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Washington Wine Report is an independent publication focused on bringing Northwest wine to you and bringing you to Northwest wine. Our goal is:
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Reviewed Wineries

Wine Enthusiast reviews for May 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

Below are my Wine Enthusiast reviews for May 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 the first releases from a series of new projects. This includes the first releases from Brennon Leighton (Charles Smith Wines) under his B. Leighton Wines label (B. Leighton 2012 Olsen Brothers Vineyard Grenache Yakima Valley $45, 93 points; B. Leighton 2012 Olsen Brothers Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $45, 93 points).

Damsel Cellars is a new winery from Darby assistant winemaker Mari Womack (Damsel 2012 Syrah Columbia Valley $32, 91 points).

Latta Wines is a new project from Andrew Latta, formerly winemaker at K Vintners and Charles Smith Wines (Latta 2011 Upland Vineyard Grenache Snipes Mountain $45, 93 points; Latta 2011 Northridge Vineyard Malbec Wahluke Slope $55, 92 points).

Passing Time is a new project from former NFL quarterbacks Dan Marino and Damon Huard with Chris Peterson (Avennia) serving as consulting winemaker (Passing Time 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $75 93 points).

Finally, Sixto is a new project from Charles Smith that focuses on Chardonnay (Sixto 2012 Roza Hills Chardonnay Washington $55, 93 points; Sixto 2012 Moxee Chardonnay Washington $55, 93 points; Sixto 2012 Frenchman Hills Chardonnay Washington $55, 92 points; Sixto 2012 Uncovered Chardonnay Washington $35, 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 May 2015

14 Hands 2013 The Reserve Chardonnay Horse Heaven Hills $25 87 points
The new American oak barrel fermentation and aging steals the show on this wine with notes of vanilla and woodspice overpowering the variety’s melon and apple aromas and flavors. There are some good things going on but it’s hard to get at them.

14 Hands 2011 The Reserve Merlot Horse Heaven Hills $30 90 points
Aged for 30 months in French and American oak (90% new), this wine brings pleasing notes of café au lait, pencil lead, cashew and woodspice. It’s richly flavored with coffee and chocolate notes backed by a silky feel, with the wood playing prominent role.

14 Hands 2013 The Reserve Pinot Gris Horse Heaven Hills $22 85 points
This is an aromatic offering of the variety with notes of green apple and melon. It drinks dry with a lightly spritzy feel but with the flavor concentration seeming lacking.

14 Hands 2013 The Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Horse Heaven Hills $22 87 points
This 100% varietal wine offers generous aromatic notes of guava and pink grapefruit. Flavors are lighter in style with the concentration a bit wanting but it finishes well.

3 Horse Ranch Vineyards 2012 Barrel Select Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 55%-Merlot 33%-Petit Verdot 16% Bordeaux-style Red Blend Washington $26 86 points
This brooding wine shows notes of tire rubber, herbs, dark chocolate and blue fruit. It’s elegant in style with mouthwatering acids and grainy tannins.

Analemma 2013 Atavus Vineyard Gewürztraminer Columbia Gorge $27 89 points
Coming from 45-year old plantings, this warm vintage wine is quite aromatically light for the variety out of the gate with notes of quinine, spice, pear and flowers. It drinks dry with a broad feel to the lightly spritzy fruit and spice flavors backed by a fine sense of acid balance that draws out the finish. This wine takes time to get going but proves worthy of it.

Analemma 2010 Blanc de Noir Sparkling Wine Atavus Vineyard Pinot Noir Columbia Gorge $56 92 points
This is an extremely rare beast – a single vineyard, single varietal (Pinot Noir), single vintage sparkling wine. Aged sur lies for 42 months, it draws you into the glass with notes of smoke, raspberry, mineral and nutty spices. The flavors are light and lively with tart, racy acidity and a long, lingering finish. Editor's Choice

Analemma 2012 Oak Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir Columbia Gorge $25 91 points
Fermented 50% whole cluster and aged in neutral oak and concrete, this appealing wine offers notes of wild strawberries, brown stems and cigar box. It’s fully flavored with a supple feel with tannins that will benefit from some time in the cellar and a cinnamon filled finish. Editor's Choice

Analemma 2013 Atavus Vineyard Rosé Pinot Noir Columbia Gorge $25 90 points
A pale copper color, this appealing, 100% Pinot Noir rosé offers notes of wet stone, herbs, smoke and red fruit. It’s medium bodied with mouthwatering acids and lightly smoky flavors that linger.

Avennia 2012 Sestina Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $60 93 points
This standout wine is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc mostly from old blocks at Dionysus, Red Willow and Bacchus vineyards. It’s youthful with aromas of toasty barrel spices, dark roasted coffee and high toned savory herbs. The flavors are light and restrained while still showing a lot of richness to the dark fruit notes that are backed by mouthwatering acids. Just a baby now, this is a 20-year wine that should start to truly strut its stuff after 2024. Give it a 24 decant if opening it in the near term.

Avennia 2012 Gravura Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $35 92 points
This blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Sauvignon comes from an assortment of top sites including Bacchus, Klipsun, Red Willow, Boushey, Champoux and Angela’s. It offers appealing notes of coffee, dark fruit, graphite and herbs. It’s simultaneously light in feel but possessing a lot of richness of flavor along with a real sense of vibrancy that extends through the finish. Some time in the cellar will only add to its charms. Best after 2020. Cellar Selection

Avennia 2012 Valery Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $45 91 points
A new offering from this winery, this wine is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. It’s light in color with aromas of red and black raspberry, flowers and dried herbs, showing both purity and detail. The flavors are lighter in style and velvety soft in feel with an impressively long finish. It’s all about elegance and texture. Cellar Selection

B. Leighton 2012 Olsen Brothers Vineyard Grenache Yakima Valley $45 93 points
This inaugural release is 100% varietal aged in neutral French puncheons. It brings a panoply of notes of raspberry seed, dark plum, green olive and nori. The mouthfeel is the true star with a rich, pillowy soft, palate coating texture showing exceptional purity and an extended finish that makes the knees buckle. Editor's Choice

B. Leighton 2012 Olsen Brothers Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $45 93 points
This distinctive wine offers aromas of green olive, mineral, moist earth and herbs. The palate explodes with iron, smoked meat, herb and savory flavors blanketed by a mesmerizingly silky texture. The finish shows persistence, purity and detail. Give it time to strut its stuff. Best after 2016. Editor's Choice

Baer 2011 Arctos Red Wine Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $43 91 points
This wine is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon with the rest equal parts Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. It offers notes of mocha, herbs, pure blackberries, black cherries, vanilla and woodspice. The style is restrained but it’s still fully flavored with sumptuous black fruit notes and a lick tannins that need some time to settle.

Baer 2011 Star Red Wine Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $32 91 points
This blend of Merlot (81%), Cabernet Franc (11%) and Cabernet Sauvignon is directly appealing with notes of baker’s chocolate, vanilla, blackberry, crushed flowers and raspberries. It’s soft and supple in feel with focused fruit flavors and a finish that won’t quit.

Baer 2011 Ursa Red Wine Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $39 91 points
This wine is equal parts Cabernet Franc and Merlot with the balance Malbec (8%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (6%). The aromas offer notes of pencil lead, vanilla, herbs, barrel spices and an assortment of red and black fruit. The coffee and cherry flavors are elegant in style, soft and supple in feel with a grip of tannins and a tart finish. The wood is often in the lead but there’s plenty of stuffing there too.

Baer 2011 Callisto Red Blend Columbia Valley $39 92 points
A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Syrah and 10% Petit Verdot with all of the fruit coming from Stillwater Creek Vineyard, this wine offers notes of mocha, coffee, woodspice, herbs and dark cherry. It’s palate-coating and full in feel with a real sense of verve to the blackberry and cranberry flavors that are backed by a firm grip of tannins that need some time in the bottle to come into their own.

Basalt 2012 Syrah Columbia Valley $36 92 points
Aged 17 months in 50% new French oak, this wine offers notes of coffee, blue and black fruit and bittersweet chocolate. It’s lush and hedonistic in style, drinking like a candy bar, showing good concentration to the fruit flavors with a lingering finish.

Black Box 2013 Riesling Columbia Valley $25 84 points
This is a moderately aromatic wine that offers notes of red apple, jasmine, and peach. It drinks off dry leaning toward medium sweet with abundant peach flavors with a creamy feel, looking for a bit more acidity to hold it all together.

Brian Carter Cellars 2011 Corrida Red Wine Blend Red Blend Yakima Valley $34 88 points
This blend of Tempranillo (61%), Merlot (13%), Graciano (11%), Garnacha (8%) and Cabernet Sauvignon brings notes of burnt coffee, red fruit, tobacco, vanilla and exotic spices. It’s supple in feel with lightly chalky tannins.

Brian Carter Cellars 2010 Tuttorosso Red Blend Yakima Valley $34 88 points
A blend of 67% Sangiovese, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah, this wine offers an intriguing assortment of raspberry jam, black licorice, vanilla and spice box. It’s elegant in style with a supple feel to the tangy fruit flavors which are backed by a firm squeeze of tannins.

Burnt Bridge 2012 Les Collines Vineyard Blend X Bordeaux-style Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $32 88 points
60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot with the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this wine offers aromas of coffee, cherry and herbs. It’s full bodied with sweet cranberry flavors backed by gritty tannins.

Burnt Bridge 2012 Les Collines Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $34 88 points
This wine offers notes of Hershey’s chocolate along with high toned herbs and dried cherries. The cranberry and chocolate flavors are tart, puckering and full bodied with a firm squeeze of dry tannins and a cranberry filled finish.

Burnt Bridge 2012 Upland Vineyards Grenache Snipes Mountain $30 83 points
This is an aromatically unusual wine with notes of raspberry jam, purple flowers, orange peel and manure. The flavors are tangy and almost seem to have a light spritz.

Burnt Bridge 2012 Les Collines Vineyard Merlot Walla Walla Valley $32 87 points
Blended with 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine offers notes of herbs, ground cranberries and woodspice. The flavors are jammy with an astringent squeeze to the tannins.

Burnt Bridge 2012 Pont Brûlé Rhône-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $32 90 points
This blend of Grenache (60%), Syrah and Mourvedre is fruit-focused with notes of plum and dark raspberries along with herbs and violets. It brings a pleasing sense of purity and texture to the generous fruit flavors that linger on the finish.

Burnt Bridge 2012 Les Collines Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $34 91 points
This appealing wine offers aromas of blueberry, cocoa, violets and herbs. The blue and black fruit flavors show good concentration and intensity with a lingering finish.

Burnt Bridge 2012 Coyote Canyon Vineyard Syrah Horse Heaven Hills $34 88 points
This appealing wine offers aromas of blueberry and huckleberry and drinks like a vinous piece of blueberry pie. It’s a bit one note but it hits that note hard and well.

Cairdeas 2012 Counoise Yakima Valley $36 90 points
This rare varietal offering, blended with 25% Petite Sirah, displays notes of dark plum, herbs and black and green olive. The fruit flavors are sweet, lush and concentrated with abundant olive flavors on the finish.

Cairdeas NV Trí3 Red Wine Blend MV Rhône-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $32 87 points
This multi-vintage blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Petit Sirah offers notes of black and white pepper, sea salt, herbs and coffee. It’s on the lighter side of medium bodied with a pillowy soft texture and a spice-filled finish.

Cairdeas 2013 Southern White Rhône-style White Blend Yakima Valley $22 87 points
This blend of Marsanne (32%), Grenache Blanc (27%), Roussanne (24%), Picpoul (14%) and Viognier starts out reduced before opening up to display notes of pear, peach, mineral and almond. It’s medium bodied in feel, equal parts intrigue and delivery.

Cairdeas 2013 Reserve Nellie Mae Rhône-style White Blend Columbia Valley $26 87 points
This wine hails from Lawrence and Antoine Creek vineyards and was barrel fermented in new French oak before being moved to stainless steel. It starts out quite reduced and then opens to show notes of peach, pear and mineral. It’s rounded and lightly oily in feel, tapering on the back half.

Carter-Lamour 2012 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $30 91 points
This wine was crafted by two different winemakers, with half of the fruit hailing from Roza Hills (Brennon Leighton, SIXTO) and the rest from La Reyna Blanca (Aryn Morell, Alleromb). It’s directly appealing with notes of barrel spices, cream, peach and candy corn. It shows a pleasing interplay of fruit and barrel flavors that lead to a lingering finish. Editor's Choice

Cascade Ridge 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $18 86 points
This is a direct and appealing wine with notes of maple, sugared plum and woodspice. The flavors are light but plush in feel, straight down the fairway.

Cascade Ridge 2013 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $18 82 points
The aromas on this wine are faint with notes of soda water, vanilla and peach. The stone fruit flavors seem washed out and dilute.

Cascade Ridge 2013 Red Blend Columbia Valley $18 85 points
This wine offers notes of black olive, sweet plum, confection and herbs. The flavors are lighter in style with gritty tannins.

Cascade Ridge 2013 Syrah Columbia Valley $18 89 points
This appealing wine offers notes of blueberry pie, herbs and confection. It shows good intensity with a pleasing sense of richness to the abundant olive accents with fruit flavors that linger. The balance is spot on.

Castle Rock 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $11 85 points
This wine offers notes of sugared plum, herbs and tire rubber. It’s lighter in style with plump, slightly sweet blackberry and cherry flavors with a wash of tannins.

Castle Rock 2013 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $10 84 points
This moderately aromatic wine offers notes of yellow apple, flowers and ale. It’s medium bodied with watery fruit flavors, pulling up short on the back half.

Castle Rock 2012 Merlot Columbia Valley $11 87 points
This wine offers aromas of plum, herbs and pencil eraser. It’s full flavored with dark blue fruit and chalky, dry tannins. Best Buy

Charles & Charles 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon & Syrah Post No. 35 Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah Columbia Valley $12 88 points
This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (68%) and Syrah offers aromas of blue fruit, smoked meat, tire rubber and herbs. It’s sweet and flavorful with abundant plum notes. Best Buy

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2011 Artist Series Meritage Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $55 91 points
This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (72%), Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (2%) and Malbec offers generous notes of chocolate, vanilla, pencil lead and dark fruit. It shows a nice interplay of elegant fruit and barrel flavors with vanilla taking the lead on the finish.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2013 Mimi Chardonnay Horse Heaven Hills $20 90 points
The aromas on this wine are light and nuanced with notes of pear, butter and pineapple. It’s full bodied in feel, clean in style showing good weight and viscosity while retaining a pleasing sense of lightness.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2013 Indian Wells Chardonnay Columbia Valley $17 88 points
This is a lightly aromatic wine with notes of butterscotch, peach and toasty spices. It’s lighter in style with a creamy feel to the stone and tropical fruit flavors.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2013 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $11 87 points
Coming from the warm 2013 vintage, this easy drinking wine offers notes of sweet corn, pear and peach with light barrel accents. The fruit flavors are elegant in style with a lightly creamy feel. Best Buy

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2013 Gewürztraminer Columbia Valley $10 87 points
This is an aromatic wine with notes of rose water, pear and white flowers. It drinks medium sweet with abundant spice flavors throughout. Pair with spicy Thai dishes. Best Buy

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2012 Indian Wells Merlot Columbia Valley $17 89 points
The Syrah blended in (15%) only adds to the abundant blueberry and coffee aromas and flavors with vanilla providing the accents. It’s silky soft in feel, trailing slightly toward the finish.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2012 Merlot Columbia Valley $15 87 points
This wine offers aromatic notes of blueberry and barrel spices. It’s smooth and easy drinking, not offering a lot of complexity but bringing plenty of appeal.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2011 Cold Creek Vineyard Merlot Columbia Valley $28 87 points
Coming from the cool 2011 vintage this wine offers a blue fruit profile seldom seen in the state for this variety along with notes of chocolate and coffee. It’s elegantly styled with a soft feel, trailing toward the finish.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2012 Canoe Ridge Vineyard Merlot Horse Heaven Hills $28 87 points
This 100% varietal wine brings notes of fresh ground coffee, chocolate, herbs and plum along with barrel accents. It’s soft in feel with an elegant styling, trailing toward the finish.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2012 Syrah Columbia Valley $15 88 points
This aromatic wine brings notes of smoked meat, mesquite, green olive and tire rubber with barrel spice accents. It’s soft and supple in feel with abundant savory flavors - an interesting wine that has some edge to it.

Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen 2013 Eroica Riesling Columbia Valley $20 89 points
This wine shows some pleasing aromatic complexity with notes of lime zest, apricot and flowers. It drinks off dry and is lightly spritzy in feel with good flavor intensity and abundant stone fruit flavors that linger.

College Cellars 2012 Summit View Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $35 91 points
Coming from an area of the valley near Seven Hills Vineyard that is seeing extensive exploration, this appealing wine brings notes of coffee, mocha and assorted dark fruit. It’s high octane but largely carries it with a pleasing interplay of fruit and barrel flavors that lead to an open finish.

College Cellars 2012 Clarke Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $25 88 points
This student-produced wine shows aromas of cocoa, cashew and cherry along with green pepper. The flavors are somewhat wood dominated with vanilla and chocolate riding high over cherry. Overall there are some distractions but there’s still much to enjoy.

College Cellars 2013 Clarke Vineyard Carmenère Walla Walla Valley $20 88 points
An early release, single vineyard wine that clocks in at a mere 12.5% labeled alcohol in a warm vintage? Yes! It’s quite aromatic with notes of dark coffee, poblano pepper and herbs followed by a light, elegant styling that brings both delicacy and nuance. Much like the variety, not for all comers.

College Cellars 2012 Cockburn Ranch Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $26 87 points
This single vineyard wine offers notes of wild blueberry with vanilla and herb accents. It’s full bodied and high octane in feel with the flavors running straight down the fairway.

Columbia Crest 2012 Reserve Chardonnay Horse Heaven Hills $20 90 points
Despite being fermented and aged in 100% new French oak, it’s the fruit that shines through on this wine with notes of corn silk, peach and tropical fruit with barrel spices as an accent. There’s texture and richness to the sweet fruit flavors that keeps the interest high.

Columbia Crest 2013 Grand Estates Chardonnay Columbia Valley $12 88 points
It’s the oak that makes the largest impression on this wine with the notes of vanilla and butterscotch out in front of apple and apricot. It’s creamy in feel, trailing slightly toward the finish. Best Buy

Columbia Crest 2013 H3 Chardonnay Horse Heaven Hills $15 86 points
This is an aromatically subdued wine with notes of peach, pineapple and spice. It’s medium bodied, elegant in style with a lightly creamy feel, seeming a bit dilute.

Columbia Crest 2013 Grand Estates Pinot Gris Columbia Valley $12 88 points
Blended with 9% Pinot Blanc and 1% Riesling, this enjoyable wine brings notes of melon and red apple. It’s full flavored with a rounded feel that keeps the interest high. Best Buy

Columbia Crest 2012 Grand Estates Gold Limited Release Red Wine Red Blend Columbia Valley $12 88 points
This is half Cabernet Franc (52%) along with Syrah (38%), Cabernet Sauvignon 8%) and 2% Merlot that saw just a smidgeon (10%) of new oak. It offers notes of dried herbs, raspberries and dark chocolate with lithe fruit flavors backed by grainy tannins. Best Buy

Columbia Crest 2012 Grand Estates Syrah Columbia Valley $12 88 points
This aromatically pleasing wine brings notes of fresh blueberry pie along with a whiff of smoked meat. It’s straightforward with huckleberry and mocha flavors, trailing slightly toward the finish. Best Buy

Columbia Winery 2013 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $15 87 points
This lightly aromatic wine offers notes of pear, peach and spice. It’s straight down the fairway with appealing stone fruit flavors and a lightly creamy feel.

Columbia Winery 2012 Limited Release Malbec Columbia Valley $32 88 points
This wine brings intriguing aromas of barrel spices, vanilla and green herbs with some of the notes seeming to tussle. The plum flavors are sweet with tart acidity and lightly chalky tannins.

Columbia Winery 2013 Merlot Columbia Valley $17 88 points
This wine is chock full of aromas of raspberry jam, mocha and herbs. The flavors are sweet and luscious, full in feel backed by chalky tannins.

Corvidae 2013 Mirth Chardonnay Columbia Valley $10 85 points
This lightly aromatic wine offers notes of ripe red apple, pear, and star fruit. The fruit flavors are centered in a ball in the middle, offering plenty of appeal if not much complexity. Best Buy

Corvidae 2012 Rook Red Wine Red Blend Columbia Valley $14 86 points
This wine offers notes of sea salt, tire rubber, olive, coffee and herbs. It’s lightly sweet with plummy fruit flavors and a tangy finish.

Corvidae 2013 Wise Guy Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley $10 83 points
This is a lightly aromatic wine with notes of herbs and kiwi. The flavors and acid seem dilute, lacking a hook to hang the hat on.

Corvidae 2013 Lenore Syrah Columbia Valley $13 84 points
This wine offers notes of green olive, tire rubber and sugared plum. It’s elegant in style with lightly sweet blue fruit flavors.

Corvus 2011 Cuvée Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $21 91 points
This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (53%), Merlot (38%) and Cabernet Franc brings a whole lot of quality and value with notes of blackberries, chocolate and dried cranberries, showing good delineation and nuance. It’s restrained yet flavorful with pure black cherry flavors, mouthwatering acids and a firm squeeze of tannins that will benefit from some additional time in the bottle.

Corvus 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $39 91 points
In a cool, challenging vintage this 100% varietal wine shines a light through it with notes of blackberry, cola, vanilla and cherry. The palate shows a pleasing mixture of tart fruit, grainy tannins and rich barrel flavors. It should only benefit from additional time in the bottle.

Corvus 2011 Petit Verdot Red Mountain $35 89 points
100% varietal coming from the winery’s estate vineyard, this wine is lightly aromatic with notes of cocoa, bittersweet chocolate, flowers and dark cherry. It’s medium bodied with rich cherry flavors and firm, slightly dry tannins.

Cottonwood Winery of Oregon 2008 Raya Jade Syrah Yakima Valley $19 88 points
A full six years old, this aromatic wine from Crawford Vineyard shows notes of baking spices, raspberries and cranberries along with a whiff of volatility. It’s full bodied, sweet, rich and extracted with abundant red fruit flavors, sweet oak accents and a warm finish. The alcohol rides a bit high but overall it holds it well.

Damsel 2012 Syrah Columbia Valley $32 91 points
Blended with 10% Mourvedre and 5% Grenache with the fruit coming from StoneTree and Stillwater Creek vineyards, this inaugural release offers notes of brambly fruit, smoke, chocolate and peppery spices. It’s full of rich, layered but still supple blue and black fruit flavors that linger on the finish, showing a deft mixture of power and restraint supported by a light grip of tannins.

Ded.Reckoning 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley $90 88 points
This wine seems disjointed at present with notes of green herbs, leather, cherry and orange peel. The cherry flavors have good density and richness along with tart acidity but the tannins feel dry and scratchy and distract. Give it extended time in the bottle or a very long decant.

Ded.Reckoning 2011 The Rancher Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $60 87 points
This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot shows an uneasy mix of green coffee bean, cherry, char and meaty notes. The cherry flavors are medium bodied backed by a wall of firm, dry tannins.

Dumas Station 2011 Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $38 89 points
2011 was a challenging vintage for Washington in general and for the Walla Walla Valley in particular. This wine puts that aside with notes of dried cranberries and cherries along with vanilla and dry chocolate accents. The tart fruit flavors are elegant in style with dry, grainy tannins along with vanilla flavors that carry through on the finish.

Dumas Station 2012 The Excursion Syrah Walla Walla Valley $48 91 points
A new release from this winery, it’s an aromatically intriguing wine with notes of blueberry, dried herbs, flowers and cigar box. The palate shows good concentration and intensity to the sweet, succulent blue fruit flavors with an assortment of fruit and barrel notes lingering on the finish. The wood gets a little out front but hopefully it will integrate more with time.

Dussek Family Cellars 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $36 87 points
Though just four years old, this wine seems advanced with notes of dried cherry, vanilla, dried tobacco and blackberry. The dried cranberry and cherry flavors are rich and tart, backed by dry, quite astringent tannins.

Dusted Valley 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $35 89 points
Coming from an assortment of vineyards around the Columbia Valley, this wine doesn’t seem to have fully settled into its skin with high toned notes of butterscotch, vanilla, blackberry and herbs. There’s good richness to the dark fruit flavors which are paired with tart acids and a firm lick of chewy tannins.

Dusted Valley 2012 Wallywood Rhône-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $42 91 points
This blend of Syrah (52%), Petit Sirah (24%), Mourvedre (16%) and Grenache from StoneTree and Red Heaven vineyards is directly appealing with its notes of chocolate, mulberry and peppery spices. It’s high octane and richly flavored with a lingering blue fruit and meat filled finish backed by lightly chalky tannins.

Dusted Valley 2012 Rachis Syrah Columbia Valley $53 90 points
100% varietal coming from StoneTree and Red Heaven vineyards, this fruit forward wine offers notes of blueberry pie along with barrel notes of pencil lead and vanilla. It’s full bodied and supple in feel with abundant blue fruit flavors with smoked meat accents on the warm, lingering finish.

Dusted Valley 2012 Stained Tooth Syrah Columbia Valley $32 88 points
With fruit coming from Red Heaven and StoneTree vineyards and blended with 10% Mourvedre and 10% Petit Sirah, this wine seems a bit locked up at present with notes of plum, blueberry and flowers. It’s full bodied and rich with the alcohol riding high over the fruit flavors causing some distraction.

Eccolo 2012 Vinification Naturale Barbera Wahluke Slope $30 92 points
In contrast with the winery’s other Barbera from this vintage, this wine hails from the same vineyard (StoneTree) but was fermented with native yeast. It offers notes of dried cranberry and raspberry along with mint accents. The flavors show great depth and intensity with a backbone of electric acidity that dazzles.

Eccolo 2012 Barbera Wahluke Slope $25 91 points
This inaugural release hails from StoneTree Vineyard and offers notes of cranberry, raspberry and ripe red apple. It coats the palate from end to end with intensely rich dried and fresh fruit flavors, accented by tart, racy acidity. The aromas and flavors don’t always entirely sync up but it’s impossible to ignore this wine’s appeal.

Efesté 2011 Nana Red Wine Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $44 88 points
A blend of Red Willow Merlot (61%) and Angela’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, this unusual wine offers savory aromas of herbs, nori and peanut shells. The palate shows good concentration to the sweet coffee and cherry flavors that display a supple feel and are backed by lightly chewy tannins. Not for all comers. Editor's Choice

Efesté 2011 Big Papa Old Block Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $56 91 points
100% varietal and coming from older plantings at Klipsun (40%), Bacchus (29%), Sagemoor (24%) and Kiona vineyards, this wine displays notes of black and green olive, dried herbs and brooding barrel spices. It’s mouthwatering, supple and flavorful with firm tannins that need some time in the cellar to lengthen their stride. Best after 2017.

Efesté 2013 Evergreen Vineyard Riesling Ancient Lakes $20 93 points
This wine is an aromatic tour de force with notes of apricot, pear, honey and slate. The off dry fruit flavors are ripe, lightly spritzy and layered with a drawn out feel that leads to an explosion of fruit flavors on the finish – an exclamation point of a wine.

Efesté 2011 Jolie Bouche Syrah Boushey Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $39 89 points
This offering from one of the state’s most esteemed Syrah vineyards brings notes of coffee, mineral, bacon fat, dark chocolate and funk – with the aromas not seeming entirely in knitted together. The flavors show good richness and intensity leading to an elegant finish.

Flying Trout 2011 The Brook Blend Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $35 93 points
This blend of 60% Malbec and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon is a knockout with notes of savory herbs, vanilla, cocoa and dark plum surrounded by a salty brine. The cranberry and blackberry flavors exhibit depth, elegance and purity with a mesmerizing mouthfeel that leads to a hyper-extended, fruit-filled finish.

Flying Trout 2011 Deep River Red Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $29 89 points
This blend of Malbec (54%) and Cabernet Franc brings appeal with notes of tobacco, mocha, blackberry, herbs and peppery spices. It’s elegant in style with a supple, palate coating feel that provides much of the enjoyment along with abundant blue fruit flavors that linger.

Flying Trout 2012 Mary's Block Windrow Vineyard Malbec Walla Walla Valley $45 91 points
This 100% varietal wine is unabashedly appealing with pure, direct notes of coffee and plum. It’s the feel that truly dazzles with a soft, supple velvety texture and a tart uptick on the lingering finish.

Flying Trout 2012 Old Vines Konnowac Vineyard Malbec Rattlesnake Hills $36 85 points
The volatility on this wine is distracting. It’s a shame because it’s otherwise well constructed with notes of Red Vines, vanilla and cherry with a palate coating feel.

Flying Trout 2011 Cutthroat Blend Red Blend Columbia Valley $35 87 points
This wine is 58% Malbec and 42% Syrah. It offers alluring aromas of thyme, dried herbs, raspberry and white pepper. It’s elegant in style, supple in feel, providing a lot of easy drinking pleasure.

For a Song 2012 Syrah Columbia Valley $14 89 points
This wine offers notes of earthy funk, bacon fat, dark roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate. The lipsmacking fruit and barrel flavors show a lot of intensity and richness for this price point with a tart uptick on the finish. Best Buy

Gård 2012 Lawrence Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $35 87 points
This wine offers notes of dark coffee, green olive, savory notes and barrel spices. The flavors are lighter in style but with good concentration backed by firm, lipsmacking tannins.

Gård 2012 Lawrence Vineyards Malbec Columbia Valley $30 89 points
This appealing wine offers notes of fresh blue plums, huckleberry, tire rubber and woodspice. The flavors show good purity, intensity and length – a very pretty example of the variety.

Gård 2013 Lawrence Vineyard Pinot Gris Columbia Valley $14 88 points
This aromatic wine offers notes of melon, red apple skin and tropical notes. It drinks a hair off dry with a broad, rich feel to the fruit flavors.

Gård 2013 Grand Klasse Pinot Gris Lawrence Vineyards Pinot Gris Columbia Valley $22 85 points
Though aged in neutral French oak, the wood shows fairly prominently with notes of vanilla and woodspice out in front of the lees and almond. The flavors are off-dry with the variety seeming to get lost between the staves.

Gård 2012 Don Isidoro Red Blend Red Blend Columbia Valley $22 88 points
This blend of 52% Syrah, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Merlot offers strong notes of green olive, ham hock and herbs. It’s loaded with mesquite flavors with slightly astringent tannins, narrowing toward the finish.

Gård 2012 Vaucluse Red Blend Red Blend Columbia Valley $22 88 points
This blend of Syrah (72%), Grenache (21%) and Viognier brings vibrant aromas of green olive, smoked meat and orange peel, with the notes not entirely melding. It’s tangy and flavorful with abundant mesquite notes on the finish.

Gård 2013 Freyja White Wine Rhône-style White Blend Columbia Valley $14 86 points
A blend of Viognier (81%) and Roussanne, this wine displays notes of overripe pear, flowers, quinine and stone fruit. It drinks dry with a broad feel to the lightly spritzy fruit flavors that don’t entirely knit together.

Gård 2013 Grand Klasse Riesling Lawrence Vineyards Riesling Columbia Valley $22 88 points
This is an aromatic wine with notes of lime, peach, white flowers and creamsicle. It’s off dry with the neutral oak aging providing a broad, creamy feel along with tart fruit flavors that linger.

Gård 2013 Lawrence Vineyards Roussanne Columbia Valley $14 84 points
This 100% varietal wine is lightly aromatic with notes of peach, almond and pumpkin. It’s cleanly made but the concentration isn’t all there with the flavors seeming dilute.

Genoa 2012 Danger Buoy Sangiovese Walla Walla Valley $19 88 points
This rare Walla Walla Valley designated Sangiovese offers notes of vanilla, coffee and cranberry. It brings a rich, textured mouthfeel full of sweet cherry and plum flavors backed by a light grip of tannins. It doesn’t seem varietally correct but it’s undeniably delicious.

Genoa 2013 Springline Super Tuscan-style White Wine White Blend Columbia Valley $19 87 points
This blend of 50% Viognier, 19% Chardonnay, 19% Sauvignon Blanc and 12% Pinot Gris offers notes of pear and flowers. It’s broad and creamy in feel with stone fruit flavors on the finish.

Golden Ridge 2010 Estate Red Red Wine Bordeaux-style Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $29 88 points
62% Cabernet Sauvignon and 38% Merlot, this wine offers reserved notes of vanilla, cherry, herbs and dill. The fruit flavors are elegantly styled, dry, focused and sweet with fine grained tannins.

Golden Ridge 2011 Hunters Blend Bordeaux-style Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $24 87 points
Equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot finished off with 5% Cabernet Franc, this cool vintage wine is light in color with notes of plum and cranberries with herb and floral accents. It’s light and lively with elegant, very pretty fruit flavors backed by mouthwatering acidity with a lingering finish.

Grace Lane 2013 Riesling Yakima Valley $11 84 points
This moderately aromatic wine offers notes of herbs, peach and soda water. It’s medium sweet with lightly spritzy fruit flavors that have an herbal tinge.

Hamilton 2010 Bona Vita Red Wine Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $28 87 points
Half Malbec with the balance Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, it’s the oak that is up front on this wine with notes of dill and vanilla out in front of plum and green herbs. The fruit flavors are plump and generous backed by vibrant acidity with barrel notes lingering on the finish.

Hamilton 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $30 88 points
Lighter in color than the typical Cabernet from the state, this wine brings appealing notes of coffee, dusty chocolate and dark plum. The extraction is dialed back giving a very elegant feel to the fruit flavors and tannins with vanilla lingering on the finish.

Hamilton 2010 Champoux Vineyard Malbec Horse Heaven Hills $60 91 points
This is an exceeding rare varietal offering coming from one of the state’s top Cabernet Sauvignon sites. It’s a Washington Malbec prototype with notes of herbs and brambly blue fruit along with barrel accents (22 months in 50% new French). The flavors and feel are pitch perfect with soft, rich plum notes that lead to a lengthy finish. Editor's Choice

Hamilton 2010 Malbec Columbia Valley $30 88 points
This wine doesn’t quite seem to have fully ripened with aromas that veer into the green competing with coffee, plum and woodspice. It’s light and soft but concentrated in flavor, making up for whatever aromatic deficiencies it might have.

Hamilton 2013 Rosé of Malbec Malbec Columbia Valley $18 87 points
This saignée-style wine is pale salmon in color, showing some bricking. It drinks dry with rounded notes of cherry and watermelon providing easy-drinking enjoyment.

Hawkins Cellars 2012 Caldera Red Rhône-style Red Blend Columbia Gorge $34 86 points
This blend of 47% Mourvedre, 27% Grenache and 26% Syrah offers notes of cherry, cranberry, pear and woodspice. The acids are tart and searing, seeming out of place.

Helix by Reininger 2012 Pomatia Red Blend Columbia Valley $21 84 points
Merlot (48%) takes the lead with no other variety making up more than 18% (Syrah) of the blend. It provides notes of bell pepper, dry chocolate, tire rubber and cherry. The feel is plush but with a sharp note running down the middle that distracts.

Henry Earl 2013 Riesling Wahluke Slope $20 85 points
This wine offers notes of peach, honeysuckle and lime leaf. It’s sweet and lightly spritzy in feel with lavender flavors on the finish.

Idilico 2012 Garnacha Yakima Valley $22 91 points
A blend of Elerding and Upland vineyards, this intriguing wine offers reserved notes of herbs, ash, cherry, mineral and flowers. It’s soft and sumptuous in feel, rich with sweet fruit flavors and a finish that glides.

Idilico 2012 Monastrell Yakima Valley $22 90 points
Hailing from Upland Vineyard and aged in neutral French oak, this wine offers aromas of nori, cherry and tire rubber. It’s supple and lithe in feel with explosive, concentrated umami flavors that shimmer with intensity with olive notes on the finish. The aromas and flavors don’t entirely marry at present but the feel simply dazzles.

Kennedy Shah 2012 Reserve DuBrul Vineyard Riesling Yakima Valley $25 88 points
This is an aromatic offering with notes of green apple, tangerine and flowers. It drinks dry with stone fruit and citrus flavors that have a fleshy feel.

Kerloo 2012 Upland Vineyard Grenache Snipes Mountain $40 90 points
Fermented with 35% stems and aged in neutral French oak, this 100% varietal wine brings equal parts hedonistic and intellectual enjoyment. Lighter in color, it offers intriguing notes of flowers, mineral, dried herbs and red and blue fruit. The elegantly styled, creamy flavors bring notes of smoke, mineral with the sultry feel bringing much of the appeal.

Kerloo 2012 Stone Tree Malbec Wahluke Slope $40 92 points
Deep purple in color, this wine offers notes of plum and high toned herbs with nary a barrel note in sight. The flavors are restrained, pure and fresh with tart, mouthwatering acidity, good depth and more tannic heft than this variety often displays. Best after 2016.

Kerloo 2012 Les Collines Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $40 91 points
This wine is aromatically brooding with notes of dry chocolate, violets, brown stems, herbs, black pepper and smoked meat. It’s restrained in style with fresh, pure, tart blue fruit flavors and a light squeeze of tannins that need some additional time in bottle to fully settle in. Have it at the dinner table to see it at its best.

Kerloo 2012 Syrah Walla Walla Valley $40 91 points
A blend of Va Piano (53%) and Blue Mountain vineyards with 2% Les Collines Viognier added to the mix, this wine offers perfumed notes of green olive, lavender, pepper and smoked meat. It’s restrained in style with meaty flavors and tart, mouthwatering acids that bring it home.

Latta 2011 Upland Vineyard Grenache Snipes Mountain $45 93 points
Light in color, this 100% varietal wine – macerated with 50% stems and 50% whole berries before being aged in 500L neutral French oak puncheons – is perfumed with notes of dark raspberries, cherry Jolly Rancher, herbs, lavender, potpourri and mineral. It offers an outrageously supple yet rich, supremely elegant mouthfeel that dazzles.

Latta 2011 Northridge Vineyard Malbec Wahluke Slope $55 92 points
Fermented with native yeast with a nearly 40 day maceration, this deep purple colored wine offers a complex, compelling assortment of aromas including mulberry, lavender, dried herbs, plum and incense. Over time it ramps up in intensity with rich, flavorful yet still deft dark blue fruit flavors, showing a lot of freshness and vibrancy with mouthwatering acids that captivate the senses.

Mark Ryan 2012 Numbskull BDX Bordeaux-style Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $38 89 points
This blend of Merlot (69%), Cabernet Sauvignon (28%) and Petit Verdot brings appealing notes of dark roasted coffee along with red and black fruit with barrel accents. There are abundant vanilla and coffee flavors with grippy tannins that need more time in the bottle to settle in.

Mark Ryan 2012 Numbskull GSM G-S-M Walla Walla Valley $35 91 points
A blend of Syrah (58%), Grenache (26%) and Mourvèdre, this initially aromatically brooding wine brings notes of mineral, barrel spice, bittersweet chocolate and an assortment of high toned red and black fruit. It’s velvety and voluptuous in feel with a lingering finish.

Mark Ryan 2012 The Dissident Red Wine Red Blend Columbia Valley $35 88 points
A blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 12% Malbec, 11% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot all coming from top Red Mountain vineyards, this wine shows notes of dried herbs, bay leaf, red fruit and dark plum. Considering the fruit sources, it’s surprisingly reserved in its styling, very easy drinking with a light squeeze of tannins and a lingering finish.

Mark Ryan 2012 Lost Soul Syrah Red Willow Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $48 92 points
Coming from one of Washington’s top Syrah vineyards, this wine offers an intriguing assortment of dark coffee, peppery spices, milk chocolate and dried flowers. It’s rich and flavorful with notes of bittersweet chocolate and smoked meat leading to a warm finish.

Mark Ryan 2013 Viognier Columbia Valley $32 88 points
Coming from a blend of Ciel du Cheval, Red Willow and Olsen vineyards, this appealing wine brings notes of pear, lemon twist and mineral. It’s restrained in feel with notes of stone fruit and barrel spices.

Mercer 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $28 88 points
This wine offers aromas of dried herbs, blueberry, dill and vanilla. The palate brings rich blue fruit and cocoa flavors backed by firm, slightly dry tannins.

Mercer 2012 Merlot Columbia Valley $26 90 points
This wine offers notes of herbs, vanilla, pencil shavings and red fruit with some of the aromas seeming to tussle a bit. The flavors are sweet, rich and full bodied with cinnamon and raspberry notes backed by a lightly chalky feel leading to a sweet finish. It doesn’t seem entirely varietal but it’s hard to argue with the result.

Mercer 2012 Sharp Sisters Red Blend Columbia Valley $26 87 points
A kitchen sink blend of nine different varieties with Merlot (40%) and Syrah (25%) taking the lead, this wine brings an assortment of herbs, blue fruit and woodspice along with light volatile notes. It’s full bodied and sweet with abundant cherry flavors backed by grainy tannins.

Nodland Cellars 2010 Private Blend Red Wine Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $28 88 points
This blend of six Bordeaux varieties is a little funky out of the gate with notes of woodspice, mushroom, cayenne, dry chocolate and cherry. The palate has mouthwatering cherry flavors that bring along some warmth on the finish.

Nodland Cellars 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $38 91 points
A blend of Seven Hills and Pepper Bridge Vineyard, this full bore Cabernet Sauvignon brings notes of mocha, cherry, black licorice, barrel spices and fresh herbs. It’s full bodied with coffee and bittersweet chocolate flavors with a fine sense of concentration, a backing of grainy tannins and a warm finish.

Nodland Cellars 2011 Avant Garde Carmenère Walla Walla Valley $24 90 points
A signature variety for this winery, this wine offer notes of cocoa, cayenne pepper, dry chocolate and spice. It’s high octane, silky soft in feel with good richness and concentration. Those looking for a Washington prototype of this variety, look no further.

Nodland Cellars 2010 Bad Attitude Red Wine Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $15 88 points
This blend offers notes of herbs, woodspice, black licorice and cherry. It’s full of sweet black fruit flavors with the alcohol riding high and providing some distraction.

Northstar 2011 Merlot Columbia Valley $45 88 points
This cool vintage wine offers restrained notes of toast, dried herbs, vanilla, mocha and blueberry. It’s lighter in style than recent vintages with tart fruit flavors backed by grainy tannins.

Northstar 2011 Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $50 87 points
Predominantly Merlot (83%) along with Cabernet Sauvignon (9%) and Syrah (2%) all coming from Anna Marie Vineyard along with Cabernet Franc from Minnick Hills and Petit Verdot from StoneTree Vineyard, this wine offers pleasing notes of blueberry, milk chocolate and high toned herbs. It’s elegantly styled with light blue fruit flavors, at times seeming a bit faint.

Northwest Cellars 2012 Cordon Grove Vineyard Merlot Columbia Valley $24 84 points
Whatever good things are going on with this wine – and there are some with abundant red fruit and a soft feel – the wood overpowers them with strong aromas and flavors of vanilla, dill and coconut along with a bitter note that distracts.

Northwest Cellars 2011 Art Den Hoed Vineyard Petite Sirah Yakima Valley $32 88 points
This wine is 100% varietal and displays light and appealing notes of herbs, freshly tilled soil, purple fruit and violets along with high toned barrel spices. It’s full bodied yet remains elegant with abundant cherry flavors accented by peppery spices backed by a firm squeeze of tannins and tart acids – a high quality example of the variety. It needs food to truly shine.

Northwest Cellars 2011 Intrigue Red Blend Columbia Valley $28 86 points
This wine is 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Syrah, 19% Malbec and 14% Carmenere. It shows an unusual mix of cayenne, carob, pencil lead and dried herb aromas. The palate has sweet fruit flavors backed by dry, blocky tannins, falling a bit flat on the finish.

Northwest Cellars 2012 Serenade Red Blend Columbia Valley $19 82 points
This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (40%), Merlot (35%), Syrah (22%) and Carmenere. It offers aromas of green tea, sawdust, blueberry and barnyard. The flavors are tangy and elegant in style.

Northwest Cellars 2011 Madrigal Rhône-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $24 88 points
Quite light in color, this blend of Mourvedre (62%), Grenache (24%) and Syrah offers pleasingly pure notes of herbs, white pepper, pine needles and cranberry. It’s quite elegantly styled with a pillowy-soft feel and a sense of purity that brings a lot of appeal. Put it on the dinner table to see it truly shine.

Northwest Cellars 2010 Coyote Canyon Vineyard Syrah Horse Heaven Hills $32 88 points
This 100% varietal wine offers lightly volatile notes of vanilla, coconut, pepper and dried cherries. The fruit flavors show good concentration along with a beguiling feel and a finish that lingers. The wood takes center stage but it plays its part well.

Original House Wine 2012 Riesling Columbia Valley $11 87 points
This aromatic wine offers notes of jasmine, quinine, flowers and peach. It drinks medium sweet with lightly spritzy stone fruit flavors. Best Buy

OS Winery 2012 BSH Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $30 91 points
100% varietal and aged in just one third new French oak, the focus of this wine is clearly on the fruit with notes of cranberries, raspberries and green herbs along with cinnamon accents. It’s soft and elegant in feel with good concentration to the fruit flavors which are backed by tart acids and a light squeeze of tannins. Might be too green for some.

OS Winery 2012 Sonas Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley $25 90 points
Blended with 21% Merlot and aged in just 20% new French oak, this appealing wine offers notes of red currant, black cherry and fresh green herbs. It’s lighter in style but with good concentration and depth to the cherry and herb flavors which are backed by firm tannins and mouthwatering acids. May run a bit too herbal for some tastes but acid hounds will swoon.

OS Winery 2012 Sonas Merlot Yakima Valley $25 85 points
This wine offers notes of green, savory herbs along with cherry and currant. It’s elegant in style, velvety in feel with good concentration to the fruit flavors with barrel notes (20% new French) on the lingering finish. The variety gets lost with the herbal notes taking over but it still offers plenty of enjoyment.

Ott & Murphy 2010 Intrepide Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $36 87 points
Though just five years old this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Merlot already seems quite tired with notes of leather, dried red fruit and mushroom taking the lead. It has a pleasing, silky feel but the tart fruit flavors already seem to be past their prime, drinking like a considerably older wine.

Ott & Murphy 2010 L'Entente Rhône-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $36 91 points
This blend of Syrah, Petite Sirah, Mourvedre and Viognier offers intriguing aromas of blackberry and plum along with woodspice accents. It’s pleasingly fresh and pure with rich, focused fruit flavors that linger.

Owen Roe 2012 Red Wine Bordeaux-style Red Blend Yakima Valley $28 92 points
This blend of Merlot (36%), Cabernet Franc (35%), Cabernet Sauvignon (27%) and Malbec is somewhat light in color with notes of dried herbs, black currant, flowers and barrel spices. The blackberry and cherry flavors are concentrated, sweet, rich and focused without carrying excess alcoholic weight with firm tannins providing the frame. Editor's Choice

Owen Roe 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley $42 91 points
A blend of Red Willow, Mercer, DuBrul, Outlook and Elerding vineyards and aged in just 35% new French oak, this wine is still quite locked up with notes of herbs, plum, high toned barrel spices and pencil lead. It brings soft, lively blue fruit flavors with the tannins combed to a fine sheen.

Owen Roe 2013 Abbot's Table Red Blend Columbia Valley $24 90 points
A blend of Zinfandel (41%), Sangiovese (34%), Lemberger (9%), Malbec (11%) and Merlot, this appealing wine brings notes of plum, currant and red fruit. It’s supple in feel with cranberry and raspberry flavors backed by tart acidity.

Owen Roe 2013 Sinister Hand Red Blend Columbia Valley $24 89 points
This lightly colored wine – a blend of 64% Grenache, 16% Syrah, 12% Mourvedre and Cinsault - offers generous notes of candied raspberries, cranberries, coffee, plum and vanilla. It’s soft and supple in feel with Craisin and coffee flavors that linger on the finish.

Owen Roe 2012 Chapel Block Red Willow Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $55 93 points
Hailing from the vineyard with the state’s first Syrah plantings, this is an aromatically expressive wine with notes of dry chocolate, dates and mineral. It’s full bodied, sweet and rich with dense layers of fruit flavors juxtaposed by a velvety soft mouthfeel. Editor's Choice

Owen Roe 2013 Ex Umbris Syrah Columbia Valley $28 91 points
This 100% varietal wine offers generous notes of fig, chocolate and smoke. It’s restrained yet rich, supple and layered with boysenberry and chocolate flavors that linger.

Passing Time 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $75 93 points
This inaugural release from former NFL quarterbacks Dan Marino and Damon Huard is a blend of 86% Discovery Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Klipsun Merlot and 5% Champoux Cabernet Franc. It’s aromatically brooding at kickoff with notes of dark coffee, dusty earth and cherry. The soft, smooth cherry and coffee flavors will only benefit from additional time in the bottle as this wine is more about elegance of expression than sheer power. Give it ten to fifteen years to see it at its best; it has the stuffing to get there. Cellar Selection

Pastoral 2013 The Woodlark Dineen Vineyard Riesling Yakima Valley $11 88 points
A first release from this new winery from long-time winemaker Rob Owen, it brings an appealing aroma profile of lime, slate and white peach. It drinks off dry (20g/L residual sugar) with abundant stone fruit flavors that show good depth and intensity. Best Buy

Patterson 2011 BDX Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $34 90 points
This blend of 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc, 16% Malbec and 13% Petit Verdot offers notes of herbs, roasted coffee bean, cherry and high toned flowers. The flavors are rich yet restrained with a good sense of tannic structure that should benefit from some additional time in the cellar.

Patterson 2012 Carmenère Walla Walla Valley $40 88 points
A first varietal offering from this winery, this wine offers notes of green herbs, bell pepper and wood spices. It’s satiny in feel with plum flavors with the oak giving some chalkiness to the tannins.

Patterson 2013 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $25 88 points
Coming from Wautoma Winds and SageCliffe vineyards, this wine offers notes of burnt toast, stone fruit and sweet corn. It’s broad and lightly creamy in feel with abundant apple and stone fruit flavors.

Patterson 2012 Merlot Columbia Valley $32 88 points
This wine offers notes of red and blue fruit along with butterscotch and wood spice. The fruit flavors are sweet and rich with abundant woodspice flavors and chewy tannins.

Patterson NV Due Anni Red Blend Columbia Valley $18 86 points
Mostly Malbec (34%) and Petit Verdot (32%), this non-vintage blend offers up front oak notes of vanilla and dill followed by cherry cola and green herbs with a whiff of volatility followed by sweet flavors and grippy tannins.

Patterson 2013 Late Harvest Roussanne Columbia Valley $22 92 points
Blended with 15% Viognier and 10% 10% Semillon and aged in 50% new French oak, this brightly aromatic wine offers notes of brown sugar, dried pineapple and papaya. At a whopping 245 g/L residual sugar, it’s intensely sweet and rich with a honeyed, viscous feel.

Patterson 2012 Syrah Columbia Valley $40 86 points
This wine from Klipsun and Alder Ridge vineyards – aged in 100% new French oak - offers notes of coffee, herbs, jammy fruit and green wood. The flavors are full, plummy and sugary sweet backed by firm tannins and sharp edged acids.

Patterson 2012 Syrah Sirah Syrah-Petite Sirah Columbia Valley $32 88 points
This blend of 62% Syrah and 38% Petite Sirah brings notes of mocha, smoke and woodspice. It’s full bodied in feel with coffee flavors backed by astringent tannins that provide a bit of distraction.

Patterson 2012 Tempranillo Columbia Valley $30 89 points
This intriguing wine offers notes of green herbs, dill and cherry. It’s supple and flavorful with abundant cherry notes leading to a peppery finish.

Patterson 2013 Port Touriga Nacional Yakima Valley $40 87 points
The alcohol – 19% as labeled – shows prominently on the aromas of this 88% Touriga Nacional and 12% Sauzao single vineyard wine from Lonesome Springs Ranch Vineyard. The sweet chocolate and dark fruit flavors offer plenty of appeal.

Patterson 2013 Melange Blanc White Blend Columbia Valley $23 87 points
This blend of 41% Chardonnay, 26% Marsanne, 18% Roussanne and 15% Viognier shows notes of grilled sweet corn on the cob and Golden Delicious apple. It’s broad in feel but seems to only have one trick to show.

Patterson 2013 Fordbidden White White Blend Columbia Valley $18 85 points
A blend of six different varieties with Chardonnay (35%) and Marsanne (19%) taking the lead, this medium sweet wine offers notes of tangerine, sweet corn and crème fraîche, with some of the aromas and flavors seeming to tussle.

Pomum Cellars 2011 Shya Bordeaux-style Red Blend Yakima Valley $40 89 points
This is an intriguing blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot where no varieties makes up more than 28% of the blend. It offers notes of damp earth, gravel, black licorice, smoke, cedar and herbs. The raspberry and cherry flavors are lighter in style but concentrated, keeping the interest high.

Pomum Cellars 2011 Red Wine Red Blend Washington $22 85 points
This blend offers notes of cocoa, raspberries, green herbs and bell pepper. It’s medium bodied with green flavors taking the lead backed by lightly astringent tannins.

Pondera 2010 Consensio Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $36 90 points
This blend uses all five Bordeaux varieties with Cabernet Sauvignon taking the lead. It’s offers notes of cocoa, cherry, herbs and licorice. The feel is soft with elegant tannins and abundant cherry flavors, showing a fine sense of balance throughout.

Pondera 2011 SVS Red Wine Number One Conner Lee Vineyard Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $45 88 points
This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec is aromatically reserved with notes of green herbs, mineral and dusty chocolate. It’s elegant in style, filled with juicy cherry flavors.

Pondera 2011 Entwined Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $34 88 points
Lighter in color, Merlot (57%) takes the lead on this wine which shows notes of raspberries, cherries, herbs and woodspice. The fruit flavors are fresh and elegant in style with lightly chalky tannins.

Pondera 2010 Red Wine Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $34 92 points
This blend of fruit from Stillwater Creek, Conner Lee and The Benches vineyards delivers with notes of black cherry, nori, dried and fresh herbs, black olive, woodspice and espresso. It’s soft and supple in feel with good concentration and length backed by tart acids.

Pondera 2010 Cuvee Red Wine Red Blend Columbia Valley $19 91 points
Lighter in color, this Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant blend shows alluring notes of cherry meats, assorted herbs and bittersweet chocolate. It’s elegant in style with a velvety feel to the fruit flavors.

Random Wine 2012 Petit Verdot Columbia Valley $30 88 points
Aged 11 months in neutral French oak, this lightly aromatic wine offers notes of potting soil, flowers and cherry with a licorice accent. It’s full bodied and packs a wallop with a wall of firm, slightly dry tannins.

Reininger 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $45 88 points
This blend of Pepper Bridge and Seven Hills vineyards offers notes of baking spices, dry chocolate, woodspice, blue fruit and red cherries. There’s good richness to the cherry and chocolate flavors but the tannins bring a dry, astringent feel.

Reininger 2012 Syrah Walla Walla Valley $47 90 points
A mixture of Pepper Bridge and Seven Hills vineyards, this aromatic offering brings notes of orange peel and flowers along with assorted blue fruit. It shows good depth and concentration of flavors with a gritty feel to the tannins.

Rock View 2013 Riesling Columbia Valley $10 84 points
This is an aromatic wine with notes of flowers, candied red apple, jasmine and ale. It’s medium sweet with a lightly spritzy feel and ale notes throughout.

Sagelands 2013 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $10 84 points
The aromas on this wine are light with whiffs of apricot and pineapple. On the palate, the concentration of the stone and tropical fruit flavors are wanting but it still brings some appeal.

Sagelands 2012 Merlot Columbia Valley $10 84 points
This easy drinker offers notes of plum, tobacco, bell pepper and green herbs with a vanilla top note. It’s straightforward in style with clunky tannins - a wine that won’t make you look twice but brings value, though the variety is hard to find.

Sagelands 2012 Riesling Columbia Valley $8 84 points
This wine offers aromatic notes of jasmine, botrytis and tangerine. It drinks medium sweet with honeyed fruit flavors and a clipped finish. Best Buy

Script Cellars 2011 Exordium Weinbau Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Wahluke Slope $55 91 points
This 100% varietal wine from this new winery offers notes of vanilla, herbs, cocoa, cherry and woodspice. It has an elegant, palate-coating mouthfeel along with structured, dry tannins and tart acids.

Seven Hills 2012 Carmenère Walla Walla Valley $30 90 points
This 100% varietal wine is blend of Minnick Hills (66%) and Morrison vineyards. It shows an intriguing mix of dried herbs, poblano pepper, pink peppercorn and red fruit kissed by barrel accents and meaty notes. The acid is bright, the feel supple and the finish extended. Drink now.

Seven Hills 2012 Malbec Walla Walla Valley $30 92 points
This 100% varietal wine hails from McClellan Estate and Minnick Hills vineyards and shows notes of plum, licorice and fresh herbs along with a barrel spices that include chocolate and clove. It’s soft and supple in feel, showing impressive flavor intensity while still retaining deftness of expression. Impressive stuff. Editor's Choice

Seven Hills 2012 McClellan Estate Vineyard Petit Verdot Walla Walla Valley $35 91 points
Coming from 2003 plantings that are truly just stretching their legs, this is 100% varietal wine offers brooding notes of coffee, fig and barrel spices (40% new French). It’s dense in texture with mouthwatering acids and expertly managed tannins with espresso flavors on the finish – a tribute to the variety.

Sharecropper's 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Washington $15 85 points
This glass pour-style offering brings notes of blueberry, herbs, olive and tire rubber. The flavors are lighter in style with a hint of sweetness, trailing toward the finish.

Shooting Star 2013 Aligoté Yakima Valley $13 87 points
Hailing from 1970s plantings, this wine is directly appealing with aromas of corn silk, candy corn, caramel and spice. The palate is sleek in style with plump peach flavors. Try it with crab.

Shooting Star 2012 Blue Franc Blaufränkisch Washington $13 87 points
This is a directly appealing wine with notes of cranberry, cherry and orange peel along with a kiss of vanilla. It’s tart and fresh in style with puckering fruit flavors – perfect for the dinner table.

Sixto 2012 Roza Hills Chardonnay Washington $55 93 points
A pale golden color, this impressive wine offers intoxicating notes of candy corn, lemon curd, spice and stone fruit along with light toast accents (30% new French). It’s rich, textured and full of intense, layered fruit and mineral flavors that carry through the long finish - an absolute dazzler. Editor's Choice

Sixto 2012 Moxee Chardonnay Washington $55 93 points
This directly appealing wine brings notes of the underside of a pineapple, Chamomile, talc, wet stone and apricot, showing a fine mixture of delicacy and nuance. It’s creamy in feel with rich, concentrated fruit flavors and a long, detailed finish. Exquisite stuff.

Sixto 2012 Frenchman Hills Chardonnay Washington $55 92 points
This wine is more aromatically reserved than its littermates from this vintage with notes of spice, padded butter and light tropical fruit. It’s full bodied, bringing a real sense of weight and viscosity without ever seeming overburdened.

Sixto 2012 Uncovered Chardonnay Washington $35 92 points
A blend of fruit sources used for the winery’s three single vineyard wines, this wine saw no new oak and is light golden in color with reserved notes of mineral, almond, pineapple and lees. Full bodied, rich and layered with a creamy feel, it’s undeniably appealing now but should have a long life ahead of it. Editor's Choice

Snoqualmie 2013 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $10 86 points
This appealing, easy drinker offers notes of vanilla and pear. It’s ripe and sweet, fleshy in feel with flavors that lean toward the tropical. Best Buy

Snoqualmie 2013 Riesling Columbia Valley $8 87 points
With 5% Viognier giving it an extra boost, this is a richly aromatic wine with notes of apricot and dried mango. It drinks quite sweet with abundant stone fruit flavors. Enjoy as an apéritif or digestif. Best Buy

Snoqualmie 2012 Syrah Columbia Valley $8 85 points
This is an aromatically expressive wine with notes of cranberry and milk chocolate. It’s full of fruit and barrel flavors with a lightly creamy feel. Best Buy

Sol Stone 2012 Weinbau Grenache Wahluke Slope $32 87 points
The aromas on this wine are quite light with notes of wood, herbs and red fruit. This contrasts with the sweet, rich fruit flavors with a gentle grip of tannins.

Songbird 2013 Lyrical Red Red Blend Red Blend Columbia Valley $9 84 points
60% Syrah and 40% Merlot, this wine brings notes of sugared blue fruit, herbs and tire rubber. The fruit flavors are soft in feel but the chalky, dry tannins distract.

Sparkman 2012 Stella Mae Red Wine Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $48 93 points
This wine is 67% Cabernet Sauvignon with the rest equal parts Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. It’s aromatic and fruit forward with notes of red plum, herbs, milk chocolate and floral notes. The fruit flavors are rich and focused, showing great depth and intensity with a palate coating feel. Editor's Choice

Sparkman 2012 Ruby Leigh Red Wine Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $48 92 points
This blend of Merlot (56%), Cabernet Sauvignon (20%), Cabernet Franc (20%) and Malbec comes principally from Red Mountain vineyards (Klipsun, Kiona and Obelisco) along with a dash of Dionysus. It’s somewhat light in color and is aromatic with notes of vanilla, red and black fruit and bittersweet chocolate. The fruit flavors are creamy and hedonistic in style but not over the top and are backed by velvety soft tannins. Dee-licious! Editor's Choice

Sparkman 2012 Evermore Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $100 93 points
This 100% varietal wine all comes from 1972 plantings at Dionysus Vineyard. Out of the gate it’s aromatically reserved with notes of blackberry and cherry along with light barrel accents, incense and an herbal top note. The rich fruit flavors are layered with a dazzlingly plush, palate coating feel. It brings a good sense of acid and tannic structure, with the fruit intensity ramping up the longer it is open. Best from 2019 to 2027. Cellar Selection

Sparkman 2012 Rainmaker Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley $62 88 points
This is a brooding wine with notes of bittersweet chocolate and coffee along with an herbal top note that becomes more prominent over time. The palate is broad in feel with abundant cherry and chocolate flavors that linger.

Sparkman 2012 Underworld Petit Verdot Yakima Valley $48 92 points
100% varietal with all of the fruit coming from Olsen Vineyard, this wine is a tribute to the variety with notes of cocoa, potting soil, dark flowers, cherry and woodspice. The palate shows layers of fruit flavors with firm yet still exceptionally well integrated tannins, mouthwatering acids, and an exquisite sense of balance. It doesn’t get much better for this variety. Editor's Choice

Stina's 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Wahluke Slope $65 83 points
This is a lightly volatile wine that shows notes of cherry cola, dried fruit and woodspice. It doesn’t drink entirely dry with the alcohol riding high on the medicine cabinet flavors.

Stina's 2012 Petit Verdot Wahluke Slope $45 85 points
This wine offers varietal notes of potting soil, flowers and dark cherry along with licorice and pickling spices. The fruit flavors seem sweet, almost as if carrying some residual sugar with some mesquite flavors that distract.

Syncline 2013 McKinley Springs Cinsault Horse Heaven Hills $35 91 points
This lightly colored, 100% varietal wine offers light notes of Bazooka bubble gum, red fruit, cream and plum. The pillowy soft, sumptuous mouthfeel is truly the star of the show displaying an absolutely dazzling feel that leads to an elegant, lingering plum filled finish.

Syncline 2013 McKinley Springs Counoise Horse Heaven Hills $35 89 points
This rare, single varietal, single vineyard wine is lightly colored and displays notes of strawberry Jolly Rancher and plum. It’s elegant in style, almost reminiscent of a Pinot Noir without a trace of oak influence.

Syncline 2013 Boushey Vineyard Grenache Blanc Yakima Valley $25 87 points
The aromas on this 100% varietal wine are faint with notes of star fruit and wet stone. It’s broad and fleshy in feel but with light concentration to the Meyer lemon flavors. Pair with beurre blanc prepared seafood.

Syncline 2012 Mourvèdre Columbia Valley $30 88 points
A blend of Heart of the Hill on Red Mountain (67%) and Alder Ridge on the Horse Heaven Hills, the aromas on this wine show uneasy, lightly volatile notes of cherry cola, black licorice, herbs and medicine cabinet. In contrast, the flavors are broad and rich, showing good concentration that leads to a lightly peppery finish.

Syncline 2013 Boushey Vineyard Picpoul Yakima Valley $20 88 points
100% varietal this stainless steel fermented and aged wine displays notes of kumquat, talc and wet stone. The flavor concentration is light with the taught acidity the focus. It needs food to stand it up. Pair it with shellfish to see it shine.

Syncline 2013 Subduction Red Rhône-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $20 92 points
This blend of Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan, Counoise, Grenache and Cinsault brings immediate appeal with aromatic notes of plum, candied raspberry and garrigue with no oak influence anywhere in sight. It’s fruit laden, focused and supple with a feel that dazzles the senses and pure fruit flavors that just won’t quit. Editor's Choice

Syncline 2012 Cuvee Elena Rhône-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $40 91 points
Equal parts Mourvedre and Grenache finished off with 10% Syrah, this wine is ripe in style with aromas of dried herbs, coffee and candied red fruit. It’s rich and layered with abundant cherry flavors that lead to a light squeeze of tannins that hold on through the fruit filled finish.

Syncline 2012 McKinley Springs Syrah Horse Heaven Hills $30 91 points
Coming from 12-year old plantings that are just starting to stretch their legs, this wine shows brooding notes of blueberry, rhubarb, herbs and espresso. The flavors show intensity and restraint with slightly gritty tannins.

Syncline 2012 Estate Grown Syrah Columbia Gorge $60 87 points
Coming from Steep Creek Ranch next to the winery facility and Nelson Vineyard on the shores of the Columbia River, this biodynamically farmed wine shows a lot of intrigue. The pure notes of herbs, mulberry and mineral are enjoyable yet elusive. It’s tacky in feel with elegant yet rich fruit flavors.

Tamarack Cellars 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $36 89 points
Blended with 8% Cabernet Franc and 6% Merlot, this wine offers notes of blackberry seed, plum, cinnamon stick and anise. It has abundant blue fruit flavors that show good depth and intensity backed by tannins with a lightly chalky feel.

Tamarack Cellars 2012 Merlot Columbia Valley $28 88 points
This wine shows a surprisingly green tinge that vies with tobacco, raspberry and woodspice for attention. It’s full in feel with good concentration of flavors but ultimately the greenness provides distraction.

Thurston Wolfe 2010 The Geologist Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $50 90 points
This wine is a blend of Upland Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Double Canyon Petit Verdot (38%) and McKinley Springs Malbec. It’s aromatically reserved with notes of fresh and dried herbs, green pepper, vanilla, cocoa and dark cherry. The dark fruit flavors show a very pretty combination of richness and restraint.

Thurston Wolfe 2012 The Teacher Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $25 88 points
Hailing from Destiny Ridge, Double Canyon and McKinley Spring vineyards, this wine is lighter in color and shows reserved notes of vanilla, chocolate, woodspice and red cherry. It’s reserved in style with coffee flavors and soft, plump tannins.

Thurston Wolfe 2012 McKinley Springs Vineyard Malbec Horse Heaven Hills $30 87 points
This wine shows a mixture of fruit and barrel notes with vanilla, coffee bean and milk chocolate playing off plum and cherry. It’s soft and plush in feel, trailing toward the finish.

Thurston Wolfe 2011 Reserve Zephyr Ridge Vineyard Petite Sirah Horse Heaven Hills $30 86 points
The wood takes center stage on this wine with notes of char, dark roasted coffee, chocolate and vanilla followed by sweet fruit and oak flavors backed by firm, dry tannins.

Thurston Wolfe 2012 The Spaniard Premium Red Wine Red Blend Columbia Valley $20 89 points
This blend of Grenache (63%), Tempranillo (25%) and Syrah offers barrel notes of fresh brewed coffee, woodspice and vanilla bean along with red and blue fruit. It’s silky soft with a creamy feel backed by grainy tannins.

Thurston Wolfe 2012 D.R. Wolfe's Family Red Red Wine Red Blend Horse Heaven Hills $16 85 points
The barrel aromas of vanilla and coconut are far out front of the fruit on this blend of Petite Sirah (40%), Zinfandel (33%), Lemberger (20%) and Syrah. It’s full bodied with the wood overwhelming any sense of varietal flavors.

Thurston Wolfe 2012 Touriga Nacional Yakima Valley $20 85 points
A first release of this wine, the oak unfortunately is almost completely overwhelming with the notes of vanilla, green wood, mocha and mint overpowering almost any sense of varietal aroma and flavor.

Thurston Wolfe 2012 Howling Wolfe Reserve Zinfandel Horse Heaven Hills $30 89 points
Lighter in color, this wine displays aromas of vanilla, cocoa, tobacco leaf, spice and red fruit. On the palate, it shows a pleasing mixture of fruit and barrel flavors.

Thurston Wolfe 2012 Howling Wolfe Zinfandel Horse Heaven Hills $20 87 points
With all of the fruit hailing from Zephyr Ridge Vineyard, this wine is lighter in color with notes of ash, cigar box, vanilla, coffee and red fruit. It’s soft in feel, flavorful yet still quite deft with good acidity backing it all up, finishing warm.

Trinity Vineyards 2012 Grenache Washington $28 87 points
The inaugural vintage of this wine offers notes of caramel, herbs and raspberry. The flavors are full, chocolaty and sweet backed by dry tannins.

Trinity Vineyards 2012 Sangiovese Washington $28 84 points
This 100% varietal wine hails from Coyote Canyon in the Horse Heaven Hills. Despite being aged in only half new French oak, the wood takes over with notes of char, coffee grounds and woodspice out in front of the silky smooth cranberry flavors. It brings some appeal but the variety gets lost.

Trinity Vineyards 2013 Viognier Washington $17 88 points
Sourced from Coyote Canyon in the Horse Heaven Hills, this is an aromatic wine with notes of honeysuckle and peach along with a light vanilla accent. It’s full bodied, somewhat viscous in feel with abundant apricot flavors.

Tsillan 2012 Estate Barbera Lake Chelan $28 87 points
This lightly aromatic wine offers notes of potpourri and raspberries. It’s elegant in style, clean and fresh in feel with tart acidity and a pleasing sense of purity to the apple and raspberry flavors.

Tsillan 2012 Estate Malbec Lake Chelan $32 87 points
The oak – 85% new French – plays a large role in this show with aromas of cocoa, vanilla and woodspice playing off plum and red fruit. It’s sleek and sultry in feel with the wood getting out in front of the tart fruit flavors.

Tsillan 2012 Estate Sinistra Red Blend Lake Chelan $28 86 points
This blend of Barbera (40%), Sangiovese (40%), Merlot (12%) and Syrah is light in color and offers notes of coffee, herbs, pencil eraser, apple and plum. It’s quite light in style but shows pleasing nuances.

Tsillan 2012 Estate Bellissima Rossa Red Blend Lake Chelan $30 86 points
This blend of Syrah (46%), Malbec (27%), Merlot (20%) and Cabernet Franc displays notes of dried and fresh herbs, cherry, woodspice and coffee. It’s supple in feel backed by tart acidity and somewhat dry tannins.

Tsillan 2012 Estate Sangiovese Lake Chelan $28 86 points
Clocking in at a lower alcohol level than most white wines in the state let alone reds, the aromas of this wine are light with raspberry, cherry and woodspice. It’s light bodied, soft and airy in feel, not fully standing up on its own but perfectly suited for the dinner table.

Tsillan 2012 Estate Reserve Syrah Lake Chelan $35 86 points
Aged in a mixture of new French (80%) and American oak, it’s the barrel notes that takes the lead with woodspice followed by herbs, brown stems, blue fruit and cinnamon. It shows good concentration with quite tart acids and dry, chalky tannins.

Tsillan 2012 Estate Syrah Lake Chelan $30 86 points
This wine offers notes of herbs, brown stems and blue fruit. It’s medium bodied with tart acids and chalky, astringent tannins.

Two Mountain 2012 Copeland Vineayard Cabernet Franc Yakima Valley $35 88 points
Somewhat light in color, this wine offers notes of cranberry, savory herbs, flowers and abundant woodspices. The lip smacking cranberry and cherry flavors are light and elegant but sumptuous in style and linger on the finish. Best at the dinner table.

Two Mountain 2010 Brothers Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Copeland Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley $74 87 points
Barrel tones of coconut and woodspice take the lead on this wine in front of cranberry and blackberry, with the fruit seeming a bit dried out. It’s reserved in style but still fully flavored with sour cherries accented by licorice.

Two Mountain 2012 Copeland Vineayard Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley $28 87 points
The aromas on this wine are dominated by oak with notes of vanilla, cocoa and woodspice along with cranberries, rose hips, herbs and raspberries. The palate is elegant in style with herb and cherry flavors that lead to a tart, cranberry-filled finish.

Two Mountain 2013 Copeland Vineayard Chardonnay Yakima Valley $21 83 points
This aromatically unusual wine offers notes of lees, peach and latex paint. The palate has sweet peach flavors and a creamy feel but the concentration is wanting.

Two Mountain 2011 Brothers Reserve Chardonnay Copeland Vineyard Chardonnay Rattlesnake Hills $55 82 points
Barrel notes of burnt popcorn and char overtake any sense of varietal aromas on this wine. The flavors seem quite light accented by a lightly creamy feel.

Two Mountain 2012 Copeland Vineayard Merlot Yakima Valley $22 86 points
This blend of 82% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon is lighter in color with notes of bittersweet chocolate, fresh herbs, green pepper and raspberries, emphasizing on the savory. It’s tart, lighter in style and soft in feel, bringing plenty of appeal but the greenness takes over and the varietal gets lost.

Two Mountain 2012 Copeland Vineayard Syrah Yakima Valley $25 90 points
You’d swear this 100% varietal wine had some Viognier in it but the orange peel aromas and flavors are just a hallmark of Yakima Valley fruit. There’s also abundant cranberry, mulberry, rose hip and savory notes. The supple feel with light meat accents is where this wine really shines however, showing a good sense of purity, texture and a lot of elegance. Those looking for big fruit, look elsewhere.

Two Ponds 2012 Merlot Columbia Valley $11 82 points
This wine offers a somewhat untoward combination of herbs, nori, tire rubber and blue fruit. The flavors are sharp edged backed by chalky tannins.

Two Vintners 2012 Legit Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $30 88 points
A new offering from this winery, this wine hails from top sites Dineen, StoneTree, Klipsun, Pepper Bridge, Discovery and Kiona vineyards. It displays strong aromas of burnt coffee, woodspice and cherry. The flavors are medium bodied with blocky tannins and mouthwatering acids.

Two Vintners 2012 Sal Mae's Discovery Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $55 91 points
A new offering from this winery, this wine brings aromatic notes of raspberry fruit leather, cherries, cedar and dried herbs. The palate is chock full of layered fresh and dried cranberry and cherry flavors with lively acidity and a captivating mouthfeel.

Two Vintners 2013 O.G. Extended Maceration Olsen Vineyard Gewürztraminer Yakima Valley $28 88 points
This orange-style wine, perhaps the only one of its kind currently being produced in the state, is brightly aromatic with notes of candied ginger, lychee and tangerine peel. It drinks dry with a lightly phenolic feel, needing a bit more concentration and acid to hold it all together but still bringing plenty of interest.

Two Vintners 2013 Boushey Vineyard Grenache Blanc Yakima Valley $25 87 points
This wine offers notes of grapefruit rind, lemon pith and mineral. It drinks a hair off dry with a medium bodied feel to the citrus flavors.

Two Vintners 2011 Merlot Columbia Valley $32 88 points
This is an aromatically reserved wine with notes of raspberries, mineral, cigar box and barrel spices. It’s full in feel with tart fruit flavors and grainy tannins, bringing some warmth along with it on the finish.

Two Vintners 2012 Lola Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $29 91 points
A blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon predominantly from Yellow Jacket and Pepper Bridge vineyards, this wine is directly appealing with notes of bittersweet chocolate, moist earth, orange peel, dried cranberry and barrel spices. It’s flavorful and supple in feel with well-framed acidity.

Two Vintners 2012 Some Days Are Stones Stoney Vine Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $40 92 points
Whereas many Syrahs from this vintage from the Rocks District show more fruit than usual, this wine is clearly rooted in the stones. It’s aromatically expressive with notes of black olive, crushed flowers, mineral, black pepper and an earthy funk. The flavors are silky soft in feel with a well-balanced mixture of fruit and savory notes that lead to a lingering finish.

Two Vintners 2012 Syrah Columbia Valley $21 91 points
Coming from five different Syrah vineyards across the Columbia Valley, this wine offers high quality and value. It brings notes of black olives, iron, an earthy funk, chocolate and floral notes. The coffee and earth flavors are rich while still showing exquisite restraint. Editor's Choice

Two Vintners 2012 Some Days Are Diamonds Syrah Horse Heaven Hills $40 88 points
100% Syrah, this wine brings notes of espresso, raw meat, flowers, chocolate and peppery spices. It’s reserved in style with tart acids.

Two Vintners 2012 StoneTree Vineyard Zinfandel Wahluke Slope $29 91 points
One has to admire a winery that labels its dry red wine at 17.2% alcohol. Few would dare and if they drank this wine even fewer would notice. It’s aromatic with notes of dried and fresh cranberries and raspberries. The palate is full bodied and rich with concentrated, pure fruit flavors.

Va Piano 2012 Ox Red Wine Red Blend Columbia Valley $30 90 points
A new addition to the winery’s lineup, this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (78%), Merlot (12%), Cabernet Franc (4%), Syrah (4%) and Petit Verdot offers notes of dark chocolate, coffee and cherry. The cherry meat flavors show both intensity and restraint backed by well integrated tannins.

Va Piano 2013 Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley $20 87 points
A first release of this wine, it offers light notes of red apple, herbs and tropical fruit. It’s medium bodied yet leaner in style with tart acids but the concentration doesn’t seem all there.

Va Piano 2012 Portteus Syrah Rattlesnake Hills $65 92 points
This is an aromatically brooding wine with notes of dark blue fruit, smoke, mineral and dried flowers. It’s restrained in style with persistent blue fruit flavors.

Va Piano 2012 Syrah Columbia Valley $40 92 points
This blend of Les Collines (60%), Lewis (20%) and Portteus vineyards, which saw one quarter new French oak, offers notes of blueberry and huckleberry along with herb and dark chocolate accents. It’s supple and soft in feel, deft but with depth to the fruit flavors.

Waterbrook 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $13 86 points
This wine offers notes of herbs, tire rubber and sweet plum. The fruit flavors are sweet and broad backed by grippy tannins, finishing a bit short but still bringing plenty of appeal.

Waterbrook 2012 Merlot Columbia Valley $14 87 points
Lighter in color and 100% varietal, this wine offers high toned notes of plum, cinnamon stick and licorice. The blue and red fruit flavors are broad in feel with a light squeeze on tannins.

Waters 2010 21 Grams Red Blend Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $125 93 points
This dazzling wine – 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec, and 1% Petit Verdot aged in 40% new French oak - offers notes of blackberry, black currant, olive and anise. It’s rich and flavorful yet understated with a dazzling, supple feel, showing a lot of richness and bright acidity with firm tannins providing the core and a long, lingering finish. Just a baby now, this wine should offer 15 or more years of drinking pleasure. Cellar Selection

Waters 2011 Interlude Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $28 90 points
This blend of Merlot (61%), Cabernet Sauvignon (14%), Malbec (14%) and Petit Verdot offers aromas of dried herbs, black olive, coffee and citrus speckled with barrel spices. It’s lighter in style with mouthwatering acids and a gentle squeeze of tannins on the herb filled finish. Enjoy it at the dinner table to see it shine.

Waters 2012 Old Stones Syrah Walla Walla Valley $50 93 points
This wine from the Rocks District is vibrantly aromatic with notes of smoked meat, flowers, citrus twist and blue fruit. It’s packed to the brim with soft, flavorful huckleberry and mineral notes that lead to a tart, long fruit-filled finish – supremely delicious stuff. Editor's Choice

Waters 2012 Loess Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $50 89 points
This wine is aromatically reserved with notes of sage and orange peel (4% viognier) with all of the aromas high toned. It’s tart and flavorful with red and blue fruit notes backed by light squeeze of tannins that needs some time to lessen their grip.

Waters 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Washington $50 93 points
This impressive 100% varietal wine comes from Cold Creek, Candy Mountain and Windrow vineyards. With the oak (40% new French) pleasantly restrained, it offers aromas of dried herbs, coffee, cherry and light barrel spices. The lithe black currant flavors are tightly focused and flavorful with taught acidity, showing exceptional length and balance. Best from 2018 to 2023.

Waters 2013 Prelude White Wine White Blend Washington $28 88 points
This blend of Alder Ridge Roussanne (68%) and Antoine Creek Viognier offers notes of pear, apricot and flowers. It’s elegant in style with a lightly viscous feel.

WildAire 2013 Oak Ridge Vineyard Gewürztraminer Columbia Gorge $19 89 points
This is a brightly aromatic wine with notes of lychee, white flowers and pear. It drinks off dry (10g/L residual sugar) with a rounded feel leading to lively spice flavors on the finish.

WildHaven 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $14 86 points
This wine offers notes of plummy blue fruit, mortared dried herbs and a kiss of vanilla. It drinks a hair off dry with abundant black currant flavors and dry, lightly astringent tannins.

Willow Crest 2013 Estate Grown Pinot Gris Pinot Gris Yakima Valley $14 84 points
This 100% varietal wine brings notes of pear, melon and ale. It drinks off dry with herb and apple flavors, needing more acidity and concentration to keep it all together.

Wilridge 2012 Estate Nebbiolo Naches Heights $30 87 points
This is an aromatically intriguing wine with notes of sour cherry, umami and fresh tobacco. The palate brings medium bodied cranberry and cherry flavors. It doesn’t bring the tannic structure that this variety is known for but there is still plenty to enjoy.

Wilridge 2012 Estate Red Dessert Wine Wilridge Vineyard Biodynamic Wine Red Blend Naches Heights $20 86 points
This blend of Tinto Cao (30%), Tempranillo (29%), Touriga (27%) and Souzao is aromatically quiet yet unctuous in feel with rich, sweet cherry and herb flavors.

Wilridge 2012 Estate Sangiovese Wildridge Vineyard Biodynamic Wine Sangiovese Naches Heights $30 85 points
This wine is light in color with notes of berry, herbs and wood. It’s airy in feel with tart cranberry juice flavors and a puckering finish.

Wilridge 2012 Estate Zweigelt Naches Heights $30 88 points
Somewhat light in color, this wine offers notes of red and blue fruit along with herb and barrel accents. The concentration is light with a soft feel to the fruit flavors that are backed by mouthwatering acids that draw out the finish and keep the interest high.

Wilridge 2012 Rachel Red Red Wine Red Blend Washington $20 86 points
This wine offers notes of smoke, tire rubber and red currant that show a hint of confection. The flavors are sweet and elegant in style with a dry squeeze of tannins.

Woodward Canyon 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $49 91 points
100% varietal hailing from the winery’s estate vineyard, this wine offers notes of toasty barrel spices, herbs, coffee, cherry and dark chocolate. It’s tightly wound with concentrated layers of dark fruit and cacao flavors, backed by firm tannins that need some time to stretch their legs. Best after 2020.

Woodward Canyon 2012 Erratic Rhône-style Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $66 88 points
The second vintage of this wine produced, this blend of Mourvedre (53%), Syrah (33%) and Grenache shows aromas of red and black fruit along with barrel spices. Drinking young still, it’s filled with blackberry flavors that show good texture and richness, with the wood seeming a bit out front, giving a lightly grainy feel and dominating the notes on the finish.

Woodward Canyon 2013 Chardonnay Washington $44 91 points
2013 was a challenging vintage for Washington whites but you would never notice on this blend of Celilo (70%) and Woodward Canyon Estate vineyards. It’s immediately appealing with notes of mineral, lemon curd, spice, toast and pear. The style is creamy yet reserved, showing good depth of flavors and pleasing subtleties with the finish lingering.

Zero One Vintners 2012 Sauce Red Wine Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $12 88 points
Mostly Merlot (79%) along with Cabernet Sauvignon (16%), Malbec (3%) and Petit Verdot, this aromatic wine offers notes of sugared plum, green herbs and red currant with the oak seeming dialed back. The cherry and blackberry flavors are sweet backed by plump, easy drinking tannins. Best Buy

Zero One Vintners 2010 The Wild Sky Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $36 88 points
This appealing wine offers notes of vanilla, café au lait, black currant, herbs and pepper. The black olive flavors are silky soft showing good concentration and length backed by dry tannins.

Zero One Vintners 2012 Golden Delicious Riesling Columbia Valley $14 89 points
This aromatic wine brings notes of white flowers, lime, dried apricot and botrytis. It drinks medium sweet with a lightly spritzy feel and good concentration and depth to the fruit flavors. Best Buy

Zero One Vintners 2013 Copper Lilly Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley $13 84 points
This wine offers notes of overripe pear, tin, pineapple, grass and mineral. The lightly tropical flavors seem dilute backed by green apple-like acidity.


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