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'17 Tour Guide

Reviewed Wineries

Below are my Wine Enthusiast reviews for December 31, 2017. 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. Read instructions on how to find Washington wine reviews at Wine Enthusiast here.

102 reviews in the December 31 issue. Enjoy!

3 Horse Ranch Vineyards 2016 Single Vineyard Pinot Gris Eagle Foothills $18 87 points
The aromas are bright and fragrant, with notes of pear, flowers, star fruit and mandarin-orange rind. The palate is full of tropical fruit and orange flavors that provide appeal.

Andrew Rich 2014 Glacial Columbia Valley $45 88 points
This wine is a blend of 52% Syrah, 26% Mourvèdre and 22% Grenache. Aromas of black licorice, herb, barrel spice and cassis are out front. The palate is chock-full of black fruit flavors that bring a dry, lightly astringent feel.

Andrew Rich 2014 Ciel du Cheval Mourvèdre Columbia Valley $40 88 points
The aromas bring notes of herb, dark fruit and spice, seemingly a bit muddled. The palate packs a big mouthful of fruit and savory flavors that show a sense of purity, while bringing a lightly tacky feel. A lack of aromatic clarity holds it back.

Andrew Rich 2014 Roussanne Columbia Valley $23 88 points
Intriguing aromas of sweet herb and baking spice lead to drawn-out feeling biscuit flavors. It shows a bit of heat on the finish.

Andrew Rich 2014 Red Willow Vineyard Syrah Columbia Valley $40 89 points
Coming from one of the state’s premier Syrah vineyards, aromas of herb, red fruit, flower and spice are at the fore. The palate is full with red and black-fruit flavors with a lightly tacky feel.

Andrew Rich 2014 Ciel du Cheval Grenache Columbia Valley $40 88 points
Dried herb aromas are at the fore, along with notes of flowers and red fruit. The palate is full of medium-bodied fruit and savory flavors that bring a lightly tacky lip-smacking feel. It’s hard to place it as Grenache exactly but it brings enjoyment all the same.

Andrew Rich 2014 Celilo Vineyard Gewürztraminer Columbia Gorge $28 88 points
The aromas seem surprisingly subdued for the variety and style, with notes of flower, herb and spice. It drinks sweet but doesn’t quite have the acid to back it up.

Animale 2014 Maria Carmela Red Blend Washington $NA 86 points
This wine is a blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, 9% Pinot Noir and 8% Petit Sirah. Freshly ground cranberry aromas are at the fore, along with notes of gardenia and medicine cabinet. The red-fruit flavors are tart and tacky in feel. It doesn’t all come together.

Animale 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley $NA 88 points
High-toned aromas of herb, cigar box and spice are followed by tart cranberry and cherry flavors backed by lightly gritty tannins. The bright acidity keeps the interest high. Put it on the dinner table to see it at its best.

Apex 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $30 87 points
Aromas of cocoa, baking spice and herb are followed by cocoa and vanilla-speckled flavors. The tannins bring a slight sense of astringency but overall it offers some appeal.

Bitner 2012 Petit Verdot-Merlot Red Blend Snake River Valley (ID) $33 90 points
A 60-40 split of two varieties, this wine brings aromas of soil, citrus peel and wood spice. The palate delivers a firm handshake of tannins and fruit flavors brightened by tart acidity.

Callan 2016 Boushey Vineyard Grenache Blanc Yakima Valley $25 91 points
This is an impressive wine from a new producer. It’s aromatically expressive in notes of ripe apple, star fruit and pear, with lemon-pith accents. The melon and citrus flavors are rounded, fresh and clean, offering a great balance of acidity. Editor's Choice

Callan 2016 Picpoul Yakima Valley $25 89 points
Coming from Boushey Vineyard, this is a seldom-seen variety in the state. This offering seems a bit reduced out of the gate, showing aromas of garden hose along with lemon. The medium-bodied citrus rind and lemon flavors bring plenty of appeal along with a big blast of acidity. If the reduction blows off, it moves up a notch or two as the palate flat-out impresses.

Cavatappi 2015 Sangiovese Columbia Valley $12 87 points
The aromas are fruit forward, with notes of plum and herb. The palate is supple in feel, showing little apparent new oak influence and zippy acidity. It doesn’t seem entirely varietal aromatically but still brings appeal and should fit in well at the dinner table. Best Buy

Charles Smith 2016 Kung Fu Girl Riesling Washington $13 87 points
The aromas are a bit light for the variety, with notes of flower, herb and lime. The palate is off dry and lightly spritzy, with stone-fruit flavors. The concentration seems somewhat lacking.

Charles Smith 2015 Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon Washington $20 88 points
The aromas are forward, with notes of black currant, blue fruit, herb and spice. The palate delivers a mouthful of sweet blue-fruit flavors, with the oak dialed back. Lightly dry tannins provide support. It’s hard to necessarily place it as Cabernet but it brings plenty of appeal.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2015 Ethos Reserve Late Harvest Riesling Columbia Valley $40 92 points
The aromas pop, with notes of brown sugar, dried pear and honey. The palate is incredibly rich and intense but with high-wire acidity that keeps all of the flavors in vivid focus. The sense of balance is exquisite.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2014 Syrah Columbia Valley $15 87 points
Vanilla, baking spice, huckleberry, herb and blackberry aromas are at the fore. The black and blue-fruit flavors are soft and supple, bringing light savory notes that provide appeal.

Cinder 2016 Off-Dry Riesling Snake River Valley (ID) $18 90 points
There’s no mistaking the variety here, with its attention-getting aromas of flowers, mandarin orange and ripe peach, along with lime-zest accents. It drinks off dry, with a plentiful, rich, flavorful palate. There’s loads of enjoyment to be had.

Cinder 2015 Syrah Snake River Valley (ID) $29 91 points
Cinder is quietly one of the wineries carrying the banner for this nascent growing region. The aromas here are sappy and brooding, with notes of Marionberry, huckleberry, bittersweet chocolate and a spice top note. The blue-fruit flavors show an alluring sense of purity and grace that carries through the finish, which includes a savory note that heightens the interest. Delicious stuff. Editor's Choice

Cinder 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon–Merlot–Malbec Snake River Valley (ID) $29 87 points
The aromas lean pretty far into the green, with notes of savory herb along cherry with wood spice, which seems a bit prominent. The fruit flavors are plump but retain a sense of elegance. Ultimately the sense of greenness proves a bit too distracting.

Cinder 2014 Tempranillo Snake River Valley (ID) $29 88 points
The aromas are light, with notes of fresh tobacco, tangerine peel, moist earth, cedar and cherry. The wood tannins come off as a little aggressive at present but there’s plenty of lovely fruit there as well.

Clearwater Canyon 2014 Estate Umiker Vineyard Syrah Lewis-Clark Valley (ID) $28 86 points
Barrel aromas and flavors of dill, vanilla, cocoa and wood spice are far out front, overwhelming any sense of fruit or variety. The wood completely steals the show.

Colter's Creek 2015 Chardonnay Idaho $15 87 points
This is an expressive wine, with aromas of flowers, apple, pear and whiffs of tropical fruit. It’s light yet creamy in feel, with abundant pineapple flavors.

Colter's Creek 2013 Arrow Rim G-S-M Idaho $30 89 points
Syrah (40%) takes the lead on this blend with the balance equally split between Grenache and Mourvèdre. Aromas of dried herb, cranberry jam, olive, white pepper, vanilla and dill lead to bold full fruit flavors that hold nothing back. Barrel notes—at times a bit predominant—are speckled throughout.

Colter's Creek 2013 Colter’s Creek Vineyard Cabernet Franc Lewis-Clark Valley (ID) $28 86 points
One of the first bottles from this newly approved appellation, this wine brings aromas of raspberry, herb, tire rubber and barrel spice. The palate is elegant and smooth with assorted red-fruit flavors.

Colter's Creek 2014 Koos Koos Kia Lewis-Clark Valley (ID) $25 88 points
This wine is 47% each Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Aromas of dill, dried herb, cocoa and spice are followed by soft elegantly styled dark-fruit flavors that show plenty of hang time.

Colter's Creek 2014 Syrah Snake River Valley (ID) $17 89 points
Barrel aromas are up front, with notes of vanilla, dill and wood spice in front of dark fruit. The fruit flavors are plump and plush, with vanilla notes lingering on the finish. There are lots of good things going on here but the wood gets in the way—a shame as the fruit is impressive.

DiStefano 2013 Carmenère Columbia Valley $39 86 points
Blended with 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, wood aromas are at the fore, with notes of baking spice followed by braised green pepper along with jalapeño pepper and blackberry. The flavors are saturated and ripe, bringing a sense of softness that provides intrigue.

DiStefano 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $39 87 points
The aromas are all high toned, with notes of baking spice, green herb, berry and wood spice. The palate is on the lighter side of medium bodied, with appealing well-balanced flavors.

DiStefano 2013 Meritage Columbia Valley $39 88 points
This wine is 64% Cabernet Sauvignon along with 24% Petit Verdot and 12% Cabernet Franc. High-toned dried herb aromas are at the fore, with notes of green pepper and baking spice close behind. The palate brings a sense of freshness and vibrancy, with tart fruit flavors lingering on the finish. It doesn’t all quite come together, but there’s interest to be had.

DiStefano 2013 Domenica Columbia Valley $39 86 points
This wine is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aromas of barrel spice, herb and green pepper are followed by abundant fruit and savory flavors. It leans pretty far into the green, especially for a wine that could be varietally labeled as Merlot.

Double Canyon 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $25 88 points
Light aromas of baking spice and herb are at the fore. The palate is on the lighter side of medium bodied, bringing a sense of freshness and vibrancy.

Dunham 2016 Late Harvest Lewis Estate Vineyard Riesling Columbia Valley $38 90 points
This wine is a golden color that is showing some browning despite its youth. The aromas offer notes of marmalade and diesel. The flavors are concentrated and sugary sweet. It delivers plenty of enjoyment but seems advanced for its age. Enjoy it sooner than later.

Dunham 2015 Lewis Estate Vineyard Riesling Columbia Valley $20 87 points
Aromas of Nestea ice tea and slightly past-their-prime flowers are followed by medium-sweet fruit flavors that need more acid to stand them up. It doesn’t all come together.

Dunham 2015 Three Legged Red Blend Washington $19 88 points
Upfront aromas of cocoa, vanilla, sawdust and savory herb are followed by flavors of plum, cherry and barrel spice. The oak and fruit play equal roles, with the flavors a bit dialed back.

Dunham 2014 Trutina Columbia Valley $29 87 points
This wine is a blend 44% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec and 8% Cabernet Franc. Aromas of cocoa, coconut, herb and cherry are followed by an elegantly styled palate, full of coconut flavors. There’s enjoyment to be had but the oak plays too primary of a role.

Dunham 2014 Syrah Columbia Valley $35 88 points
Subdued aromas of vanilla, cocoa and smoke are followed by silky-feeling fruit and barrel flavors. It brings a sense of elegance, with the fruit and oak playing equal parts in the show.

Dunham 2014 XX Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $45 88 points
The aromas are quite smoky, with notes of burnt toast along with herb and vanilla—not a particularly appealing combination. The flavors seem light in concentration. It doesn’t all come together.

Full Pull & Friends 2007 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $23 92 points
That vintage is not a typo. This 10-year-old wine is as lively as ever. The aromas draw you into the glass, with notes of candy corn, pumpkin spices, candle wax, lemon pith and almond butter—all completely captivating. The palate is lightly creamy in feel but still sleek with zingy tart high-wire acidity and a lingering finish. It’s an accomplishment. Editor's Choice

History 2014 Upland Vineyard Muscat Yakima Valley $40 87 points
Coming from vines planted in 1935—some of the oldest vines in the state—this shows expressive but not entirely settled aromas of gardenia, orange peel and herb, followed by bone-dry broad-feeling fruit flavors. There’s intrigue but it doesn’t all come together.

History 2014 Otis Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley $75 90 points
This wine comes from the state’s oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines, planted in 1957. Light in color, the aromas draw you into the glass with notes of earth, cassis, dried herb and cherry. The cranberry flavors are light and elegant, with a zing of acidity that keeps the interest high. It’s a very pretty expression of the variety, best suited for the dinner table.

History 2014 Elise Vineyard Pinot Noir Columbia Gorge $65 91 points
This wine comes from a new project from winemaker Melissa Burr (Stoller Estate), focusing on old-vine vineyards. This bottling comes from vines planted in 1968. The aromas are light, with notes of cherry, cigar box, dried leaf and earth. The flavors are cranberry tart and mouthwatering, showing an exquisite sense of balance, with a lingering finish.

History 2014 Mont Elise Vineyard Gewürztraminer Columbia Gorge $40 88 points
This wine comes from vines planted in 1968. Fragrant aromas of orange peel, flower, spice and sweet herb lead to dry-drinking fruit flavors. The concentration seems a bit lacking but there’s still interest to be had.

Indian Creek 2014 Dry White Mountain Syringa White Blend Snake River Valley (ID) $14 88 points
Though not labeled as such, this wine is all Gewürztraminer. It’s aromatic with aromas of lychee, rose petal and spice. The flavors are light and dry, almost delicate, with abundant floral accents.

Koenig Vineyards 2014 Botrytis Single Berry Select Late Harvest Riesling Snake River Valley (ID) $30 91 points
Coming in at 159g/L residual sugar, this wine is über-aromatic, with notes of dried apricot, pineapple, flowers, and honey, showing layer of complexity. Given the richness of the aromas, the palate is surprisingly deft and light on its feet, displaying a lot of grace and detail to the sugary-sweet flavors.

Laissez Faire 2016 Red Blend Snake River Valley (ID) $16 88 points
This young wine is a blend of Sangiovese and Mourvèdre. It shows some reduction out of the gate, with tire-rubber aromas out in front savory herb and plum. The red-fruit flavors display a pleasing sense of purity and acidity. If the reduction settles down, it moves up a notch.

L'Ecole No. 41 2016 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $22 91 points
A blend of fruit from Schmitt, Evergreen and Oasis vineyards, this opens with appealing aromas of toast, candy corn, almond and pear. The pear and melon flavors are crisp and rounded, with a lightly creamy feel heightening the interest. Editor's Choice

L'Ecole No. 41 2016 Old Vines Chenin Blanc Columbia Valley $15 90 points
L’Ecole has been carrying the banner for Washington Chenin high since 1987. Coming from vineyards planted in 1978 and 1979, the aromas are fresh and lively, with notes of sliced pear, passion fruit, flower and apple. The palate is full in feel and redolent with fruit flavors that sail on the finish. It’s a one-wine charm offensive. Best Buy

L'Ecole No. 41 2016 Estate Grown Luminesce Seven Hills Vineyard Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc Walla Walla Valley $22 90 points
Light aromas of fig and spice lead to well-balanced fruit flavors that draw out on the finish. Some additional time in the bottle should serve it well. Give it until late 2018.

L'Ecole No. 41 2016 Semillon Columbia Valley $15 88 points
Very few producers make a varietally labeled offering of Sémillon in the state, with this one including 14% Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a shame as the variety clearly succeeds here. The aromas bring notes of fig, almond butter and spice followed by dry fruit flavors backed by lemony acidity. It needs some time to fully come together.

Longship 2015 Quinn Red Blend Columbia Valley $36 87 points
This wine is a unique blend of 61% Tempranillo, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Grenache. Aromas of coffee grounds, toast, spice and dark fruit are up front, with the oak playing a primary role. The palate mixes fruit and barrel, with the fruit concentration seeming a bit light.

Longship 2016 Luck Dragon Chardonnay Columbia Valley $24 87 points
Bright aromas of freshly sliced pear, apple and spice are followed by lightly creamy fruit flavors that paint around the edges. It’s a well-made wine but the middle seems missing.

Longship 2016 Wild Harvest Rosé Columbia Valley $20 85 points
This wine is a unique blend of 59% Syrah, 31% Malbec and 10% Grenache. Dark in color for a rosé, it brings aromas of cherry and herb. The flavors tingle the palate with just off-dry flavors that seem a bit fat.

Longship 2015 Ginger Man Syrah Walla Walla Valley $32 87 points
The barrel aromas are far out front, with notes of vanilla extract, dill and wood spice. The oak shows heavily on the palate as well, making it nearly impossible to get at the fruit and giving the wine a gritty feel.

Longship 2015 Wise Man Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $38 87 points
Strong char, toast and barrel aromas are at the fore, getting way out in front of the fruit. The fruit flavors are tart and considerably more elegant than the aromas might suggest. There seems to be a bit of disconnect between the two.

Love That Red 2015 Dead Heat Syrah Columbia Valley $32 91 points
A blend of Olsen Vineyard in the Yakima Valley and Clifton Hill on the Wahluke Slope, the aromas are generous, with notes of dark plum, smoke and baking spice. The palate is weighty and full, with palate-coating purple-fruit flavors that show pleasing depth, density and length.

Love That Red 2015 Stakes Race Syrah Columbia Valley $36 88 points
This wine, which includes 17% Grenache, is a blend of fruit from Les Collines, Discovery and Riviere Galets vineyards. Smoked meat, dried herb and baking-spice aromas are followed by red-fruit flavors that display a sense of elegance.

Luke 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Wahluke Slope $25 86 points
The volatiles are amped up here, providing some aromatic distraction. The palate brings high-octane fruit flavors, supported by lightly dry tannins. Tasted twice with consistent notes.

March 2015 Petit Verdot Walla Walla Valley $32 88 points
Offerings of this variety are rare in the state and even more so from this valley. The aromas of cocoa, herb and cherry are all high toned, showing a touch of volatility. The cherry flavors are full, bold and tightly wound with tannin.

March 2016 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $30 87 points
The aromas are quite subdued, making you strain to get at them. The palate brings rounded full-feeling apple and melon flavors that drop off at the finish.

March 2015 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $30 88 points
Light aromas of pear, apple and melon are followed by fresh clean fruit flavors. It’s a spot-on example of this variety.

March 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $34 87 points
The aromas are light, with notes of red apple, barrel spice, vanilla and cherry. The flavors are medium bodied, showing a mixture of fruit and barrel. There’s interest to be had but it all seems a bit subdued and the finish a bit clipped.

Maryhill 2014 Proprietor’s Reserve Rosso Granato Red Blend Columbia Valley $36 87 points
This wine is a blend of 87% Petite Sirah and Zinfandel. The aromas of herb, graphite, barrel spice, plum and cranberry seem a bit muddled. The palate offers tart fruit flavors, with plenty of wood influence mixed in.

Maryhill 2014 Zinfandel Columbia Valley $24 87 points
Wood-spice aromas are at the fore followed by red fruit, with the wine also showing a fair amount of heat. The cranberry, raspberry and oak flavors are full bodied, seeming a bit boozy.

Maryhill 2014 Proprietor’s Reserve Zinfandel Columbia Valley $44 87 points
Light in color, the aromas of this wine are very varietal, with scents of cranberry, raspberry and high-toned spices. The palate is quite sweet, giving the appearance of carrying some residual sugar. It comes off as a bit hot. Still, there’s enjoyment to be had.

Maryhill 2014 Sangiovese Columbia Valley $26 87 points
Light in color, aromas of barrel spice, herb and red fruit rise up from the glass. The palate packs a mouthful of red-fruit flavors, with the tannins showing a bit of astringency.

Maryhill 2014 Proprietor’s Reserve Sangiovese Columbia Valley $36 87 points
The high-toned aromas of raspberry, barrel spice and herb bring a touch of heat along with them. The palate offers tart tangy acidity, with the tannins seeming a bit bunched up.

Maryhill 2014 Elephant Mountain Vineyards Sangiovese Rattlesnake Hills $34 87 points
Aged in 45% new French oak, aromas of cocoa, vanilla and barrel spice are at the fore followed by full-bodied but still tart raspberry and cranberry flavors. It brings a bit of heat along with it.

North by Northwest 2014 Syrah Walla Walla Valley $40 88 points
Fruit from Seven Hills, Los Oidos, and Les Collines make up the majority of this wine. Aromas of baking spice and jammy raspberry notes are at the fore. The red-fruit flavors are full bodied and intense, trailing a bit on the finish. There are a lot of good things going on here but they don’t all entirely come together.

Original House Wine 2015 Steak House Cabernet Sauvignon America $12 86 points
The aromas are fruit forward, with notes of berry and black currant. The flavors are ripe, with the oak pulled way back. There’s plenty of easy drinking enjoyment to be had.

Original House Wine NV Chardonnay America $6 85 points
Coming in a 375ml can, this wine brings aromas of lees and lemon curd. The palate is creamy in feel and lightly sweet.

Original House Wine NV Rosé America $6 85 points
Pale salmon in color, this is an aromatic rosé with notes of peach and jasmine. It’s off dry in style and brings easy drinking enjoyment.

Original House Wine 2015 Mountain Merlot America $12 86 points
This straight forward crowd pleaser brings aromas of apple, raspberry and plum. The palate is ripe and goes down easy. It should bring plenty of fans.

Original House Wine 2016 Fish House Sauvignon Blanc America $12 86 points
The aromas are quite light, with notes of tropical fruit, white grapefruit and sweet herb. The flavors are similarly light and sleek, offering a nip of acid on the finish.

Pendulum 2014 Red Blend Columbia Valley $17 88 points
This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. The aromas are quite reserved, with notes of vanilla, berry, plum and wood spice. The palate brings plum, cranberry and raspberry flavors, backed by lightly grainy tannins.

Rich Table 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $20 88 points
The aromas are downright fruity, with notes of apricot nectar, herb, dried stem and flower. The palate brings chalky-feeling cherry and guava flavors. It’s an unusual interpretation of this variety that could use more time to settle in the bottle.

Sawtooth 2015 Chardonnay Snake River Valley (ID) $14 87 points
The aromas bring notes of vanilla, cream and baking spice, with the oak playing a prominent part but still showing appeal. The palate brings sweet cinnamon flavors that linger on the finish.

Sheridan Vineyard 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley $30 89 points
Aromas of baking spice, orange peel and green herb are followed by well-balanced fruit and savory flavors. There’s no mistaking the variety or the region that it comes from. It’s a distinctive wine but not for all tastes.

Skyfall 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $14 87 points
This wine is quite blue-fruited aromatically for a Cabernet. This continues on the palate, with boysenberry flavors backed by lightly grainy tannins. It provides interest, but you’d never peg it for Cabernet Sauvignon.

Ste. Chapelle 2016 Special Harvest Riesling Snake River Valley (ID) $14 87 points
The aromas are a bit subdued for the variety, with notes of apricot, jasmine and flowers. The palate drinks sweet, with abundant stone-fruit flavors that provide a lot of easy-drinking appeal.

Stemilt Creek 2014 Ascent One-half Mile Closer to the Moon Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $48 85 points
The aromas pop, with notes of sliced green pepper and jalapeño pepper, leaning very hard into the green. The palate brings more of the same, drinking more like a Carmenere than a Cabernet.

Stemilt Creek 2014 Ascent One-half Mile Closer to the Moon Syrah Columbia Valley $45 86 points
Aromas of wood spice, dill, vanilla and cherry are at the fore. The palate mixes jammy fruit with barrel flavors. The two seeming to tussle a bit. The wood wins out on the finish.

Stemilt Creek 2014 Ascent One-Half Mile Closer to the Moon Merlot Columbia Valley $42 84 points
The aromas are a bit unsettled, bringing a wilted-flower note that is off-putting. The ripe cherry, blackberry and smoky flavors seem disconnected. It doesn’t all come together, and the variety seems impossible to find.

Stemilt Creek 2016 Ascent One-Half Mile Closer to the Moon Rosé Columbia Valley $19 82 points
Pale peach in color, this wine brings aromas of green pepper and jalapeño pepper that are quite strong. The palate is dry and brings more of the same. It just doesn’t work.

Telaya 2016 Anam White Blend Yakima Valley $23 88 points
This wine is a unique blend of Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Sémillon and Marsanne. Light aromas of melon and citrus lead to dry full-feeling fruit flavors that bring a rounded feel. It’s an intriguing wine.

Telaya 2016 Grenache Blanc Yakima Valley $25 87 points
The aromas are bright, with notes of pear, melon and apple. The palate brings dry ale flavors that taper toward the finish.

Telaya 2015 Boushey Vineyard Malbec Yakima Valley $36 84 points
Aromas of marionberry jam and smoke leap out of the glass, along with orange peel and wilted flower notes that seem a bit unsettled. The flavors are plump around the edges but light in the middle, with a mesquite note that distracts.

Vital 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $28 87 points
Aromas of butterscotch, herb and barrel spice are followed by full-bodied cherry and vanilla flavors, with the tannins bringing some grit. Ultimately, the wood seems to get a bit in the way of the fruit.

Wilridge 2015 Mary Evelyn Vineyard Touriga Nacional Yakima Valley $23 88 points
This is a seldom-seen variety in the state. The aromas are brooding, with high-toned notes of dried herb, barrel spice and potpourri along with red fruit. The fruit flavors are tart and plump, soft and sumptuous, showing a pleasing sense of purity. One wants a bit more aromatically but there’s still much to enjoy.

Wilridge 2015 Conley Vineyard Malbec Columbia Valley $23 88 points
The aromas are light, with notes of berry, herb, dried flower and spice. The palate brings plenty of plump cherry flavors along with pleasing spice accents. It’s an intriguing example of this variety.

Wilridge 2015 Angiolina Vineyard Grenache Yakima Valley $23 87 points
Pale in color, the aromas are quite light, making you strain into the glass to get at them. The cranberry and herb flavors bring a sense of purity and appeal, with the oak dialed way back. One wants more aromatically but the palate delivers enjoyment. It should perform well at the dinner table.

Wilridge 2014 Mélange Noir Wilridge Vineyard Naches Heights $40 87 points
This wine is a blend of Cabernet Franc (32%), Cabernet Sauvignon (25%), Merlot (24%) and Malbec. Aromas of green pepper, herb, cherry and spice are followed by full-feeling cherry flavors. It comes off as quite green but there’s interest to be had.

Wilridge 2014 Estate Barbera Naches Heights $35 88 points
The aromas are quite muted, not revealing much about what’s inside the glass. It’s a shame because the palate is quite flavorful, ripe with cherry and spice flavors that show persistence. If the two come together it could move up a notch.

Wilridge 2014 Estate Wilridge Vineyard Sangiovese Naches Heights $35 88 points
This wine is quite light in color, with delicate aromas of cigar box, herb and spice. The cherry flavors are full and tart, with spice notes on the finish.

Wilridge 2014 Estate Wilridge Vineyard Syrah-Mourvèdre Naches Heights $35 87 points
High-toned aromas of potpourri, herb and white pepper lead to plump pleasing fruit flavors. It brings a slightly tacky feel, with the finish coming up a bit short.

Wilridge 2015 Estate Zweigelt Naches Heights $35 90 points
This variety is an extreme rarity in the state but shows plenty of promise in this nascent growing region. Aromas of cherry, herb and spice lead to broad tart full cherry flavors that show a sense of purity, finesse and length.

Wilridge 2015 Estate Wilridge Vineyard Sagrantino Naches Heights $40 87 points
This is the only bottling of this variety I am aware of in the state. The aromas are intriguing: all high toned, with notes of herb, barrel spice and ripe blackberry. The flavors are full bore, holding nothing back. The tannins bring a slight sense of astringency. There’s promise.

Wilridge 2015 Estate Wilridge Vineyard Viognier-Roussanne Naches Heights $20 83 points
Viognier makes up 61% of this wine. The aromas don’t seem entirely pleasant, with notes of ale and herb. The palate brings a lightly oily feel to the stone-fruit flavors that also show some sweetness that isn’t balanced by acidity.

Wilridge 2015 Lodmell Vineyard Merlot Walla Walla County $23 87 points
Aromas of boysenberry and barrel spice are followed by ripe pleasing purple-fruit flavors. The tannins deliver a light squeeze. It’s hard to find the variety exactly, but it still brings appeal.

Windy Canyon 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $28 88 points
Aromas of assorted green herbs mix with notes of black cherry, anise and barrel spice. The blackberry flavors are sweet and tacky in feel. There’s intrigue but it doesn’t all come together.

Windy Canyon 2014 Syrah Walla Walla Valley $30 87 points
The aromas are lively, with notes of smoke, raw meat, white pepper and red fruit. The palate shows considerable restraint, with an elegant silky feel to the fruit and savory flavors.


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