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'16 Tour Guide

Reviewed Wineries

Wine Enthusiast reviews for July 2015

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Below are my Wine Enthusiast reviews for July 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. See previous Wine Enthusiast reviews re-published in this space here. Search Wine Enthusiast's on-line database here.

Enjoy!

:Nota Bene 2011 Heart of the Hill Mourvèdre Red Mountain $25 89 points
This 100% varietal wine displays aromas of vanilla, coconut and clove along with dark cherry and peppery spices. The palate has concentrated cherry and cranberry flavors along with abundant barrel accents. The oak (50% new American) gets a bit too far out front of the fruit but there’s still much to enjoy.

:Nota Bene 2011 Syrah Columbia Valley $25 89 points
A blend of fruit from Arianses, StoneTree and Heart of the Hill vineyards, this wine, which includes healthy dollops of Mourvèdre and Grenache, displays aromas of cocoa, tar, blackberry, vanilla and barrel spices. The flavors are medium-plus bodied backed by tart acids.

:Nota Bene 2011 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Syrah Red Mountain $40 88 points
This 100% varietal wine offers aromas of barrel spices, mint, dried fruit and barnyard. It’s full bodied but still shows good deftness.

:Nota Bene 2011 StoneTree Vineyard Syrah Wahluke Slope $37 88 points
This wine offers aromas of jammy red fruit, golden raisins and abundant barrel spices. It’s full bodied in style with rich cherry flavors, sharp-edged acids and barrel notes that run throughout and linger on the finish.

:Nota Bene 2013 Conner Lee Vineyard Chardonnay Columbia Valley $30 87 points
Starting quite reductive, this wine opens to reveal aromas of straw, toast, cream and spice. The flavors are lighter in style yet creamy in feel with lees notes running throughout.

:Nota Bene 2011 Una Note Red Blend Columbia Valley $30 86 points
This blend of Grenache (72%), Syrah (14%) and Mourvèdre offers aromas of barnyard, red cherries, flowers and spices. It’s tangy and full flavored, displaying good richness but it doesn’t all come together.

àMaurice 2011 Gamache Vineyard Malbec Columbia Valley $35 93 points
While this wine starts out a bit reductive, it subsequently explodes with aromas of dried herbs and generous amounts of black pepper. It’s palate-coating and mesmerizing in feel, showing a dazzling sense of texture, lightness and richness. Editor’s Choice

àMaurice 2010 Night Owl Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $48 92 points
A blend of 52% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot, this wine is aromatically brooding with notes of coffee, mineral, flowers and cherry. The palate boasts abundant coffee and cherry flavors backed by firm tannins that need time in the cellar to stretch their legs. Best after 2021, with a long life ahead of it.

àMaurice 2010 Amparo Estate Malbec Walla Walla Valley $47 92 points
This winery has shown a knack with Malbec and it continues on its young estate project. Aromas of herbs, tobacco, red plum and clove are fresh and appealing. The palate is lush, textured, concentrated and flavorful with a spice-filled finish that keeps you coming back for more. Expect this wine to drink well through 2030. Cellar Selection

àMaurice 2011 Boushey Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $38 92 points
This cool-vintage wine saw just 10% new oak, putting the fruit front and center with aromas of smoke, freshly ground black pepper and whiffs of bacon fat. It’s supple and lithe in feel, showing purity and detail in a style that is all about elegance.

àMaurice 2011 Red Blend Columbia Valley $40 91 points
This blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Cabernet Franc and 19% Merlot has aromas of toast, fresh-brewed coffee, graphite, dried herbs and milk chocolate. It’s silky and elegant yet densely flavored, backed by grainy tannins.

àMaurice 2012 Fred Estate Syrah Walla Walla Valley $45 91 points
This distinctive offering is light in color, with aromas of rose petals, red raspberries and minerals. It’s supple and elegant in feel, all about purity of expression as it dances lightly on the palate.

àMaurice 2013 Sparrow Estate Viognier Viognier Walla Walla Valley $35 91 points
This variety is a consistent strength for this winery. A warm vintage wine, it offers aromatic notes of freshly cut flowers, peach, creamsicle, pear and tangerine. It’s textured in feel with abundant stone fruit and vanilla flavors that lead to a tart, apricot filled finish that lingers. The barrel influences play a big part but it works.

àMaurice 2011 Owl & Crown Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $65 89 points
Coming from the winery’s young estate vineyard, this 100% varietal wine conveys aromas of coffee, braised green pepper and herbs along with bittersweet chocolate and mineral accents. The cherry and herb flavors show good weight and intensity, with the tart acids and grainy tannins bringing plenty of appeal. It needs significant time in the cellar to show its best. Enjoy after 2024.

àMaurice 2010 Owl & Crown Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $65 89 points
This is an intriguing wine, with notes of dried sage, fresh herbs, mineral and black tea. The palate offers sweet, dense, layered vanilla, clove and cherry flavors backed by dry tannins. Still young, this wine needs extended time in the cellar to be properly appreciated. Best after 2022.

àMaurice 2011 Fred Estate Syrah Walla Walla Valley $45 89 points
This wine displays aromas of tobacco, cracked black pepper, clove and mineral. It’s elegant in style with tart fruit flavors and lightly chalky tannins.

àMaurice 2011 Night Owl Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $48 88 points
A blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Cabernet Franc and 9% Petit Verdot, this wine is lightly green and leafy with notes of herbs, dark coffee, bittersweet chocolate and cherry. It’s packed with firm, slightly gritty tannins that need a significant amount of time to resolve. It deserves another look in the next decade but probably not before then. It certainly has the stuffing to get there.

àMaurice 2011 Amparo Estate Malbec Walla Walla Valley $47 88 points
The aromas on this wine are light and elusive, with notes of black pepper, dried flowers and green herbs. It’s elegant in style with tart acids and rustic tannins.

Apex 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $30 89 points
This beguiling wine displays aromas of dried herbs, bittersweet chocolate, medicine cabinet, plum and cherry. Medium-bodied yet rich fruit flavors are backed by citrusy acids and chalky tannins.

Apex 2013 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $17 89 points
This appealing wine offers aromas of apricot, pineapple and vanilla. The flavors are lighter in style with vanilla, caramel and straw notes that linger, showing a pleasing mixture of fruit and barrel.

Apex 2012 Merlot Columbia Valley $30 89 points
A blend of fruit from Elephant Mountain, Dionysus, Red Haven, Alder Ridge and Seven Hills vineyards, this fruit-forward wine offers aromas of cocoa, vanilla, anise, raspberry jam and fruit leather. The cranberry and raspberry flavors are sweet, rich and concentrated, backed by lightly grainy tannins. It seems a bit advanced for its age but brings a delicious factor that is hard to ignore. Drink now.

Apex 2013 Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley $15 86 points
Aromatically generous, this displays notes of pineapple, pear and guava. The palate drinks off dry, with abundant tropical fruit flavors, but lacks the acidity to hold it all together.

Armstrong Family 2012 Celebration Series Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $32 91 points
This aromatically brooding wine offers aromas of black tea, cinnamon, herbs, licorice and dried cherry. It’s full in feel, layered and rich with a lingering fruit- and herb-filled finish, and a good sense of tannic structure holding it all together.

Armstrong Family 2011 David’s Folly Red Blend Columbia Valley $35 88 points
This blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Cabernet Franc and 10% Merlot has aromas of orange peel, plum, coffee, vanilla and herbs. It’s elegant in style with soft fruit flavors and a light tannic structure along with quite tart acids.

Armstrong Family 2012 Celebration Series Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley $28 88 points
This 100% varietal wine, barrel-aged in French and American oak, offers aromas of vanilla, cranberry, cinnamon and raisinated red fruit, seeming a bit advanced for its age. The palate has tart acids and good flavor concentration, backed by somewhat blocky tannins.

Ashan 2013 Conner Lee Vineyard Chardonnay Columbia Valley $45 89 points
Barrel fermented and aged in 100% new French oak, this wine brings aromas of toasty barrel spices, peach and lemon curd. It’s full bodied and creamy in feel, with the alcohol poking through and providing some distraction.

Ashan 2013 Celilo Vineyard Chardonnay Columbia Gorge $45 89 points
All aged in single-use French oak, this offers pleasing nuances of corn on the cob, spice, mineral and chamomile. The prickly pear flavors are both elegantly styled and well balanced.

Ashan 2013 Kestrel Vineyard Chardonnay Yakima Valley $45 88 points
Barrel fermented and aged in 60% new French oak, this wine shows a pleasing mixture of fruit and barrel, intermingling aromas of toast, stone and tropical fruit, spice and butter. Flavors are light and elegant, but show a pleasing sense of balance.

Auclair 2012 Left Blend Artz Vineyard Red Blend Red Mountain $48 90 points
A mix of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (26%), Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this wine displays aromas of black licorice, raisinated dark fruit, barrel spice, medicine cabinet and cherry cordial. The blackberry flavors are ripe and sweet, supported by a firm tannic structure. Drink now.

Auclair 2012 Right Blend Artz Vineyard Red Blend Red Mountain $39 88 points
This is a Merlot-dominant blend (65%) with the rest Cabernet Franc (33%) and smidgens of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Aromas convey black licorice, medicine cabinet and dried cherries. Flavors are sweet, rich and tangy. Good things are going on but they haven’t come together yet.

Auclair 2014 96 Cedars White Wine Artz Vineyard Bordeaux-style White Blend Columbia Valley $18 88 points
This barrel fermented blend of equal parts Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon shows aromas and flavors of guava, kiwi, green tea and lees. It’s full, sweet and viscous in feel, finishing a bit short.

B. Leighton 2012 Petit Verdot Yakima Valley $65 92 points
This wine brings aromas of bright flowers, fresh green herbs, green olive and lemony citrus. There is an exquisite sense of weight, balance and deftness to the palate that carries through the extended finish, with expertly managed tannins that back it all up. The green edges may turn off some, but others will look beyond it and find much to enjoy.

Basel Cellars 2010 Syrah Walla Walla Valley $28 91 points
This appealing wine is already five years old but could use more time to show its best. The aromas of black pepper, licorice and blackberry are generous. Taut and tart fruit flavors come with a pleasing mouthfeel and a finish that lingers. Best from 2018 to 2021.

Basel Cellars 2010 Estate Red Blend Columbia Valley $20 87 points
Though it’s only five years old this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot already seems advanced with aromas of black licorice, dried cherries and leather, along with a whiff of barnyard. It’s richly flavored with dark fruit backed by grippy tannins.

Basel Cellars 2010 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $32 87 points
Hailing from the cool 2010 vintage, this 100% varietal wine leads with barrel aromas of vanilla and freshly hewn wood followed by medicine cabinet and dried cherry, seeming advanced for its years. The flavors are elegant in style with the concentration a bit wanting.

Basel Cellars 2010 Estate Merriment Red Blend Columbia Valley $40 86 points
An uneasy mix of Band Aid, medicine cabinet, woodspice and licorice aromas rises up from this blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The dark fruit flavors are medium bodied, backed by gritty tannins.

Basel Cellars 2010 Estate Merlot Walla Walla Valley $32 85 points
This 100% varietal wine displays aromas of leather, barnyard, cherry cordial and raisinated fruit. Flavors are sweet and full, seeming a bit dried out and advanced beyond their years.

Basel Cellars 2010 Estate Inspired Red Blend Columbia Valley $40 83 points
Aromas of Band Aid nearly overwhelm this wine’s notes of dried cherry. Flavors are lighter in style, backed by firm tannins.

Bomb 2011 Washington Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $50 90 points
The aromas of cocoa, woodspice, cassis, cherry and herbs are brooding on this 100% varietal wine that hails from Red Mountain. Palate-coating cherry flavors are supported by dry, lightly gritty tannins and tart acids.

Bomb 2010 Washington Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $50 90 points
This 100% varietal wine offers very primary, focused aromas of blackberry, black licorice, cocoa and black cherry. It’s full in feel, with abundant dark fruit flavors supported by lightly dry tannins. Give it time to all come together. Best after 2020.

Bomb 2012 Washington Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $50 89 points
Blended with 25% Cabernet Franc and barrel-aged in 55% new French oak, this wine displays aromas of cocoa, dried herbs, pencil lead and dark cherries. The cherry and coffee flavors are medium bodied, backed by lightly gritty tannins that might soften with some time in the cellar.

Brian Carter Cellars 2012 Opulento Red Blend Yakima Valley $22 89 points
This wine is blend of 54% Touriga Nacional, 23% Souzao, 12% Tinta Roriz and 11% Tinta Cão—all relatively new varieties to Washington. It displays light aromas of dark chocolate, clove and spice. The sweet flavors are more restrained than the wine’s name might suggest, bringing a pleasing sense of balance that carries through the chocolaty finish.

Browne Family Vineyards 2012 Tribute Red Blend Columbia Valley $30 88 points
This blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 15% Malbec, 12% Cabernet Franc and 9% Petit Verdot seems slightly muddled, with notes of dried herbs, flowers, barrel spices and plum. Flavors are soft and chocolaty, with an elegant styling and grainy tannins.

Browne Family Vineyards 2013 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $30 88 points
Hailing from Sagemoor, Oasis and Canyon Vineyard Ranch, this wine has aromas of toasty spices, peach, butter and corn on the cob. The flavors are lighter in style with a creamy feel and a pleasing sense of balance.

Browne Family Vineyards 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $35 87 points
This wine seems a bit muddled, with aromas of cranberries, dried herbs, vanilla, cashews and barrel spices struggling to get to the surface. The palate is medium bodied with tart fruit flavors and blocky tannins, with the concentration not seeming to all be there.

Canoe Ridge 2013 Reserve Chardonnay Horse Heaven Hills $20 90 points
With fruit from The Benches (71%) and Canoe Ridge vineyards, this wine offers aromas of toast, pineapple, peach and pear, with barrel notes (100% American) providing accents. Flavors are creamy in feel with a finish that lingers.

Canoe Ridge 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $20 89 points
Aromas of vanilla, cocoa, cashew and dried herb start out light and elusive but open up over time. Meanwhile the cherry flavors are sweet and creamy in feel, backed by firm, somewhat dry tannins.

Canoe Ridge 2012 Reserve Merlot Horse Heaven Hills $20 89 points
This wine offers aromas of mocha powder, red apple, dark raspberries and woodspice. The red fruit flavors are quite sweet and concentrated, backed by a dry lick of tannins.

Canoe Ridge 2013 The Expedition Red Blend Horse Heaven Hills $15 86 points
An unusual blend of Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache, this wine displays aromas of pencil lead, blackberry and coffee. It drinks off dry, with a plush feel to the fruit flavors that help it go down easy.

Canoe Ridge 2013 The Expedition Chardonnay Horse Heaven Hills $15 85 points
Simple and straightforward, this provides aromas of pear, pineapple and spice. The flavors are lightly sweet and unctuous in feel with a clipped finish.

Canoe Ridge 2013 The Expedition Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $15 84 points
Aromas of green pepper, cigar box and dried herbs mix with red and blue berries. Flavors are sweet and lighter in style with the concentration waning toward the finish.

Carden 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $50 91 points
This is 100% varietal and aged in 60% new French oak, offering primary aromas of blackberry, black cherry, and savory herbs accented by woodspice. The fruit flavors are ripe and focused with firm tannins and a pleasing lick of cranberry-like acidity. Best after 2020.

Carden 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $50 90 points
Blended with 25% Cabernet Franc, this engaging wine has aromas of herbs and blackberries. The fruit shows a real sense of vibrancy and purity, laden with tart, cranberry-like acidity and firm, lightly chalky tannins. Just a baby now, it should be at its peak in 2025.

Carden 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $50 89 points
This barrel-forward (60% new French oak), 100% varietal wine offers notes of vanilla, pencil lead and wood spices along with cherry and herb accents. The smooth flavors are etched by tart acids, with grainy, dry tannins rounding it out.

Castillo De Feliciana 2011 Reserve Tempranillo Columbia Valley $30 89 points
Though this wine was aged in just 26% new oak (French and American), the wood makes the first impression. Aromas of caramel, coffee and vanilla extract fare are followed by dark fruit and spices. Flavors are rich, hedonistic and sweet, supported by firm, somewhat rustic tannins.

Castillo De Feliciana 2012 Phinny Hill Vineyard Malbec Columbia Valley $38 88 points
Reductive at first, this wine opens to show aromas of coffee, dried herbs, carob and eucalyptus, with the barrel notes initially taking the lead followed by blue fruit. The fruit flavors are silky in feel with abundant coffee and plum notes backed by rustic tannins.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2012 Cold Creek Vineyard Chardonnay Columbia Valley $25 91 points
This wine displays all of the intensity of expression of Cold Creek. Aromas of toasty spices and pear are light but lead to a full, rich-feeling palate, with the acids providing a perfect counterbalance.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2013 Cold Creek Vineyard Chardonnay Columbia Valley $25 90 points
2013 was the warmest vintage this 40-year old vineyard had ever seen. Light aromas of toasty spices, corn silk and peach lead to a textured mouthfeel, with drawn-out stone fruit flavors. It’s a standout wine from a challenging year.

Cloudlift Cellars 2012 Stratus Petit Verdot Yakima Valley $32 93 points
Hailing from Elephant Mountain Vineyard, this new offering—blended with 15% Merlot—brings aromas of fresh and dried herbs, pencil lead, mocha, potting soil and flowers. It’s rich and flavorful with coffee and cherry notes backed by exceptionally integrated tannins, all leading to a lingering finish. Editor’s Choice

Cloudlift Cellars 2012 Panorama Red Blend Columbia Valley $26 92 points
This standout blend—the best from this winery to date—is 68% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. It offers a complex assortment of cocoa, pencil lead, tomato leaf, mocha, cherry and herb aromas. The café au lait flavors are silky soft and concentrated, framed by bright acidity and showing an exquisite sense of balance and texture that carries through the lingering finish.

Cloudlift Cellars 2012 Ascent Cabernet Franc Horse Heaven Hills $27 91 points
Somewhat light in color, this wine offers pleasing notes of flowers, milk chocolate, vanilla extract, herbs and carob. It’s light and silky in feel with abundant milk chocolate and cherry flavors that linger.

Cloudlift Cellars 2013 Updraft Bordeaux-style White Blend Columbia Valley $18 89 points
It’s the barrel notes of toast, vanilla and spice that make the first impression on this blend of Dionysus Sauvignon Blanc (64%) and Bacchus Semillon, followed by caramel and fig. The tropical fruit flavors are rich and creamy in feel and linger on the finish.

Cloudlift Cellars 2012 Halcyon Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $28 88 points
Aromas of toast, burnt coffee, mocha, vanilla, herbs and cherry take the lead on this wine. The milk chocolate and cherry flavors are elegant yet rich in style, with the oak at times seeming a little overweighted.

Columbia Winery 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $16 87 points
This wine displays aromas of green herbs, black and green olive, vanilla and sweet plum. The black and blue fruit flavors are sweet, backed by blocky, dry tannins.

Coral Wines 2014 Rosé Columbia Valley $20 88 points
An inaugural release, this blend of Mourvèdre (85%) and Cinsault is pale copper with salmon tinges. Aromas of strawberry and rose petal lead to dry, full-feeling fruit flavors that linger.

DaMa 2012 Merlot Walla Walla Valley $35 91 points
This wine is a rarity for Washington in a number of ways. It’s 100% varietal, comes from Golden Ridge Vineyard, and saw just 20% new French oak. It offers appealing, luscious raspberry compote and herb aromas and flavors backed by lightly grainy tannins.

DaMa 2012 Cowgirl Cab Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $18 89 points
This shamelessly appealing wine brings aromas of black currant, black olive, herbs, cocoa and plum. The blackberry and cherry flavors are ripe and generous, showing a classic Cabernet profile with lightly chalky tannins rounding it out.

DaMa 2011 Damnation Lonesome Springs Vineyard Red Blend Washington $35 89 points
Despite its Washington-designated label, this blend of 45% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 15% Mourvèdre all comes from Lonesome Springs Vineyard in the Yakima Valley. The aromas of coffee, cherry, red apple and peppery spices are generous, while the palate is full and creamy in feel, with the texture providing much of the appeal.

DaMa 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $35 88 points
This blend of Sagemoor, Weinbau and Heather Hill vineyards displays barrel aromas of cocoa and woodspice followed by dark cherries. It’s medium bodied with abundant dark cherry and barrel flavors backed by gruff tannins.

DaMa 2013 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $21 87 points
A blend of revered Sagemoor and Conner Lee vineyards, this barrel-fermented wine has aromas of caramel, poached pear, lees and peach. The stone fruit flavors are light yet creamy in feel, trailing toward the finish.

Diversion NV Copper River Estate Riesling Columbia Valley $17 88 points
Aromatically expressive, this offers notes of mandarin orange, lime leaf, green apple and botrytis. It drinks off dry, with plentiful stone fruit and citrus flavors balanced nicely by tart acidity.

Diversion 2012 Merlot Washington $17 88 points
Aromas of sugared plum and other blue fruit take the lead followed by cocoa and herbs. The coffee and plum flavors are soft and sweet, going down easy.

Diversion 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Washington $17 87 points
With huckleberry and other blue fruit aromas and flavors, this wine doesn’t seem varietally correct, but it’s hard to ignore its lightly sweet, soft-feeling appeal and chalky tannins. It’s not profound but still makes you reach for another sip to ponder it.

Diversion 2012 Majestic Red Blend Columbia Valley $17 85 points
A Bordeaux-style blend with Cabernet Sauvignon (49%) taking the lead, this wine opens with aromas of sugared plum, mesquite and herbs. It’s soft in feel with a smoky finish.

Diversion 2013 Chardonnay Washington $17 83 points
Faint aromas of yellow apple and pear lead to lightly creamy but dilute stone and tropical fruit flavors.

Eight Bells 2011 Eight Clones Red Willow Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $35 91 points
Blended with 4% Viognier and 1% Grenache, this fragrant offering displays aromas of fresh flowers, herbs, green olive, huckleberry and smoked meat. The palate is ripe and fruit forward, a bit balled up in the middle right now but showing a pleasing sense of purity with length to match. Give it time to come into its own.

Firebrix 2013 Vineyard Selection The Fresh Market Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $12 87 points
This wine is straight down the Cabernet fairway with aromas and flavors of black and green olive, plum, herbs, mocha and pencil lead. It’s soft in feel with a pinch of sugar stitching it all together. Best Buy

Firebrix 2013 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $12 87 points
This wine is straight down the fairway with tropical aromas and flavors of pineapple, kiwi and spice. There’s not a lot of complexity but it’s hard to deny its appeal. Best Buy

Firebrix 2013 Vineyard Selection The Fresh Market Red Blend Columbia Valley $12 87 points
This blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Zinfandel shows aromas of green olive, lemongrass, herb and woodspice. The style is elegant with sweet fruit flavors backed by lightly astringent tannins. Best Buy

Firebrix 2013 Vineyard Selection The Fresh Market Merlot Columbia Valley $12 86 points
The aromas on this wine are muddled, with notes of cocoa, vanilla, black pepper, tire rubber and cherry. The cranberry and cherry flavors are medium bodied backed by dry tannins.

Flying Dreams 2011 Monastrell Columbia Valley $36 92 points
A blend of Olsen Estates and Stillwater Creek vineyards, this wine pops with heaping amounts of black pepper and raw meat aromas along with dried herb grace notes. It’s full of fruit and savory flavors, with firm tannins backing it all up. An impressive wine, this should have a long life ahead of it.

Flying Dreams 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $32 91 points
An assortment of cocoa, medicine cabinet, dried herb, licorice and cherry aromas take the lead on this appealing wine. It’s rich and silky in feel with generous chocolate, cherry and vanilla flavors followed by a tart finish.

Flying Dreams 2012 Syrah Walla Walla Valley $45 89 points
This distinctive wine shows aromas of rain-soaked herbs, mineral, cocoa and red fruit. It’s filled with luscious, jammy raspberry flavors that combine with an alluring, silky feel. With time, the aromas and flavors might unite to kick it up a notch.

Flying Dreams 2011 Reserve Tempranillo Columbia Valley $45 89 points
This wine was barrel-aged for 36 months and saw additional time in bottle prior to release. It displays brooding aromas of vanilla, cranberry, cherry, woodspice and light meaty notes. The palate is densely packed with tart cranberry flavors backed by firm, somewhat dry tannins.

Flying Dreams 2012 Garnacha Columbia Valley $36 88 points
Aromas of overripe red apple, cranberry, raspberry and white pepper predominate, along with light oxidative notes. The jammy red fruit and apple flavors are luscious and sweet, bringing a pleasing sense of texture along with a lingering finish.

Flying Dreams 2011 Tempranillo Columbia Valley $36 88 points
Still quite locked up, this wine displays initial aromas of cocoa and vanilla (from 20% new American oak) along with plum, medicine cabinet and raspberry. Sweet fruit flavors are backed by firm tannins and mouthwatering acids.

Forgeron 2013 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $28 90 points
Blended from eight different vineyards across the Columbia Valley, this wine displays aromatic nuances of toast and spice along with pear and peach. The restrained, medium-bodied flavors offer a mixture of citrus and stone fruit, with citrus winning out on the warm finish.

Gifford Hirlinger 2012 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $34 90 points
All Cabernet coming from the winery’s estate vineyard, this high-octane wine is quite red-fruit driven for the variety, with notes of raspberries and cranberries along with a dried herb accent. It’s soft and plush in feel with tart fruit flavors and elegantly styled tannins.

Gifford Hirlinger 2012 Estate Malbec Walla Walla Valley $36 90 points
Unabashedly appealing, this 100% varietal, full-bore wine displays aromas of dark plum, milk chocolate and clove. The flavors are sweet, rich and palate-coating, leading to a persistent finish.

Gifford Hirlinger 2012 Estate Merlot Walla Walla Valley $34 88 points
Quite ripe in style with aromas of raspberry, green herbs, cocoa and red apple, this powerful wine has jammy, luscious fruit flavors, with the alcohol riding high.

Gifford Hirlinger 2012 Estate Petit Verdot Walla Walla Valley $38 88 points
This 100% varietal wine comes off as quite ripe. Aromas of woodspice and caramel lead to full-bodied, sweet and quite boozy cherry flavors, with grainy tannins backing it all up.

Gifford Hirlinger 2012 Estate Tempranillo Walla Walla Valley $36 87 points
Prominent aromas of freshly hewn wood, butterscotch and vanilla are out in front of cherry. It’s full flavored, seeming a bit boozy with grainy tannins backing it all up.

Goose Ridge 2012 g3 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $15 91 points
This wine brings aromas and flavors of cherry, coffee, herbs, medicine cabinet and oak spices. The style is reserved, with a seamless, focused feel to the tart cherry and plum flavors that keep the attention on each sip. Best Buy

Goose Ridge 2012 g3 Red Blend Columbia Valley $15 90 points
Barrel aromas of vanilla, coconut and cocoa take the lead on this blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, followed by dried cherry and plum. The cranberry and sour-cherry flavors are concentrated and disclose an intriguing mixture of tart and sweet. Best Buy

Goose Ridge 2011 Estate Bottled Syrah Columbia Valley $32 90 points
A fruit and barrel style predominates on this wine, with aromas of Mounds Bar and spice playing off the variety’s red and black fruit. The flavors are elegantly styled yet bring a pretty texture followed by a tart, cranberry-filled finish.

Goose Ridge 2011 Estate Bottled Merlot Columbia Valley $30 88 points
The oak, a mixture of French, American and Hungarian (with 50% new), takes the lead, with aromas of vanilla bean and toffee out in front of coffee and plum. The flavors are full bodied, sweet and generous, backed by grainy tannins.

Goose Ridge 2012 g3 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $15 83 points
It’s a strain to get much off of this wine with its light aromas of pineapple, pear, toast and grape skins. The tropical flavors fare better but the concentration doesn’t all seem there.

Gordon Estate 2014 Malbec Columbia Valley $20 87 points
All estate-grown Malbec, this pale salmon-colored wine shows high-toned notes of spice, herbs and cherry. It drinks dry with lightly styled fruit flavors, with the concentration a bit wanting.

Gramercy Cellars 2012 John Lewis Syrah Walla Walla Valley $85 95 points
This wine is a blend of top sites Les Collines, SJR and Red Willow. It’s perfumed with notes of green olive, violets, dried herbs, mineral and smoked meat. The palate is tightly wound, sensuous and supple, lithe yet rich with tart fruit and savory flavors backed by tannins that need more time to come into their own—but this wine surely deserves it. It has all of the stuffing to be a 20+ year wine. Best from 2025 to 2032. Give it an extended decant if opening in the near term. Cellar Selection

Gramercy Cellars 2012 Lagniappe Syrah Columbia Valley $55 95 points
Blended from Red Willow, Marcoux and Oldfield vineyards, this 100% Syrah offers aromas of green olives, brown stems, dried herbs and raspberries. The palate has densely rich yet exceptionally well balanced fruit and savory flavors that are creamy in feel. It’s flat-out stunning, winning on grace and elegance rather than sheer power alone.

Gramercy Cellars 2012 Syrah Columbia Valley $40 94 points
This wine is a blend of four distinctive sites—Minick and Olsen in the Yakima Valley, and SJR and Stoney Vine in the Walla Walla Valley. It pulls together the best of all of them, with brooding notes of mineral, wet stone, earthy funk, coffee, smoked meat and black and green olive. The palate steals the show, with hypnotic savory flavors that coalesce around a vibrant, extended finish. It’s a textural marvel that is simply impossible to put down. Editor’s Choice

Gramercy Cellars 2012 Lower East Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $32 93 points
This offers reserved notes of cherry and raspberry compote, cranberry, earth and assorted dried herbs. With the oak pleasantly dialed back, the focus remains on the fruit. The palate displays exquisite purity, elegance and detail, with a light grip of tannins pulling it all together. It’s drinking beautifully now, but you could open it up in 2025 or 2030 and it wouldn’t bat an eye. Editor’s Choice

Gramercy Cellars 2012 L’Idiot du Village Mourvèdre Columbia Valley $42 93 points
This is an outrageously appealing wine with aromas of smoke, dried herbs and abundant peppery spices. It’s sensuous and layered in feel, with generous dark fruit and black pepper flavors. It shows a profound sense of elegance, purity and detail with a finish that seems unending—a complete knee buckler. Editor’s Choice

Gramercy Cellars 2012 The Third Man Red Blend Columbia Valley $42 93 points
Light in color, this immediately appealing blend of 57% Grenache, 38% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre offers aromas of coffee, smoke, dried herbs and peppery spices. It’s rich and sensuous in feel, coating the palate from end to end with red fruit and savory flavors. Almost irresistible now, it should have a long life in front of it in the cellar as well. Editor’s Choice

Gramercy Cellars 2012 The Deuce Syrah Walla Walla Valley $52 93 points
Fermented with 80% whole clusters and aged 18 months in neutral French oak, this outright delicious wine offers aromas of black and green olive, mineral, moist earth and dried herbs. It’s seamless in feel, delivering lithe, pillowy soft fruit, savory flavors and a hyperextended finish. It’s a testament to the strength of Syrah from this region. Editor’s Choice

Henry Earl 2011 Merlot Red Mountain $38 88 points
This wine offers abundant aromas of vanilla, coconut shavings, mocha and dried cherries. It’s luscious with generous fruit and barrel flavors, with the barrel notes winning out and taking over on the vanilla-dominated finish.

Henry Earl 2012 Malbec Red Mountain $40 86 points
This 100% varietal wine has aromas of vanilla, milk chocolate and dark fruit along with light oxidative notes. It’s fully flavored with coffee and dark cherry notes backed by gritty tannins.

J. Bookwalter 2012 Chapter 5 Red Blend Columbia Valley $100 92 points
Just smelling this wine—a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah and 4% Malbec—it’s clear that someone gave it a lot of love and care. It offers nuanced aromas of dark coffee, dark chocolate, toasty spices and cherry. The flavors are sweet and ripe yet also well balanced, leading to a stretched-out finish.

J. Bookwalter 2012 Conflict Conner-Lee Vineyard Red Blend Columbia Valley $60 92 points
This wine is a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 5% Syrah. It offers roasty-toasty aromas of dark coffee, bittersweet chocolate, char and cherry. The palate is appealing and silky in texture, showing elegant styling but with a lot of flavor intensity, followed by a lengthy finish. It’s a pleasing mix of grace and power, barrel and fruit.

J. Bookwalter 2012 Protagonist Red Blend Columbia Valley $60 92 points
Made with 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Syrah, this wine offers notes of dark coffee, bittersweet chocolate, barrel spices and cherry. It’s supple in feel, dense yet reserved, showing a lot of elegance and restraint to the coffee flavors along with a very pretty sense of balance. Its best years are in front of it. Drink from 2022 to 2030.

J. Bookwalter 2012 Foreshadow Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $45 91 points
After starting out somewhat reduced, this becomes aromatic with notes of char, coffee grounds, toast, herbs and dark cherries. It’s seamless, silky and rich in feel, with layered fruit and barrel flavors and a beguiling sense of texture.

J. Bookwalter 2012 Foreshadow Merlot Columbia Valley $40 90 points
Lighter in color, this blend of Conner Lee, Red Mountain Vineyard and Elephant Mountain fruit has aromas of freshly brewed coffee, dark chocolate, toasty barrel spices and red fruit, with the barrel notes taking the lead. It’s silky-soft in feel, with generous raspberry flavors that show a pleasing sense of balance, all backed by a light squeeze of tannins.

JM Cellars 2012 Margaret’s Vineyard Cabernet Franc Walla Walla Valley $50 92 points
Aromas of vanilla, mocha, dried herbs, pencil lead and flowers rise up from the glass. Rich and hedonistic in style, it’s full of concentrated cherry and coffee flavors that pack a hefty punch.

JM Cellars 2012 Margaret’s Vineyard Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $42 91 points
This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (10%), Malbec (10%) and Petit Verdot comes from the winery’s young estate vineyard. Aromas of vanilla bean, dried herb, licorice, cranberry and cherry are brooding. The palate offers focused yet restrained fruit flavors and well-balanced acid and tannin. Built for the long haul, it will only improve with some additional time in the bottle.

JM Cellars 2012 Louisa Margaret’s Vineyard Merlot Walla Walla Valley $45 88 points
This unusual 100% varietal offering comes from this winery’s young estate vineyard. Aromatically it offers notes of candied red apple, wheat cereal, raspberries and dry chocolate. The chocolate, cherry and apple flavors are sweet, ripe and full, backed by dry, grainy tannins.

JM Cellars 2012 Tre Faniciulli Red Blend Columbia Valley $45 88 points
Coming from Ciel du Cheval, Klipsun and Boushey vineyards, this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah is redolent with aromas of barrel spices, raspberry and red apple. The flavors are ripe, sweet and hedonistic backed by chalky tannins.

Kamiak 2014 Palouse River Red Blend Columbia Valley $15 88 points
A pretty pale-salmon color, this blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon has aromas and flavors of cherry, watermelon and spice. It drinks dry, with the fruit flavors bringing a textured, fleshy feel.

Kamiak 2014 Unoaked Chardonnay Columbia Valley $15 85 points
This straightforward wine has notes of fresh apple and pear. The flavors are light in style, seeming a bit dilute.

Koi Pond 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $58 88 points
This is a distinctive wine for this variety and appellation, with notes of cranberry, raspberry jam, dried herbs, tobacco and green tea. The palate is full of layered red fruit notes backed by lightly chalky tannins.

Koi Pond NV Geisha Red Blend Washington $19 86 points
This blend of Zinfandel (80%) and Petite Sirah is aromatic with notes of vanilla, cocoa, dried raspberry and dried cranberry. The flavors are sweet, with dry, astringent tannins and a quite tart finish.

L'Ecole No. 41 2012 Estate Grown Merlot Walla Walla Valley $37 91 points
With just over 75% of the fruit coming from Seven Hills and the rest from the winery’s young Ferguson vineyard, this wine offers a lot of enjoyment. Aromas suggest herb, cocoa, mineral and an assortment of blue fruit. The flavors are simultaneously luscious yet restrained, backed by firm tannins that should benefit from additional time in the bottle.

L'Ecole No. 41 2012 Estate Syrah Walla Walla Valley $37 91 points
The yum factor on this wine is impossible to ignore, with aromas of jammy blue fruit, dried herbs and cigar box. The concentrated, high-octane flavors are full and textured with a lingering finish.

L'Ecole No. 41 2012 Merlot Columbia Valley $28 90 points
This wine comes from an assortment of top sites across the Columbia Valley and it shows. Aromas of dried herbs, pencil lead, toasty spice and blue and red fruit lead to sweet, rich and appealing flavors. There’s intensity but also a good sense of acid and chalky tannic structure backing things up, along with undeniable deliciousness.

L'Ecole No. 41 2012 Syrah Columbia Valley $25 90 points
Combined with 20% Grenache, this full-bodied, fruit-forward wine brings sweet aromas and flavors of raspberry jam and plum. Aged in mostly neutral oak, it possesses purity that carries through the finish.

L'Ecole No. 41 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $32 89 points
Hailing from 11 different vineyards located across the Columbia Valley, this appealing, 100% varietal wine provides aromas of toasty spices, dried herbs, cocoa and jammy dark fruit. The cranberry, coffee and blackberry flavors are sweet and focused, backed by chewy, lightly dry tannins that need time to soften.

Manu Propria 2011 Ex Animo Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley $35 89 points
The winery’s second release coming from the cool 2011 vintage, this wine is still in its shell, with brooding aromas of raspberries and blackberries, fresh thyme, savory herbs and tobacco. Blackberry and cherry flavors are lighter in style, backed by a wall of tannins that at present permits no entry. The wine needs significant time in the cellar to reveal it possibilities. Best after 2020.

Mosquito Fleet 2011 Reserve 34 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $90 91 points
This appealing wine displays aromas of cherry, plum, cocoa, pencil lead and Mounds Bar. It’s reserved in style with tart cranberry and cherry flavors, showing a good sense of acid balance along with grainy tannins.

Mosquito Fleet 2011 SS Dix Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $38 91 points
This wine demonstrates the strength of Red Mountain, even in a cool vintage. The aromas of cocoa, cranberry, cherry and black licorice offer pleasing nuances, while the tart cranberry flavors show elegance and restraint, with chalky tannins backing it all up. The acid balance is spot-on. Just a baby now, it has its best days in front of it.

Mosquito Fleet 2011 Sophia Red Blend Columbia Valley $29 90 points
This is an unusual blend of 72% Syrah with the rest equal parts Mourvèdre and Cabernet Sauvignon. It largely works, with aromas of black pepper, cocoa, coffee, herbs and brown spices. The cranberry and meat flavors offer a sense of balance and restraint along with a pleasing mouthfeel and flavors that linger.

Mosquito Fleet 2011 Starboard Meritage Columbia Valley $34 88 points
Merlot (64%) takes the lead followed by Cabernet Franc (32%) and Petit Verdot. It offers an unusual, not entirely harmonious aroma profile of woodspice, medicine cabinet, fresh greens and blackberry. Cherry and cranberry flavors are light but sweet, backed by firm tannins.

Mosquito Fleet 2011 Portside Meritage Columbia Valley $34 87 points
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this wine brings reserved notes of cherry and blackberry cordial, medicine cabinet, black licorice, dried herbs and smoke. The fruit flavors are lighter in style, backed by firm tannins. It finishes tart.

Obelisco Estate 2012 Electrum Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $70 91 points
Barrel aromas of cocoa, vanilla and clove play off cherry and cranberry. The flavors are focused and high octane with a creamy feel, well-integrated tannins and a tart, cranberry-filled finish.

Obelisco Estate 2012 BDX Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $50 90 points
This wine—aged in a mixture of 20% new American and French oak—shows a pleasing interplay of fruit and barrel. Notes of vanilla and cocoa intermingle with dried herbs, cranberry and bell pepper. It brings focused, lightly styled but high-octane cranberry flavors that are almost creamy in feel, with the focus more on elegance than sheer power.

Obelisco Estate 2012 Estate Grown Malbec Red Mountain $45 88 points
Aged in equal parts French and American oak (43% new), this initially puts barrel tones in the lead. Notes of toasty spices, cocoa, toffee and coffee come out in front of blue and black fruit. The flavors are sweet but reserved in style, trailing toward the finish. There’s a lot to enjoy but the oak seems a little overweighted for the fruit that’s in the bottle.

Obelisco Estate 2012 BDX Merlot Red Mountain $50 88 points
The wood and alcohol seem to get out front of aromas of plum, raspberry and medicine cabinet. Flavors are sweet and concentrated with a tart, cranberry-filled finish. A lot of good things are going on but they don’t quite seem to all come together.

Obelisco Estate 2012 Les Gosses Syrah Red Mountain $45 86 points
This wine seems advanced for its years with aromas of medicine cabinet and woodspice. The cranberry flavors are tart and soft, seeming somewhat diluted with medicinal flavors on the finish.

Pacific Rim 2013 Solstice Riesling Yakima Valley  $NA 89 points
Intriguing aromas of lime leaf, green apple, mint and apricot rise up. The stone fruit flavors drink close to dry and are lighter in style but with a pleasing sense of balance.

Pondera 2012 Stillwater Creek Malbec Columbia Valley $34 90 points
This wine shows a classic Washington Malbec profile of green, stemmy herbs, citrus, black pepper and plum along with light barrel accents. It’s soft in feel, palate-staining with plum flavors, tart acids and lightly gritty tannins, disclosing blood-orange flavors on the finish.

Pondera 2012 Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley $32 89 points
Sourced from Stillwater Creek and Dineen Vineyards, this wine has aromas of dried and green herbs, tomato leaf, savory spices, flowers, orange peel and berry. It’s medium bodied with abundant cherry and vanilla flavors followed by a lingering finish.

Pondera 2011 Escapade Red Blend Columbia Valley $45 88 points
This unusual blend holds 57% Mourvèdre, 34% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Malbec. It displays heaping amounts of black pepper along with aromas of dried herbs, vanilla and cherry. The style is elegant but with good concentration and a silky feel, with a tart uptick on the pepper and vanilla-filled finish.

Renegade 2014 Rosé Columbia Valley $12 87 points
This wine is half Syrah with the rest Cinsault, Grenache, Counoise and Mourvèdre. Aromas of red apple, watermelon and bubblegum are followed by lighter tart, lightly spritzy fruit flavors, with the acid pulling it all together on the finish. Best Buy

Ross Andrew 2010 Boushey Vineyard Syrah Columbia Valley $40 87 points
The aromas on this wine are quite unusual, with notes of wet copper penny, fresh sage and raspberry. Meanwhile the cranberry and cherry flavors are sweet and concentrated, creating an uneasy juxtaposition.

Sagelands 2013 Riverbed Red Blend Columbia Valley $10 87 points
Light in color, this blend of 51% Syrah, 42% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon is perfumed with orange peel, coffee, plum and herbs. It drinks off dry, quite light and elegant in style with grainy tannins. Best Buy

Sagelands 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $10 85 points
This straightforward quaffer has aromas of plum, woodspice, tire rubber and herb. The fruit flavors are elegant in style with some sugar balancing it out. Best Buy

San Juan Vineyards 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $19 90 points
This wine displays brooding aromas of dried herbs, Bing cherry, dusty chocolate, black licorice, cinnamon and high-toned barrel spices. It’s medium bodied, supple and palate-coating in feel, with tart cranberry flavors on the finish.

San Juan Vineyards 2011 Cabernet Franc Horse Heaven Hills $29 88 points
Light in color, this wine offers aromas of dried herbs, fresh flowers and cherry. The style is light and elegant. It doesn’t entirely stand up on its own but it should do well at the dinner table.

San Juan Vineyards 2011 Merlot Horse Heaven Hills $19 88 points
All of the fruit for this wine hails from Destiny Ridge Vineyard. Though it saw no new oak, the barrel aromas of vanilla and woodspice seem to jut out. The cranberry and raspberry flavors bring appeal however backed by grainy tannins.

Saviah 2012 Hunt & Gather Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $48 92 points
This wine is a blend of 60% Syrah from Funk Estate in The Rocks and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon from McClellan Estate. It draws you into the glass with aromas of plum, coffee, huckleberry, black olive and light spices. The feel—plush and palate-coating—is the real star of the show, with persistent blue fruit and coffee flavors on the finish.

Saviah 2012 Une Vallée Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $35 91 points
Coming from McClellan Estate, Anna Marie and Seven Hills vineyards, this wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (61%), Merlot (31%) and Petit Verdot. It springs up with aromas of boysenberry, plum, dried herbs and coffee. The blue fruit flavors are sweet and luscious supported by a soft tannic structure.

Saviah 2011 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $45 91 points
All of this 100% varietal comes from McClellan Estate Vineyard. The wine shows aromas of dark coffee beans, char, toast and fresh herbs with the oak (50% new French) initially in the lead. The coffee and cherry flavors are silky and generous, lingering on the finish.

Saviah 2011 The Funk Estate Syrah Walla Walla Valley $55 91 points
This attention-getter has aromas of sea breeze, black olive, coffee, earthy funk, orange peel and high-toned fresh flowers along with assorted blue fruit. It’s lighter in style, soft and velvety in feel with a finish that lingers. Coming from a cool vintage, it puts a lot of elegance on display.

Saviah 2011 The Stones Speak Syrah Walla Walla Valley $55 91 points
A cool-vintage offering from the winery’s young estate vineyard, this 100% varietal wine provides aromas and flavors of green olive, herb and ash. Elegant and supple, the wine has a pleasing sense of texture and a finish that won’t quit.

Saviah 2010 The Funk Estate Syrah Walla Walla Valley $55 90 points
The co-fermented Viognier (5%) makes the first impression with its vibrant aromas of flowers and orange peel followed by coffee, black olive and dried herbs. Blue fruit and earth flavors are elegant yet concentrated in style and lead to a tart finish.

Saviah 2013 The Jack Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $18 89 points
It’s rare to see a wine at this price coming from a list of vineyards that includes Bacchus, Pepper Bridge, Stillwater Creek and Seven Hills. It’s shamelessly appealing with sweet blue fruit, cocoa and herb aromas and flavors that linger.

Saviah 2013 The Jack Syrah Columbia Valley $18 88 points
Lighter in color, this wine displays appealing aromas of huckleberry, sugared plum and cigar box. It’s elegant in style, silky in feel, with a sweet finish—an immediate crowd pleaser.

Saviah 2013 The Jack Red Blend Columbia Valley $18 87 points
Though labeled as a red wine, this wine could be designated as a Merlot (89%). It displays light aromas of plum, raspberry and ash. The milk chocolate, blue fruit and coffee flavors are quite elegantly styled and show finesse and balance.

Saviah 2013 The Jack Riesling Columbia Valley $15 87 points
Somewhat aromatically reserved for the variety, this wine has notes of green apple, jasmine and lime. It drinks off dry, with a lightly spritzy feel to the elegant stone fruit flavors.

Seven Hills 2012 Seven Hills Vineyard Merlot Walla Walla Valley $38 91 points
This 100% varietal wine is appealing with aromas of coffee, toasty barrel spices, berry and red fruit. It displays good richness and depth, offering plenty of pleasure now but clearly keeping an eye on the future. Best after 2018.

Sleight of Hand 2012 The Illusionist Red Blend Columbia Valley $52 92 points
The new French oak (60%) and rich fruit aromas and flavors play perfectly off each other. Notes of dark roasted coffee beans and bittersweet chocolate meld with fresh herbs and dark cherries. It’s rich and layered with abundant fruit and barrel flavors capped off by a tart, lingering finish. Best after 2020.

Sleight of Hand 2012 The Archimage Red Blend Columbia Valley $52 92 points
This wine blends near-equal parts Cabernet Franc and Merlot, with a smidgen of Cabernet Sauvignon (3%) rounding it out. It pulls no punches with sweet, opulent aromas and flavors of dried herbs, coffee, licorice and cherry—an unabashed crowed pleaser.

Sleight of Hand 2012 Levitation Syrah Columbia Valley $45 92 points
Hailing mostly from renowned Les Collines (44%) and Lewis (41%) vineyards and rounded out by up-and-comer Stoney Vine, this wine isn’t fully ready to reveal its aromatic charms. Notes of dried herb, green olive, licorice, earth and boysenberry are out in front of brooding blue and red fruit. The flavors, however, are in full bloom, with palate-coating, focused and almost creamy cherry and plum notes that persist on the finish. Editor’s Choice

Sleight of Hand 2013 The Conjurer Red Blend Columbia Valley $28 90 points
This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot saw just a kiss (15%) of new French oak, putting the fruit aromas of plum, blueberry, cherry and herb at the fore. The coffee and berry flavors are lighter in style backed by a firm squeeze of slightly gritty tannins.

Sleight of Hand 2013 The Enchantress Chardonnay French Creek Vineyard Chardonnay Yakima Valley $28 90 points
Aged in neutral French oak with partial malolactic fermentation, this vineyard-designated wine offers aromas of almond, mineral, green apple and spice. It’s lighter in style, texture-driven with a good sense of balance throughout.

Sleight of Hand 2013 The Spellbinder Red Blend Columbia Valley $20 88 points
Fruit-forward and appealing, this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot displays aromas of black currants, black olive and fresh raspberries along with high-toned herbs. Flavors are sweet and plump with a squeeze of dry tannins.

StoneCap 2013 Estate Grown Syrah Columbia Valley $9 87 points
Aromas of potpourri, blackberry and sweet plum play off licorice, woodspice and tire rubber. The flavors are sweet with a good sense of concentration and balance. Best Buy

StoneCap 2013 Estate Grown Chardonnay Columbia Valley $9 86 points
Straightforward and appealing, this wine provides aromas and flavors of pineapple, peach and pear. The concentration isn’t all there but the variety is unmistakable. Best Buy

StoneCap 2013 Estate Grown Merlot Columbia Valley $9 86 points
This wine offers aromas of tire rubber and blue fruit. It drinks off dry, with tangy coffee and plum flavors, trailing toward the finish. Best Buy

StoneCap 2013 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $9 85 points
A straightforward, easy drinker, this wine starts out a bit reductive before opening to show aromas of herbs, tire rubber, woodspice and blue fruit. It’s medium bodied in style with a touch of sugar pulling it all together. Best Buy

StoneCap 2013 Estate Grown Riesling Columbia Valley $9 84 points
There’s plenty of appeal to this well-priced wine with its aromas of flowers, pear and ice tea. It drinks off dry, with the flavor concentration lighter in style.

Stottle 2013 Elerding Vineyard Viognier Yakima Valley $25 87 points
Barrel notes of toast and vanilla get out of front of the aromas and flavors of almond and peach. The feel is full bodied and lightly oily, showing some warmth on the finish.

Stottle 2013 Marcela Vineyard Roussanne Yakima Valley $24 84 points
The aromas of almond and spice are quite light and elusive on this wine, while the sweet fruit flavors seem dilute.

Swiftwater Cellars 2011 Proprietary Red Blend Columbia Valley $50 93 points
This wine is 44% Cabernet Sauvignon and a whopping 40% Petit Verdot along with 8% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Malbec. It offers alluring aromas of dried flowers and dried leaves, cherry, dark coffee and woodspice. The palate is tightly wound and layered with abundant fruit flavors and highly structured tannins. It needs cellar time before it can be appreciated fully but has the stuffing to get there. Best from 2020 to 2027. Cellar Selection

Swiftwater Cellars 2012 Proprietary Red Blend Columbia Valley $50 91 points
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc, this wine offers light aromas of cherry, coffee, raspberry, flowers, citrus and tobacco. It’s tightly wound with abundant cherry flavors backed by dry tannins. Best after 2018, with a long life in front of it.

Swiftwater Cellars 2012 Zephyr Ridge Merlot Horse Heaven Hills $35 91 points
This outright delicious wine brings aromas of herbs, coffee and pencil lead along with a mixture of red and blue fruit. The flavors are sweet, luscious and concentrated, bringing a very high yum factor. Give it plenty of time to open up.

Swiftwater Cellars 2012 Syrah Columbia Valley $35 90 points
This immediately appealing wine offers aromas of plum, confection, blueberry, black olive and cocoa. The fruit flavors are sweet and concentrated, backed by lightly chalky tannins that will benefit from some time in the cellar.

Swiftwater Cellars 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $85 89 points
Aromas of fresh herbs are out in front of vanilla, cocoa and other barrel spices on this wine. Flavors are sweet and barrel-forward, backed by grainy tannins. There are a lot of good things going on here; perhaps more time in the bottle will marry them together.

Swiftwater Cellars 2012 Malbec Columbia Valley $38 89 points
This is a rich, full-bodied wine with powerful blackberry flavors complemented by notes of freshly ground coffee, cherry and barrel spices.

Swiftwater Cellars 2012 Zephyr Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $38 88 points
This wine has aromas of coffee, toast, cherry meats, herbs, mocha and barrel spices along with a lightly green edge. It’s tart and flavorful, with a supple feel and chalky tannins.

Swiftwater Cellars 2013 Zephyr Ridge Chardonnay Horse Heaven Hills $20 88 points
Aromas of melted caramel, barrel spices, kiwi and pineapple rise up from this wine. The fruit flavors are lighter in style and lead to a warm finish with abundant fig notes that linger.

Tamarack Cellars 2013 Firehouse Red Blend Columbia Valley $18 89 points
This is a kitchen sink-style blend of 11 different varieties with Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot making up nearly 75% of the mix. It offers direct, appealing notes of cocoa, sugared plum, blueberry, black olive and high-toned herbs. The black and blue fruit flavors are sugary-sweet and palate-coating, with cocoa accents on the finish.

Terra Vina Wines 2012 Petit Verdot Columbia Valley $42 88 points
Blended with nearly 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine is lightly aromatic with notes of moist soil, violets and ground cashews. It’s full bodied and tightly wound with dense cherry flavors and firm but not unyielding tannins.

Terra Vina Wines 2012 Sangiovese Columbia Valley $36 88 points
Blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, this wine offers barrel-dominant aromas, with notes of coffee, vanilla and woodspice. The raspberry and cranberry flavors are quite ripe and luscious.

Terra Vina Wines 2012 Tempranillo Columbia Valley $36 88 points
This barrel-forward wine offers aromas of caramel, vanilla, green wood and cocoa along with cherry. The milk chocolate and cherry flavors are sweet and luscious. It could use a bit more structure to hold it all together but it brings plenty of appeal.

Trust 2012 A Stone’s Throw Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $48 92 points
This wine—named for two adjacent vineyards—is 75% Dionysus Cabernet Sauvignon with the balance Bacchus Cabernet Franc. It provides a pleasing assortment of dried and fresh herbs, cherry, flowers and mocha with a seamless, almost creamy feel, bringing an impeccable sense of balance. It’s irresistible now but has the stuffing to go the distance. Editor’s Choice

Trust 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $36 91 points
The black and red cherry, herb and licorice aromas are spot-on but the pillowy soft mouthfeel and tart, focused fruit flavors steal the show, showing elegance and intensity along with a lingering finish.

Washington Hills 2013 Late Harvest Riesling Washington $9 86 points
Bright aromas of apricot, pear, lavender and jasmine capture the senses while the richly sweet stone fruit flavors also bring pleasure. The concentration and acid don’t entirely match up but there’s still much to enjoy. Best Buy

Washington Hills 2012 Chardonnay Washington $9 83 points
This offers aromatic notes of toasted grapenuts, pineapple and apricot. It drinks off dry, with a creamy feel to the light fruit flavors.

Washington Hills NV Rainier Red Blend Washington $9 83 points
Made from 60% Syrah and 40% Merlot, this wine offers aromas of cigar box, toffee, red apple and herb. It drinks a hair off dry, with medium-bodied fruit flavors and gritty tannins.

Washington Hills 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Washington $9 82 points
There’s an uneasy mix of aromas of berry, green olive, herbs and tire rubber on this wine. The flavors seem light and dilute.

Woodinville Wine Cellars 2012 Indomitable Red Blend Columbia Valley $50 93 points
Made from 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot from Stillwater Creek and Conner Lee vineyards, this standout wine beautifully displays the strength of the 2012 vintage. Aromas of dark roasted coffee beans, café au lait, graphite and dark cherry lead to sweet, layered, persistent fruit flavors with a lingering, open finish. It’s near-irresistible now but will peak from 2021 to 2025. Cellar Selection

Woodinville Wine Cellars 2012 Little Bear Creek Red Blend Columbia Valley $20 91 points
Aromas of dark chocolate, dried and fresh herbs, raspberries and black cherry predominate on this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Creamy, rich and focused, it has a pleasing sense of texture and vanilla flavors that carry across the finish. It’s truly a standout wine at this price. Editor’s Choice

Woodinville Wine Cellars 2012 Double Vision Red Blend Columbia Valley $50 91 points
Equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, this full-bore wine displays aromas of fresh-brewed coffee, dried herbs and cherry. The blackberry and cherry flavors are hedonistic in style and linger on the finish.

Woodinville Wine Cellars 2010 Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley $45 88 points
Raspberry, medicine cabinet and Red Vine aromas lead to sweet, succulent fruit flavors and a tart finish. Good things are going on but the wine could use more structure to back it all up.

Woodinville Wine Cellars 2012 Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley $45 88 points
This wine offers light medicinal aromas followed by red raspberry, cherry and woodspice. It’s creamy in feel and richly flavorful, with smooth tannins and a finish that lingers.

Woodinville Wine Cellars 2011 Grenache Columbia Valley $30 88 points
This nano-produced wine all comes from Stillwater Creek vineyard. It offers aromas of ripe red apple and red raspberry along with light barrel accents. The elegant, velvety texture steals the show, with the red fruit flavors lingering.

Woodinville Wine Cellars 2012 Reserve Syrah Columbia Valley $45 88 points
Coming mostly from Stillwater Creek Vineyard, this wine is co-fermented with 4% Viognier. Dark fruit and orange peel aromas mix with sweet barrel spices. The blue fruit flavors are sweet and lush, carrying some warmth along with them.

Woodward Canyon 2012 Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon Washington $99 94 points
A blend of Champoux (62%), Sagemoor (26%) and Woodward Canyon (12%) estate vineyards, this wine is aromatically brooding at present, with notes of coffee, toffee and vanilla bean alongside high-toned cherries, dried herbs and flowers. The palate is supremely rich, dense and layered, with milk chocolate, coffee and cherry flavors. Tannins are expertly managed and the wine brings plenty of textural appeal, combining richness and elegance. The barrel notes are primary now, so give them time to integrate. Best from 2025 to 2035. Cellar Selection


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Tasting Note Database Read an explanation of the fields here. FINAL UPDATE 6/13/2015.

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