty sense of elegance and restraint.

Robert Ramsay 2012 Mason’s Red Blend Columbia Valley $20 87 points
It’s quite rare to find a wine in Washington where Counoise (48%) takes the lead, as on this blend that also includes Syrah and Mourvèdre. It brings notes of sagebrush and other herbs, seeming to show some oxygen exposure that overshadows the silky, generous feel.

Rôtie Cellars 2012 Dre Mourvèdre Washington $60 93 points
This 100% varietal bottling brings complex notes of smoked meat, cranberry, herbes de Provence, white pepper and chocolate. It’s full bodied and quite supple in feel, with palate-coating fruit and savory flavors that lead to a hyperextended finish.

Rôtie Cellars 2012 Southern Blend Red Wine Washington $40 92 points
A blend of Grenache (65%), Mourvèdre (25%) and Syrah, this suggests peppery spices, stewed raspberries, game and high-toned spices. The palate is the star, full bodied, textured and richly flavored. An orange peel accent leads to a warm finish.

Rôtie Cellars 2013 Southern White Blend Washington $28 90 points
A blend of Viognier (60%), Roussanne (25%) and Marsanne, this wine is moderately aromatic with notes of pear, melon, apricot and flowers. It’s medium bodied with abundant stone fruit flavors, quite reserved considering the warmth of the vintage.

Rôtie Cellars 2012 Northern Blend Syrah Washington $40 94 points
Don’t let the Washington State label fool you. This Walla Walla Valley Rocks-region wine shows complex notes of roasted meat, blue fruit, earth, mineral, smoke and herbs. It’s full bodied and rich with a dazzlingly polished feel to the fruit and savory flavors capped off by a long, meat-filled finish—beautiful stuff. Editor's Choice

Ryan Patrick 2013 Reserve Chardonnay Columbia Valley $20 90 points
From a warm vintage, this aromatic offering has notes of candy corn, corn silk, pear and tropical fruit. It’s full bodied with sweet fruit flavors that have a creamy feel and lead to a lingering finish.

Ryan Patrick 2013 Naked Chardonnay Columbia Valley $10 86 points
Pleasant and straightforward, this has notes of pear, mead and herbs. It’s full in feel with a big ball of fruit flavors in the middle but less around it. The tannins have a slightly drying feel. Best Buy

Ryan Patrick 2012 Rock Island Red Blend Wahluke Slope $20 90 points
A blend of Merlot (58%), Syrah (35%), Petite Sirah (5%) and Primitivo, this hedonistic wine offers appealing suggestions of coffee, vanilla and cherry. Ripe, silky soft milk chocolate flavors finish warm.

Ryan Patrick 2013 Redhead Red Blend Columbia Valley $10 86 points
This blend of Merlot, Syrah, Petit Sirah and Primitivo is aromatic and fruit-filled, with notes of confection, blueberry pie, plum, licorice and red fruit. The flavors are sweet, primary and direct with a smooth feel. Best Buy

Ryan Patrick 2013 Ryan’s Riesling Columbia Valley $10 87 points
A fragrant wine with notes of lavender, pear and peach, this drinks medium-sweet, with a spritzy feel and peach flavors throughout. Best Buy

Seven Hills 2012 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red Wine Red Mountain $45 93 points
Hailing from one of the state’s most esteemed vineyard sites, this wine is half Cabernet Sauvignon and just over a quarter Merlot, with the balance Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. The oak (40% new French) is dialed back, allowing rich, layered notes of plum, herbs, licorice, toast and coffee to rise with a firm scaffolding of slightly dry tannins supporting them. Still young, it will be best after 2018. Cellar Selection

Shining Hill 2011 Red Wine Columbia Valley $45 88 points
Made from 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the balance Cabernet Franc and Merlot, this wine is blue-fruit dominated along with notes of high-toned herbs and chocolaty barrel spices. It’s medium bodied with astringent, somewhat bitter tannins.

Sparkman 2012 Kingpin Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $62 90 points
Aromatically brooding, this has notes of dark cherries, blackberries, mineral and herbs with abundant barrel accents. It’s full bodied, rich and high octane, at times seeming a bit overwrought but still delivering plenty of enjoyment.

Spring Valley Vineyard 2011 Uriah Estate Grown Red Wine Walla Walla Valley $50 91
Mostly Merlot and Cabernet Franc, this wine from the cool 2011 vintage is light in color, with notes of raspberries, green herbs and flowers. It’s on the lighter side of medium bodied—fleshing out over time—with abundant savory flavors and a firm handshake of tannins. It will benefit from additional time in the cellar. Best after 2018. Cellar Selection

Spring Valley Vineyard 2011 Katherine Corkrum Estate Grown Cabernet Franc Walla Walla Valley $50 89 points
An aromatically subtle wine with notes of mortared herbs, flowers and cherry. The fruit flavors are elegantly styled, broadening with time, with a slightly gritty feel to the tannins but with a long finish.

Spring Valley Vineyard 2011 Nina Lee Syrah Walla Walla Valley $50 93 points
Coming from a cool vintage, this thriller of a wine has generous notes of black pepper, plum, orange rind and cranberry. It’s concentrated, rich and flavorful with the oak (50% new French) giving some gruffness to the tannins that should soften with additional time in the bottle. Best after 2017.

Stemilt Creek 2010 A Day’s Work Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $26 85 points
Coming from a cool vintage, this shows notes of green herbs, vanilla and black cherry. It’s somewhat lean in feel with puckering acids and chalky tannins.

Stemilt Creek 2010 Caring Passion Estate Grown Merlot Columbia Valley $17 86 points
Moderately aromatic, this has notes of woodspice, dill, fruit leather and cherry. It’s medium bodied with firm tannins and tart cherry and chocolate flavors that carry through the finish.

Stemilt Creek 2010 Boss Lady Estate Grown Red Blend Columbia Valley $24 85 points
Equal parts Syrah and Merlot with a dash of Mourvèdre and Cabernet Franc (3% each), this wine brings notes of biscuit, cherry, dill and dried cranberry. Like many wines from this vintage in Washington, it’s quite tart out of the gate, supported by chewy tannins.

Syncline 2012 Mourvèdre Red Mountain $45 91 points
This blend of fruit from Ciel du Cheval (85%) and Force Majeure vineyards was fermented in concrete before aging in three- to seven-year-old oak barrels. It’s dazzling in feel, with rich, supple, focused cranberry and cherry flavors that lead to a tart, drawn-out finish.

Syncline 2012 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Syrah Red Mountain $50 91 points
This wine comes from all free-run juice and was aged 16 months in three- to four-year-old French barrels. The result is a luxuriously pure wine that puts a premium on the feel of its plum and cranberry flavors, with a light squeeze of tannins that brings it home.

T.A.T.T NV Tried and True Liberty Red Blend Columbia Valley $18 89 points
Half Syrah, a quarter Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance a mixture of other varieties, this wine offers fresh and dried black fruit accented by cocoa and vanilla. It’s plush in feel with red and black fruit flavors that bring plenty of appeal.

Telaya 2013 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $25 88 points
This aromatic wine carries notes of movie theater buttered popcorn, peach and lees. It’s full bodied with buttery stone fruit flavors that show a considerable amount of creaminess and elegance.

Telaya 2011 Turas Red Blend Columbia Valley $30 90 points
This blend of Syrah (50%), Petit Verdot (18%) and equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon carries appealing aromas of herbs, cherries, orange peel and sweet barrel spices. It shows a pleasing sense of restraint, accenting the Syrah’s suppleness with an elegant styling that keeps the attention high.

Tempus Cellars 2011 Sagemoor Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $32 89 points
This 100% varietal aged 22 months in French oak (22% new) needs time to open up. Once it does, it brings notes of dried herbs, dark coffee, cherry, plum and pencil eraser. It’s elegant in style while showing good concentration to the chocolate and cherry flavors, supported by lightly chalky tannins.

Tempus Cellars 2012 Grenache Columbia Valley $25 89 points
In this 100% varietal, grapes from Art Den Hoed Vineyard were aged in neutral French oak. Front notes suggest black raspberry, grape Jolly Rancher and kirsch. It’s flavorful and supple in feel, with plummy fruit flavors leading to a meat-filled finish. Still drinking young, it should improve with additional time in the bottle.

Tempus Cellars 2011 Syrah Yakima Valley $28 88 points
This wine seems to show some oxygen exposure, with notes of brown spices, vanilla, pepper and overripe pear. It’s a shame because the luscious, rich cherry and raspberry flavors deliver. Tasted twice with consistent notes.

Tertulia 2012 Reserve Excelsior Riviere Galets Estate Vineyard Red Wine Walla Walla Valley $55 87 points
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (63%), Merlot (32%) and Cabernet Franc, this wine is moderately aromatic with notes of coffee, vanilla, cherry and freshly hewn wood. The fruit flavors are tart with some grit to the tannins.

Tertulia 2012 Riviere Galets Estate Vineyard Grenache Walla Walla Valley $35 91 points
Coming in at a low (for Washington) alcohol level for this variety, this 100% Grenache shows light aromas of mint and other herbs with elusive raspberry and plum accents. It’s medium bodied with an elegant, supple feel, showing little obvious new-oak influence to the red fruit flavors. A very intriguing wine where the texture plays a starring role in the show.

Tertulia 2012 Reserve Riviere Galets Estate Vineyard G-S-M Walla Walla Valley $55 91 points
Two-thirds Grenache with the balance Syrah and Mourvèdre, this shows moderate aromas of coffee and pepper along with high-toned herbs and barrel spices. It’s supple in texture, with the mouthfeel bringing much of the appeal.

Tertulia 2012 Ryan’s Reserve Riviere Galets Estate Vineyard Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $45 88 points
An inverted GSM with Mourvèdre (80%) taking the lead followed by Syrah (15%) and Grenache, this aromatic wine offers notes of smoke, coffee and peppery spices. It’s elegantly styled with a lithe feel.

Tertulia 2012 Riviere Galets Estate Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $34 90 points
In this intriguing wine blended with 10% Grenache, the aromas, flavors and feel aren’t entirely connected. It’s aromatically very reserved, with notes of mineral, coffee and red fruit. It has a incredibly supple, dazzling texture with the throttle pulled back on the alcohol and extraction.

Trust 2012 Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley $34 91 points
This appealing, very varietal wine offers notes of high-toned dried herbs, flowers, dry chocolate and cherry. It’s full bodied in feel yet elegant in style with rich, textured cherry and chocolate flavors backed by a light grip of tannins, showing some warmth on the finish. Editor's Choice

Trust 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $36 89 points
With half of the fruit coming from Kelly Vineyard in The Rocks region of the Walla Walla Valley, this leafy offering of the variety has notes of green herbs, cherry and vanilla. It’s dazzling in feel, coating the palate from end to end with velvety soft cherry flavors that linger on the finish. Some may find the aromas too green on this cool-vintage wine but the flavors and feel will make others swoon.

Trust 2013 Riesling Columbia Valley $16 88 points
This directly appealing wine features subtle notes of mineral, lime leaf, flowers and white peach. It drinks off dry (10.49g/L residual sugar) with mouthwatering stone fruit flavors.

Trust 2012 Syrah Walla Walla Valley $30 91 points
Aromatically alluring, this features notes of raspberries, Red Vines and cherry candy. It brings a full-bore, plush, richly flavored feel with abundant raspberry flavors that linger on the finish—an unapologetically lush example of 2012 vintage fruit. Editor's Choice

Vortex 2011 Fast Eddy Red Blend Yakima Valley $30 88 points
This intriguing blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Cabernet Franc (40%) and Merlot offers green herbs, dark plum, savory notes and chocolate. It’s full and supple in feel with soft tannins and well-framed acidity.

Vortex 2010 CM2 Red Blend Rattlesnake Hills $23 83 points
This blend of Cinsault (75%) and Mourvèdre already seems quite advanced. Notes of raisined fruit and brown spices come along with light cranberry flavors that seem to have faded.

Vortex 2009 Reserve Tempranillo Horse Heaven Hills $25 86 points
The new American oak brings notes of vanilla, wood and coconut that largely overwhelms the seemingly green, citrusy fruit. There’s a pleasing tartness to the acids but overall the fruit flavors get lost.

Vortex 2011 Late Harvest Viognier Yakima Valley $20 89 points
A light golden color, this richly aromatic wine brings notes of papaya, pineapple and brown sugar. It coats the palate with honeyed, ripe pear, apricot and pineapple flavors. Drink up.

Vortex NV Cascade Red Blend Washington $18 86 points
Equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah with 10% Tempranillo rounding it out, this wine suggests vanilla, green wood, raisins and dry chocolate. It’s tart and full bodied with cranberry flavors.

Walla Walla Vintners 2012 Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley $30 91 points
A signature wine for this winery, this directly appealing offering carries notes of herbs, flowers, cherry and chocolate. It’s chock-full of elegantly styled cherry flavors, with chocolate that lingers on the finish.

Walla Walla Vintners 2011 Sagemoor Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $44 91 points
Given sufficient time to open up, this cool-vintage wine brings notes of dried herbs, chocolate, anise, pencil lead and wood spice. The luscious chocolate and cherry flavors are soft, supple and concentrated, with enough tannins to benefit from additional time in the cellar. Drink after 2016 or give it a two-hour decant.

Walla Walla Vintners 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $38 87 points
Quite aromatic, this has notes of fresh and dried tobacco along with leafy green herbs. It’s full of cherry, coffee and green herb flavors with chalky tannins.

Walla Walla Vintners 2012 Dolcetto Walla Walla Valley $24 92 points
This is an exclamation point of a wine. The fruit pops with pure notes of black and red plum along with herbs and milk chocolate. It’s fresh and fruit-filled, with an elegant, palate-coating texture that simply dazzles the senses. Editor's Choice

Walla Walla Vintners 2012 Malbec Columbia Valley $30 88 points
All the fruit in this 100% varietal comes from Sagemoor Vineyard. Medium bodied, the wine offers plum, peppery spices and barrel notes. Cherry and plum flavors linger on the finish.

Walla Walla Vintners 2012 Merlot Walla Walla Valley $30 88 points
With most of the fruit coming from the winery’s estate vineyard, this offers a somewhat uneasy mix of fresh tobacco, plum, green herbs and woodspice notes. The flavors however are silky soft, rich in chocolate and cherry notes, showing good weight and intensity, backed by smooth tannins.

Walla Walla Vintners 2011 Bello Rosso Red Blend Columbia Valley $34 90 points
Any description of this wine—equal parts Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon—must start with the word delicious. It offers aromas of pencil lead, coffee, herbs and cherry along with abundant chocolate and cherry flavors.

Walla Walla Vintners 2012 Sangiovese Columbia Valley $25 91 points
The cranberry and dark raspberry notes dance alongside bittersweet chocolate and spice on this directly appealing, outright delicious wine. It’s broad in feel, with rich chocolate and cherry flavors that keep you coming back for more.

Walla Walla Vintners 2012 Estate Syrah Walla Walla Valley $40 93 points
This thoroughly beguiling example of the variety comes from the winery’s young estate vineyard. It brings notes of Red Vines, raspberry, pepper, coffee and sweet barrel spice. The red plum flavors are plush, concentrated and hedonistic in style, with an extremely high yum factor. Editor's Choice

Walla Walla Vintners 2012 Washington State Cuvée Red Blend Washington $30 91 points
Merlot (43%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (30%) take the lead on this supremely appealing blend that hails from a who’s who selection of vineyards. Notes of black raspberries, currant and milk chocolate come with sweet, luscious fruit flavors.

Waterbrook 2012 Syrah Columbia Valley $14 92 points
Blended with 12% Grenache and 8% Roussanne, this direct and appealing wine suggests violets, raspberries and plum, with a vanilla top note (21% new American oak). The coffee and blue fruit flavors are rich and full, with vanilla notes lingering on the finish. It’s a complete knockout for this price. Best Buy

Wautoma 2011 Wautoma Springs Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $48 90 points
This 100% varietal wine, which saw 30 months of oak aging, is lightly aromatic with notes of cherry, anise, berry, vanilla and woodspice. It’s quite restrained in feel—a very pretty wine—with elegant, sumptuous cherry flavors and a lingering finish.

Wautoma 2011 El Prat Red Blend Columbia Valley $28 88 points
This blend of Malbec (62%) and Cabernet Sauvignon was aged 30 months in French oak (one-quarter new). It shows notes of cherry lip balm, black licorice and woodspice, with a whiff of volatility providing some distraction. It’s silky in feel with elegant styling and an extended finish.

Wild Meadows 2012 Merlot Columbia Valley $12 84 points
An enjoyable easy drinker with notes of bell pepper and sugared plum. It’s broad in feel, lightly sweet with abundant plum flavors.

William Church 2012 Bishop’s Blend Red Wine Columbia Valley $25 89 points
A blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 15% Malbec and 10% Petit Verdot, this reflects a pleasing mixture of each, with notes of blackberry, raspberry, plum and fresh herbs. Fruit flavors are plush and up front backed by chewy tannins.

William Church 2011 2 Spires Red Blend Columbia Valley $36 90 points
Made with 63% Syrah and 37% Cabernet Sauvignon from Red Willow and Shaw vineyards, this appealing offering brings notes of plum, smoke and blue fruit. It’s full bodied, plush and ripe in feel, with silky tannins supporting coffee and blue fruit flavors. A guaranteed crowd pleaser.

William Church 2012 Syrah Yakima Valley $38 91 points
This aromatic wine brings a pleasing assortment of smoke, bacon fat, citrus, plum and blue-fruit notes. It coats the palate from end to end with sultry fruit flavors that lead to a tart, dry finish.

William Church 2013 Viognier Columbia Valley $25 90 points
This aromatic offering has notes of pear, peach and flowers. The apricot and other stone fruit flavors are medium bodied, simultaneously light and rich, giving the perception of sweetness leading to a lingering finish—an elegantly styled wine that walks the balance beam quite well.

Wind Rose 2011 Red Heaven Vineyard Barbera Red Mountain $30 89 points
This is a rare, single-vineyard, 100% varietal wine from Red Mountain where Bordeaux varieties reign. It brings appealing accents of tart cherries and assorted barrel spices, including clove and vanilla. Flavors are medium bodied with a pleasing blast of tart acidity. Vanilla flavors speckle the finish.

Wind Rose 2011 24K Vineyard Nebbiolo Wahluke Slope $30 87 points
Quite pale in color, this is a faintly aromatic wine with hints of cedar, tart cherries and dried tobacco. The fruit flavors are light in style with tart acids and firm but not unyielding tannins, with lingering cranberry flavors on the finish. It doesn’t quite come off but certainly piques the interest.

Wind Rose 2013 Pinot Grigio Yakima Valley $15 86 points
Though not labeled as such, this is a single-vineyard offering from Pontin del Roza Vineyard. It brings notes of apple and apricot, drinking dry with a quite elegant yet flavorful styling.

Wind Rose 2012 Stone Tree Vineyard Primitivo Wahluke Slope $25 88 points
Aromatically appealing, this suggests black raspberries, tart cherries and herbs, with light citrus and barrel accents. It’s tart and quite restrained for the variety with plumy fruit flavors and a slightly chalky feel to the tannins that may resolve with some additional time in the bottle.

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