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'18 Tour Guide

Reviewed Wineries

Wine Enthusiast Reviews for November 2017

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Below are my Wine Enthusiast reviews for November 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.

221 reviews in the November 2017 issue. Enjoy!

:Nota Bene 2013 Syrah Columbia Valley $25 88 points
This wine, which includes 17% Mourvèdre and 8% Grenache, is a blend of fruit from Arianses, Stone Tree, Ciel du Cheval and Heart of the Hill vineyards. Baking spice, vanilla, dark fruit and cocoa aromas lead to ripe, generous black fruit flavors. It’s a bold, hedonistic interpretation of the variety, with oak playing a prominent role.

:Nota Bene 2013 Arianses Vineyard Wahluke Slope $30 88 points
This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (34%), Merlot (33%), Cabernet Franc (17%) and Petit Verdot brings vanilla, baker’s chocolate, woodspice, dried herb and cherry aromas. It’s medium bodied on the palate, with cherry flavors and cinnamon accents throughout.

:Nota Bene 2013 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red Mountain $40 88 points
Cabernet Sauvignon (54%) takes the lead in this wine, followed by Merlot (31%) and Cabernet Franc (15%). The aromas are all high toned, including spice, dried dark fruit and herb notes. The black fruit shows depth, framed by lightly dry tannins and a gamy flavor that lingers on the finish.

:Nota Bene 2013 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Merlot Red Mountain $35 88 points
In this 100% varietal wine, tire rubber, spice box and flower aromas are followed by seamless dark fruit flavors backed by firm but well integrated tannins. It shows a pleasant balance that sustains through the finish.

:Nota Bene 2013 Heart of the Hill Mourvèdre Red Mountain $30 87 points
This 100% varietal wine’s cocoa and sweet baking spice aromas are followed by ripe, luscious fruit and barrel flavors. Oak plays a prominent role, with light gamy notes that persist on the finish.

:Nota Bene 2013 Stone Tree Vineyard Syrah Wahluke Slope $35 87 points
Aged in 50% each new American and seasoned French oak, this leads with cocoa powder, vanilla and shaved coconut aromas. The flavors are extremely ripe, loaded with coconut and vanilla flavors. The barrel influence shows prominently, as does the ripeness.

:Nota Bene 2013 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Syrah Red Mountain $40 87 points
Vanilla, coconut and baking spice aromas are at the fore, with the wood primary. The palate is rich and full bodied, with dark fruit and oak spice flavors. There are some good things going on but the oak—half new American and half seasoned French—rides right over them.

:Nota Bene 2013 Heart of the Hill Vineyard Malbec Red Mountain $30 87 points
This wine’s unusual purple fruit, citrus, herb and wood spice aromas waft up from the glass. The palate brings abundant orange peel flavors supported by tannins that are surprisingly firm for the variety. Citrus twist notes linger on the finish.

:Nota Bene 2013 Una Notte Columbia Valley $30 86 points
This combines 73% Grenache, 16% Syrah and 11% Mourvèdre from Stone Tree, Arianses, Ciel du Cheval and Heart of the Hill vineyards. Its vanilla, pencil box, green herb, raspberry and purple fruit aromas are followed by quite sweet, ripe, full-bodied red and black fruit flavors. The balance seems off.

:Nota Bene 2013 Heart of the Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $40 85 points
This 100% varietal wine shows medicine cabinet, barnyard, Band-Aid and dried fruit aromas followed by dried out fruit and medicinal flavors. The tannins bring some dryness.

:Nota Bene 2013 Cabernet Franc Yakima Valley $25 85 points
This 100% varietal wine from the Dineen (66%) and Ciel du Cheval vineyards shows garden herb, green pepper, seaweed, cherry and citrus aromas. It’s medium bodied, with gritty tannins and somewhat green flavors.

4 Cellars 2015 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $25 87 points
Barrel aromas and malolactic notes are prominent in this wine, suggesting baking spice and vanilla. The palate is full and creamy, needing a bit more acidity to hold it together but still providing enjoyment.

4 Cellars 2014 Red Blend Columbia Valley $25 87 points
This blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Malbec offers vanilla, herb and cherry aromas that seem a bit coarse. The palate is full of baking spice flavors—notably vanilla. It’s heavy on the oak notes, despite having aged in just 42% new French barrels, the rest older French and American.

Adega Northwest 2014 Weinbau Vineyard Block 10 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $36 89 points
This wine’s aromas are locked up but still show nuance, with fresh herb, flower, vanilla, chocolate and cherry notes. The palate shows restraint despite the warm region and vintage, with firm, lightly dry tannins providing support. It shows well at the dinner table.

Adega Northwest 2014 McB Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $28 88 points
This wine’s light cranberry, cherry and maple candy aromas show a bit of volatility. Full-throttle dark fruit flavors follow, coating the palate from end to end. It pulls no punches and shows some heat on the finish.

Andrew Januik 2014 Lady Hawk Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $50 91 points
This wine’s aromas are brooding and high toned, with herb, vanilla and cherry notes. The palate is focused and brings textural appeal, with plum and cocoa flavors that linger long into the finish. It shows a lot of poise and subtlety.

Andrew Januik 2014 Stone Cairn Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $40 90 points
This wine’s aromas suggest bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, cherry and spice. The palate is rich and layered, with sumptuous red and black fruit flavors speckled with plentiful barrel accents.

Apex 2015 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $19 86 points
Enchanting apricot and spice aromas are followed by full-bodied, creamy fruit flavors that provide intrigue but lack depth. Overall, it’s a bit ponderous and short on the finish.

B. Leighton 2014 Gratitude Olsen Brothers Vineyard Yakima Valley $45 92 points
This blend of 70% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache and 5% Syrah brings crushed flower, dried herb, plum, black pepper and red fruit aromas. The palate shows velvety red and black fruit flavors that feel pure and balanced.

Baer 2014 Malbec Columbia Valley $29 91 points
This wine’s aromas are vibrant and fruit forward, with plum, blackberry seed, barrel spice, herb and clove notes. The palate delivers plush, tart, textured flavors. A compelling example of the variety.

Baer 2014 Callisto Red Blend Columbia Valley $39 91 points
This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (57%), Syrah (27%), Petit Verdot (15%) and Merlot delivers a medley of herb, baker’s chocolate, smoke, plum and black tea aromas. Fine-grained tannins support its dark fruit flavors, which stretch long into the finish. Highly styled yet lovely.

Baer 2014 Arctos Stillwater Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $43 90 points
This delivers vanilla, fig, smoke and woodspice aromas. Its dark fruit flavors are medium bodied, tapering toward the finish.

Baer 2014 Star Merlot Columbia Valley $35 89 points
This delivers smoke, coffee bean, dark red fruit and spice aromas. It’s oak-forward on the palate, somewhat obscuring the fruit flavors, but it still brings appeal.

Balancing Act 2016 Chardonnay Washington $12 87 points
Almost effervescent on first pour, this wine is brightly aromatic, with apple, pear and melon notes. The palate shows no obvious oak influence, with a rounded mouthfeel and Granny Smith apple-like acidity. It’s a pleasing, straightforward example of the variety. Best Buy

Balancing Act 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Washington $18 87 points
Fruit forward aromas of plum, black currant, herb and spice lead to lightly sweet blue and black fruit flavors in this wine. Grainy tannins provide support, delivering easy-drinking appeal.

Beast 2014 Wildebeast Red Blend Columbia Valley $24 88 points
Light herb, green olive and earth aromas are followed by broad cranberry, cherry and orange peel flavors in this wine. It doesn’t quite stand up on its own but should fit well at the dinner table.

Bonair 2014 Chateau Puryear Vineyard Merlot Rattlesnake Hills $15 87 points
Vanilla, herb, pencil box and spice aromas are followed by sweet cherry flavors in this wine. Lightly tacky tannins provide support.

Bonair 2016 Chardonnay Yakima Valley $13 86 points
This wine’s generous aromas suggest roasted corn and apple. It’s medium bodied, with appealing yet straightforward flavors, finishing tart.

Bonair 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley $13 86 points
Pungent notes of cocoa, herb, medicine cabinet, vanilla and cherry liqueur mark this wine’s nose. The palate is full bodied with firm, dry tannins and dried out fruit flavors.

Bonair 2013 Chateau Puryear Vineyard Malbec Rattlesnake Hills $24 85 points
This wine’s cranberry, orange peel and herb notes are atypical for the variety. Its fruit flavors are tart and elegant, needing a bit more structure to prop them up. It’s a bit thin in concentration, with consistent orange peel flavors throughout.

Bonair 2016 Dry Gewürztraminer Yakima Valley $13 85 points
This wine brings high-toned aromas of white flower, lychee and spice. The palate is broad and light, with a distracting bitter note on the finish.

Browne Family Vineyards 2015 & Red Blend Columbia Valley $40 88 points
This leads with blue fruit aromas and follows with baking spice notes. The flavors are sweet, plump and undeniably appealing.

Browne Family Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $36 87 points
This Cabernet Sauvignon’s vanilla, baking spice, dill, herb and cherry aromas are locked up. The palate brings plenty of vanilla flavors backed by gritty tannins, but the oak is too prominent and distracting.

Browne Family Vineyards 2015 & White Blend Columbia Valley $34 86 points
Bright aromas of ripe peach, apricot, flower and jasmine lead to off-dry stone fruit flavors in this simple, straightforward quaffer.

Buty 2015 Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc-Muscadelle Columbia Valley $25 88 points
Light dried orange peel, herb and candlewax aromas lead to broad, medium-bodied fruit flavors in this white. It’s enjoyable despite the muted aromatic expression.

Cadaretta 2014 Southwind Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $75 92 points
From the winery’s estate plantings above Seven Hills Vineyard in the new SeVein project, this wine is still closed aromatically, needing time or air to coax out its vanilla, toast, herb and dark cherry notes. The palate is dense, delivering layer upon layer of dark fruit flavors, with a compelling texture and impeccable balance. It has a long life ahead of it. Best 2022–2028. Cellar Selection

Cadaretta 2014 Southwind Walla Walla Valley $75 91 points
Malbec and Petit Verdot each make up 37% of this wine, with the balance in Cabernet Sauvignon. The Malbec pops aromatically, suggesting clove, spice and plum. The palate is well balanced, with supple black cherry flavors and a persistent finish. It brings a lot of appeal.

Cadaretta 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $45 89 points
Light herb, sweet spice, orange peel, maple and red and black fruit aromas are followed by dark fruit flavors in this wine. It’s a bit wound up now, so give it some time in the cellar or a long decant.

Cadaretta 2014 Syrah Columbia Valley $35 89 points
Huckleberry, blackberry, coffee and bramble aromas lead to full-bodied fruit and barrel flavors in this wine. It’s appealing despite the heavy-handed oak.

Cadence 2014 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red Mountain $45 93 points
Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon each make up a third of this wine, with smaller amounts of Merlot and Petit Verdot. Its dark cherry, earth, flower and spice aromas are followed by concentrated and luscious but still refined cherry flavors. It shows a lot of structure and ripeness, in keeping with the warmth of the vintage.

Cadence 2015 Coda Red Mountain $28 92 points
This blend of Cabernet Franc (46%), Merlot (28%), Cabernet Sauvignon (17%) and Petit Verdot (9%) starts out brooding, with black cherry, herb, black currant, anise, and spice notes. The palate is rich and structured, loaded with dark fruit flavors and firm tannins. Give it some time to open up. Editor's Choice

Cadence 2014 Tapteil Vineyard Red Mountain $45 92 points
This wine is half Cabernet Sauvignon, with the rest equal parts Cabernet Franc and Merlot. It’s subtle on the nose, with currant, flower, crushed rock and herb notes. The palate is firmly structured, punctuating the flavors on the finish. Best 2025–2030. Cellar Selection

Cadence 2014 Bel Canto Cara Mia Vineyard Red Mountain $60 92 points
Cabernet Franc makes up half of this wine, with the balance in Merlot (38%) and Petit Verdot (12%). It delivers light currant, herb, flower and dark fruit aromas. The palate is saturated with dark fruit flavors while firm, structured tannins provide support. It needs some time in the cellar to settle. Best after 2022. Cellar Selection

Cadence 2014 Camerata Cara Mia Vineyard Red Mountain $60 91 points
Made from 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Cabernet Franc, this shows brooding aromas of spice and black and red fruit, followed by ripe, concentrated, plump fruit flavors. The tannins are grainy, calling for additional time in the cellar or a long decant to mellow.

Cairdeas 2016 Nellie Mae Columbia Valley $24 88 points
This blend of 60% Viognier and 40% Roussanne bursts with honeysuckle, jasmine, pear and ripe peach aromas. The flavors are broad and fleshy, with a slightly sharp finish that shows some warmth.

Canoe Ridge 2014 The Explorer Red Blend Horse Heaven Hills $22 89 points
This blend of 49% Syrah, 27% Cabernet Franc and 24% Cabernet Sauvignon leads with boysenberry, blackberry and sweet spice aromas, followed by full-bodied, lush fruit flavors. The tannins are a bit tacky, but it’s otherwise appealing, showing pleasant balance.

Canoe Ridge 2015 The Expedition Red Blend Horse Heaven Hills $16 88 points
This wine is just over two-thirds Merlot, the balance in Syrah, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Dark plum, coffee, bittersweet chocolate and spice aromas are followed by medium-bodied fruit flavors backed by plump tannins. It goes down easy.

Canoe Ridge 2016 The Expedition Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley $16 86 points
This wine is reduced out of the gate but opens into kiwi, pineapple and herb aromas. It’s light to medium bodied on the palate and needs more concentration and acidity to feel complete.

Canoe Ridge 2016 Limited Edition Canyon Vineyard Ranch Cinsault Rosé Yakima Valley $20 84 points
This pale rosé has subdued strawberry aromas and a hint of residual sugar. It comes off as quite generic, without a lot of flavor to bring it to life.

Canoe Ridge 2016 The Expedition Rosé Yakima Valley $16 84 points
Pale salmon in color, this delivers strawberry and watermelon aromas. It’s dry on the palate, but the flavors fall a bit flat.

Canoe Ridge 2016 The Expedition Pinot Gris Horse Heaven Hills $16 84 points
Light peach and ale notes mark the nose of this wine. The palate is dry, and the flavors somewhat flat, making it hard to ascertain the variety.

Casa Smith 2013 Jack’s Vineyard Barbera Walla Walla Valley $35 91 points
The only varietally labeled Barbera from the Rocks District, this offers intriguing notes of currant, savory herb, pipe tobacco and moist earth. The palate is light in body, with a mix of fruit and savory flavors that carry through to the cranberry-inflected finish.

Casa Smith 2015 Cinghiale Wahluke Slope & Rosebud Vineyards Sangiovese Wahluke Slope $NA 89 points
This wine’s macerated cranberry, raspberry jam and dried orange peel aromas are bright. Its raspberry and cranberry flavors are sweet and focused, delivering a lot of appeal, though seeming a bit ripe.

Cerebella 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $30 87 points
This wine’s aromas suggest asphalt, herb and dark fruit, showing whiffs of volatility. The palate delivers bountiful black fruit flavors supported by smooth tannins, providing appeal.

Cerebella 2014 Syrah Walla Walla Valley $25 87 points
This wine’s aromas are so light you have to strain to pick them out, yet it shows whiffs of volatility. The palate delivers sweet, smooth dark fruit flavors with a fair amount of heat. There’s enough here to keep it interesting, needing more aromatic expression and balance to truly come together.

Chandler Reach 2012 Reserve Parris Estate Sangiovese Yakima Valley $40 87 points
This wine’s barrel aromas are upfront, suggesting vanilla and sawdust along with dried cherry and raspberry. Fruit and oak notes play off each other on the palate, with vanilla-rich barrel notes winning out on the finish.

Chandler Reach 2013 Brevetatta Yakima Valley $28 86 points
This blend of 70% Syrah, 10% Merlot and 10% Sangiovese delivers vanilla, shaved coconut and dark fruit aromas. It’s full bodied, with fruit and barrel-derived flavors that linger on the finish. The oak influence is cumbersome.

Col Solare 2014 Collector’s Society Red Mountain $NA 91 points
This wine is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Malbec. The aromas bring notes of blue plum, herb, cherry and spice. The palate features ripe, dense fruit flavors that display a spot on sense of balance.

Corvus 2014 La Reserve Red Mountain $55 89 points
This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (33%), Merlot (33%), Petit Verdot (16%), Malbec (16%) and Cabernet Franc (2%) delivers high toned notes of cocoa, purple flower, green herb and plum, showing whiffs of volatility. The palate is velvety-smooth, with plentiful dark fruit and chocolate flavors backed by burly tannins. Give it time to stretch its legs.

Corvus 2014 Mourvèdre Red Mountain $40 87 points
This wine’s light aromas include herb, black pepper, licorice and cherry notes, showing volatility. It’s full bodied on the palate, with black cherry flavors that run a bit sweet.

Coyote Canyon 2012 Tres Cruces Horse Heaven Hills $25 86 points
This wine’s barrel spice, barnyard, coffee and vanilla aromas lead to medium-bodied fruit flavors tinged with a strong, distracting gamy note.

Ded.Reckoning 2013 No. 14 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Grenache Red Mountain $40 91 points
This wine was made by Rhône-variety specialist James Mantone of Syncline. The aromas are locked up at present but suggest mineral, spice and red and blue fruit as it opens. The palate is full bodied, seamless and pure, showing depth and detail.

Delmas 2015 SJR Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $NA 93 points
Out of the gate, this is a bit brooding for a wine from the Rocks District, with dried orange peel, crushed gravel, blue fruit and flower aromas, revealing smoked meat notes over time. The flavors lean savory, suggesting tapenade and ember, followed by softly textured blueberry fruit. Long on the finish, it’s all about elegance and sophistication. Editor's Choice

Dowsett Family 2015 Celilo Vineyard Gewürztraminer Columbia Gorge $22 91 points
From vines planted in 1982, this delivers exuberant lychee, spice, rose petal and citrus zest aromas. It’s dry and medium-bodied on the palate, with spice-driven flavors and floral notes that persist on the (slightly warm) finish. It drinks well on its own but really sings at the dinner table. Editor's Choice

Drink Washington State 2015 Escape to Walla Walla Walla Walla Valley $26 88 points
This blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot boasts bright raspberry and cherry aromas, with green wood, baking spice and whiffs of game. The palate delivers concentrated fruit and medicinal flavors that carry through the finish.

Drink Washington State 2014 Welcome to Columbia Valley Chardonnay Columbia Valley $19 88 points
This Chardonnay’s lees, custard, pear and spice aromas are somewhat inharmonious. It’s elegant on the palate, however, showing graceful apple flavors.

Drink Washington State 2014 Groovin On Cabernet Sauvignon Wahluke Slope $26 88 points
Tight as a drum out of the gate, this brings smoke, spice, vanilla, apple and dark fruit aromas. Its currant flavors are more giving, showing a pleasing balance.

Drink Washington State 2014 Enjoy Walla Walla Carmenère Walla Walla Valley $26 88 points
Upfront jalapeño, white pepper and freshly sliced bell pepper aromas lead the nose of this wine. It’s soft in texture and an intriguing example of the variety.

Dusted Valley 2014 Petite Sirah Wahluke Slope $42 89 points
This wine’s matchstick, dark fruit, vanilla, herb and spice aromas are brooding. It’s full and rich on the palate, with dark fruit flavors that linger on the finish.

Eternal 2015 Eternal Restraint Syrah Walla Walla Valley $60 90 points
Co-fermented with 5% Viognier, this wine’s appealing fresh flower, orange peel, ham hock and black olive tapenade aromas jump out of the glass. The palate is light, tart and sleek, not delivering on all that the aromas suggest but still providing plenty of intrigue.

Eternal 2015 Eternal Heritage Syrah Walla Walla Valley $60 90 points
Co-fermented with 5% Roussanne, this wine comes from Morrison Lane Vineyard. It’s brightly aromatic, with blueberry jam, huckleberry and spice notes. The palate is soft and textured, delivering rich fruit flavors and a long finish that shows some warmth.

Eternal 2015 Eternal Darkness Cockburn Ranch Syrah Walla Walla Valley $60 90 points
This wine’s aromas suggest black fruit, minerals, dark plum, barrel spice and kirsch. Its black fruit flavors are sweet and sappy, augmented with toasty barrel notes.

Eternal 2015 Rocketman Columbia Valley $35 89 points
This blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot and 5% Carmenère is fragrant, with raspberry, freshly sliced bell pepper and green herb notes. The palate is full of cocoa and chocolate flavors, leaning heavily on oak attributes but still providing appeal.

Eternal 2016 Eternal Perspective Grenache Blanc Columbia Valley $30 88 points
Lightly toasty notes lead the nose of this wine, along with herb, green apple and citrus rind aromas. The palate is quite elegant in style, needing only a bit more concentration to truly shine.

Eternal 2016 Eternal Beauty Rosé Walla Walla Valley $21 88 points
Pale salmon in color, this delivers mineral, strawberry and cherry aromas. It’s dry on the palate, with tart, lightly concentrated sour cherry and citrus rind flavors.

Fielding Hills 2014 Estate Riverbend Vineyard Cabernet Franc Wahluke Slope $38 91 points
This wine’s coffee, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, coconut, herb and cherry aromas are followed by a rich, full bodied palate loaded with black fruit flavors and generous barrel accents. Its oak influence seems prominent at times but doesn’t stand in the way of its hedonistic appeal.

Fielding Hills 2014 Estate Riverbend Vineyard Merlot Wahluke Slope $40 89 points
Vanilla, herb, cherry, coconut and barrel spice aromas are followed by supple cherry and spice flavors in this wine. The barrel influence is a bit up-front, but it still provides plenty of pleasure.

Fielding Hills 2016 Old Vine Chenin Blanc Columbia Valley $28 88 points
The first white wine from Fielding Hills, this boasts fresh yellow apple and herb aromas, which lead to dry-tasting fruit flavors. It’s cleanly made, albeit a bit short.

Finn Hill 2013 L’abime Corfu Crossing Vineyard Syrah Columbia Valley $35 88 points
Char, firepit, barrel spice and herb aromas lead to elegantly styled cranberry flavors in this wine. The tannins lend a light structure.

Finn Hill 2013 Merveille Stillwater Creek Vineyard Merlot Columbia Valley $35 88 points
Dried herb, purple flower, vanilla, baking spice, black licorice and barrel spice aromas lead to ripe dark fruit flavors in this wine. Generous barrel accents run throughout while tannins bring a touch of dryness.

Finn Hill 2013 Le Beau Hedges Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $35 88 points
This wine’s tightly wound woodspice, black cherry, cocoa, caramel and herb aromas are followed by tart, plentiful dark fruit flavors. It needs some time for its chewy, lightly dry tannins to settle, but plenty of good things are going on. Give it some time in the cellar or a long decant.

Finn Hill 2013 Tenebrae Stillwater Creek Vineyard Petit Verdot Columbia Valley $30 87 points
This 100% varietal wine leads with woodspice, green herb and flower aromas and follows with sweet, vanilla-laced black fruit flavors. Although aged entirely in used French oak, the barrel influence is prominent. The tannins bring dryness, needing food to ease their grit.

Finn Hill 2016 Blondie Rosé of Sangiovese Rattlesnake Hills $20 86 points
Electric pink in color, this brings wild strawberry, cherry, watermelon and spice aromas. The palate is broad and heavy, lacking lift.

Finn Hill 2016 The Gnome Corfu Crossing Vineyard Riesling Columbia Valley $20 85 points
This wine’s red apple, flower and lees aromas lead to off-dry, leesy fruit flavors that seem a bit heavy and weighed down.

Forgeron 2013 Merlot Columbia Valley $30 91 points
This combines Merlot from Minnick Hills and Birch Creek vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley and Candy Mountain in the larger Columbia Valley with smaller amounts of Malbec from StoneTree and Petit Verdot from Dionysus. It’s generous in aroma, with with plentiful coffee, raspberry, bittersweet chocolate, flower and graphite notes. The palate displays a lot of elegance, with tart acidity providing support. It’s a very pretty expression of the variety that should show especially well at the dinner table.

Hawkins Cellars 2014 Mourvèdre Columbia Valley $45 88 points
This blend of Horse Heaven Hills and Red Mountain fruit delivers brooding cherry and herb aromas and full-bodied black cherry flavors. The tannins contribute grit.

Hawkins Cellars 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $42 88 points
This wine seems advanced for its age, with fruit leather, cherry cordial, vanilla and herb notes. The flavors are a bit jagged, showing some rough edges.

Januik 2014 Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $55 92 points
Vanilla, cocoa, graphite, woodspice and black cherry aromas lead to polished blackberry and cherry flavors in this Cabernet. It shows a fine balance and texture that piques interest, and a distinctive spice note that lingers on the finish.

Januik 2014 Reserve Columbia Valley $65 92 points
Cabernet Sauvignon from Champoux and Weinbau vineyards make up the heart of this wine, with a balance of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Cocoa, vanilla, dark plum, spice and herb aromas are followed by generous dark fruit flavors that coat the palate from end to end, with a lingering coffee note. At once hedonistic and balanced, it has a long life ahead of it. Best after 2022. Cellar Selection

Januik 2014 Champoux Vineyard Malbec Horse Heaven Hills $40 92 points
This wine comes from one of Washington’s top vineyards, best known for Cabernet Sauvignon, however this Malbec seems to shine as well. Almost 100% varietal, it boasts vibrant plum, coffee, clove, vanilla and herb aromas. The palate is loaded with plump, creamy fruit and an oak note of lingering espresso. Editor's Choice

Januik 2014 Merlot Columbia Valley $25 91 points
This wine’s plum, vanilla, milk chocolate and blue fruit aromas are followed by a palate saturated with supersmooth fruit and barrel flavors. The variety isn’t immediately apparent, but it’s delicious all the same.

Januik 2014 Weinbau Vineyard Cabernet Franc Wahluke Slope $35 91 points
This wine’s vanilla, woodspice, black cherry and dried herb aromas lead to tightly wound fruit flavors with hefty tannins. Oak plays prominently, but it largely works, needing only additional time in the bottle or a short decant to strut its stuff.

Januik 2014 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $45 90 points
From one of the state’s most highly regarded vineyards, this boasts beguiling aromas of milk chocolate, plum, barrel spice, vanilla, herb and coffee. Lightly smoky, sensuous fruit and barrel flavors follow, showing more elegance than this often brawny appellation is known for.

Januik 2014 Klipsun Vineyard Merlot Red Mountain $30 90 points
This leads with plum, vanilla, barrel spice and herb aromas. The palate is soft and velvety, keeping the vineyard’s often burly tannins well in check and providing a lot of textural appeal. Cocoa notes linger on the finish, delivering a yum factor that is hard to ignore.

Januik 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $30 90 points
This wine comes from Weinbau, Lady Hawk, Champoux, Shaw and Obelisco vineyards. Its high toned vanilla, toffee, cherry, herb, coffee, barrel spice and plum aromas lead to generous cherry and espresso flavors. Lightly grainy tannins provide support.

Januik 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $40 90 points
This wine combines fruit from Ciel du Cheval, Obelisco, and Shaw vineyards. The aromas suggest fresh plum, gun smoke, herb, flower, vanilla, cinnamon and spice. The flavors are soft and supple, with tannins combed to a fine sheen.

Januik 2014 Weinbau Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Wahluke Slope $40 89 points
This wine’s aromas suggest woodspice, herb, parsley, cherry and smoke. Its cherry and coffee flavors are light in style and cut short on the finish.

Januik 2014 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Syrah Red Mountain $35 88 points
From one of the state’s most esteemed vineyards, this shows prominent toast, vanilla, coffee and marionberry aromas. The palate is considerably more restrained, bringing a sense of lightness. Alone, each delivers, but the two seem out of sync.

Januik 2014 Weinbau Vineyard Syrah Wahluke Slope $30 88 points
This leads with light raspberry, plum, vanilla and barrel spice aromas. The palate is lighter still, mixing fruit and barrel qualities in equal proportion and finishing on a baking spice note. The oak is a little intense.

Januik 2015 Cold Creek Vineyard Chardonnay Columbia Valley $30 88 points
This wine offers light pear, citrus, cream and lees aromas. The palate is broad and lightly creamy in feel, lacking only a bit of concentration.

Januik 2015 Bacchus Vineyard Riesling Columbia Valley $20 88 points
This wine’s citrus zest and honeysuckle aromas seem a bit light for the variety. It drinks off dry, with fleshy stone fruit flavors.

Januik 2016 Sagemoor Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley $20 87 points
Brooding aromas of lemon curd, fresh herb and citrus lead to broad citrus and herb flavors in this wine. It lacks concentration.

JM Cellars 2014 Boushey Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $48 92 points
Brooding blackberry, dark plum, dried herb, vanilla and bacon fat aromas are followed by sappy, rich, saturated fruit flavors in this wine. It’s a hedonistic rendition of Syrah that holds nothing back.

JM Cellars 2014 Founder’s Legacy Columbia Valley $85 91 points
This blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Cabernet Franc shows prominent blue fruit aromas, with plum, mountain blueberry, herb and spice notes to round them out. The flavors are concentrated and texturally rich, providing a lot of appeal.

JM Cellars 2014 Tre Fancuilli Red Blend Red Mountain $48 91 points
This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (54%), Merlot (31%) and Syrah (15%) boasts blue fruit aromas, from plum and huckleberry to bramble, along with vanilla and spice. The palate shows depth and density, with silky fruit and barrel flavors that heighten the interest. Its balance is spot on.

JM Cellars 2015 Margaret’s Vineyard Carmenère Walla Walla Valley $55 91 points
This 100% varietal wine leads with appealing blue fruit, herb, jalapeño, toast and spice aromas followed by soft, supple fruit and barrel flavors. It’s a very enjoyable expression of this often green variety.

JM Cellars 2015 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $38 89 points
This wine’s aromas are fruit forward, suggesting cantaloupe, melon and pear. The palate is spicy and broad, bringing a lot of appeal.

JM Cellars 2014 Bramble Bump Red Blend Columbia Valley $25 88 points
This blend of 43% Merlot, 26% Petit Verdot, 22% Carmenère, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Syrah offers orange peel, herb, raspberry and spice aromas that don’t seem entirely knit together. Dry tannins back up its blue and black fruit flavors.

Joleté 2015 Summit View Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $30 87 points
This leads with herb, vanilla and plum aromas, along with a reduced note of tire rubber. On the palate, sweet plum flavors are backed by gritty tannins, proving somewhat disjointed.

K Vintners 2014 The Hidden Northridge Vineyard Syrah Wahluke Slope $70 93 points
This Syrah appeals to all the senses, leading with blackberry, bramble, kirsch, mineral and crushed flower aromas. The palate is rich and dense, holding nothing back with its opulent black fruit flavors. A hedonistic expression of the variety.

K Vintners 2014 The Deal Sundance Vineyard Syrah Wahluke Slope $40 92 points
This wine’s crushed herb, mineral and blackberry aromas lead to intensely rich, full-bodied black fruit and smoked meat flavors. It’s big and bold and ready for steak.

Kestrel 2013 Falcon Series Estate Syrah Yakima Valley $25 89 points
This wine’s aromas are bright and fruit forward, with generous black pepper, raspberry, fresh flower, smoked meat and barrel spice notes. The full-bodied palate delivers cranberry flavors that are appealing but more ponderous than the aromas might suggest.

Kestrel 2016 Falcon Series Viognier Yakima Valley $21 88 points
Bright melon and lime zest aromas lead to lightly sweet, broad, fleshy fruit flavors in this wine. It’s not entirely representative of the variety but still brings a lot of freshness and appeal.

Kestrel 2013 Signature Series Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley $65 88 points
Brooding aromas of barrel spice, graphite, plum, herb, anise, char and blackberry are followed by dark fruit flavors in this wine, which shows appealing restraint.

Kestrel 2013 Falcon Series Merlot Yakima Valley $25 87 points
This wine’s barrel spice, licorice, cranberry and cherry aromas are high toned. The palate is broad, with generous fruit flavors that taper toward the finish.

Kestrel 2013 Signature Series Raptor Yakima Valley $65 87 points
This wine’s sawdust, green herb, vanilla and spice aromas are brooding. The light- to medium-bodied palate delivers cherry flavor, bringing appeal but wanting more expression.

Kestrel 2014 Falcon Series Frizzante White Blend Yakima Valley $21 86 points
This spritzy, 100% Viognier wine delivers melon, citrus zest and floral flavors. It drinks dry, fresh, clean and tart—an unusual interpretation of the variety.

Kestrel 2013 Falcon Series Tribute Red Blend Yakima Valley $25 86 points
This offers bright raspberry jam, herb, pepper and spice aromas. It’s full of vanilla flavors, seeming somewhat disjointed.

Kestrel 2016 Falcon Series Estate Chardonnay Yakima Valley $21 86 points
This wine’s perfumed melon, white flower, vanilla and baking spice scents are followed by broad stone fruit flavors that finish tart. It goes down easy.

Kestrel 2012 Winemaker’s Select Series Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley $45 86 points
At five years old, this shows green pepper, dark fruit, tar and barrel spice scents followed by restrained fruit and barrel flavors. Its jalapeño-like notes are distracting.

Kestrel 2013 Falcon Series Estate Sangiovese Yakima Valley $25 85 points
Reductive aromas distract from the fruit and barrel notes in this wine. The palate brings medium-bodied, mouth-puckering cranberry and cherry flavors. Vanilla notes linger on the finish.

Kirkland Signature 2015 Signature Series Red Blend Columbia Valley $17 89 points
This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese initially distracts with reductive aromas, but bright plum, cherry and spice notes follow. The flavors are plush, with light, grippy tannins. A great value that goes down easy.

La Rata 2014 Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $75 93 points
This blend of Grenache (53%), Cabernet Sauvignon (34%) and Syrah (13%) explodes with potpourri, peat, white pepper, smoke and earth aromas. The palate is loaded with fruit and savory flavors that glide into the extended finish. The texture is absolutely dazzling.

L'Ecole No. 41 2014 Estate Grown Merlot Walla Walla Valley $37 88 points
This combines fruit from Ferguson (60%) and Seven Hills vineyards to deliver barrel spice, clove, raspberry and mineral scents. The palate is medium bodied and full of chewy, slightly dry tannins. The oak shows prominently at present, needing more time in bottle to integrate.

Liberty Lake 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $50 88 points
Aged 40 months in French and Russian oak, this leads with green herb, bell pepper, vanilla, cherry and spice aromas and follows through with ripe black cherry flavors. The nose and palate seem disconnected, the green notes unusual for the appellation and vintage.

Liberty Lake 2016 Tahija Rosé Yakima Valley $22 87 points
Pale salmon in color, this wine offers strawberry and cherry aromas. The palate is heavy, ponderous and weighed down.

Liberty Lake 2013 Tempranillo Red Mountain $28 87 points
This wine shows vanilla, celery root, mesquite and herb aromas on the nose. Its baking spice flavors are quite sweet, suggesting heavy-handed oak. Vanilla flavors take over on the finish, leaving a disjointed impression.

Lobo Hills 2012 Right Bank Blend Lonesome Springs Ranch Yakima Valley $35 91 points
This wine’s brooding black cherry, spice box and black licorice aromas are followed by a medium-bodied, well-structured palate that finishes with tart fruit flavors. It should perform particularly well at the dinner table and have a long life ahead of it.

Lobo Hills 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $25 91 points
Dried herb, plum, black licorice, woodspice and cherry aromas are followed by palate-coating black fruit flavors, showing depth and density. It’s tightly wound at present, so give it a short decant.

Lobo Hills 2015 Roth Rock Farm Chenin Blanc Yakima Valley $22 90 points
From 30-year-old vines, this is one of the finest examples of this variety to come out of the state in recent vintages. It delivers citrus, candlewax, lees, apple and pear aromas, the palate sleekly styled with a blast of acidity that makes it a versatile pour for the dinner table.

Lobo Hills 2016 Inland Desert Auxerrois Yakima Valley $22 90 points
This wine leads with light mineral, pear and white grapefruit aromas. It’s medium-bodied on the palate, with bright acidity and citrus rind flavors that persist into the finish and keep you coming back for more. Editor's Choice

Lobo Hills 2013 Stonetree Vineyard Syrah Wahluke Slope $30 90 points
This wine’s bright aromas include cranberry, cherry, vanilla and red fruit. The flavors are tart and full, with an appealing mouthfeel and a lingering finish.

Lobo Hills 2013 Spilya Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $30 90 points
This wine’s aromas are quite restrained but include whiffs of red fruit and spice. The palate is light to medium bodied, showing both subtlety and balance. A lovely wine lacking only in aromatic expression.

Lobo Hills 2012 Syrah-Cabernet Sauvignon Wahluke Slope $35 88 points
This blend of 67% Stonetree Vineyard Syrah and 33% Arianses Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. delivers vanilla, baking spice and dried cherry notes. Its fruit flavors are sweet but seem dried out. Drink now.

Locations NV WA4 Red Blend Washington $20 88 points
This shows cranberry and herb aromas, along with a floral top note. The palate comes off as sweet and liquorous, with lightly grainy tannins providing support.

Maison Bleue 2014 Voyageur Yellow Jacket Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $50 94 points
Hailing from old plantings in the Rocks District, this brings unique sagebrush, violet, blackberry, smoked meat, black pepper and wet stone notes. The palate is exquisitely pure and fresh, with abundant, layered blackberry and kirsch flavors. With its peppery finish and plush mouthfeel, it’s swoon-worthy. Editor's Choice

Maison Bleue 2014 Bourgeois Grenache Walla Walla Valley $45 93 points
All of the fruit for this wine comes from Monette’s Vineyard in the Rocks District, and it was fermented using 75% whole clusters. The aromas are fresh and perfumed, recalling red raspberry, pipe tobacco, white pepper, pomegranate, kirsch, herb and orange peel. The palate shows mesmerizing purity in its red fruit flavors, which are backed by fine-grained tannins. A thoroughly delicious interpretation of the variety that is nothing short of dazzling. Editor's Choice

Maison Bleue 2014 Coureur des Bois Red Blend Columbia Valley $40 93 points
This unique blend of 40% Syrah, 40% Mourvèdre and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon comes from Olsen, Les Collines and Waliser vineyards. Its savory herb, black currant, bramble, smoked meat, white pepper, orange peel and plum aromas pop. The palate is supple, elegant and balanced. A lengthy finish caps off the experience, which is as much about texture as flavor.

Maison Bleue 2014 Frontiére Waliser Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $65 93 points
This 100% varietal wine is the winery’s inaugural Cabernet Sauvignon and hails from the Rocks District. It’s boasts all of Cabernet’s prototypical aromas, from black currant to tobacco and herb, with a kiss of vanilla from having aged in 50% new French oak. It’s soft and palate-coating in mouthfeel yet retains a strong sense of structure, with lightly chewy tannins. A fine interpretation of the variety with a downright dazzling feel.

Maryhill 2014 Alder Ridge Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $38 89 points
This 100% varietal wine shows raspberry jam, fruit leather and plum aromas that are bright on the nose. The palate packs tart fruit flavors supported by plump, ripe tannins. It’s not your typical Cabernet but still provides appeal, though the alcohol dominates at times.

Maryhill 2014 Clifton Hill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Wahluke Slope $40 88 points
This wine is brightly aromatic, with raspberry, mint, herb and woodspice notes. The palate is full of plush, plump fruit flavors that provide appeal, despite the prominent alcohol.

Maryhill 2014 Kiona Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $45 87 points
This wine’s bright raspberry jam, pencil lead and barrel spice aromas lead to quite ripe, dried out fruit and barrel flavors. The tannins are a bit drying.

Maryhill 2015 Winemaker’s Red Blend Columbia Valley $16 86 points
This wine’s smoke, seaweed, black pepper, orange peel and purple fruit aromas pop. The palate features easy-drinking fruit flavors, with gritty tannins to back them up.

Maryhill 2014 Les Collines Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $36 86 points
This 100% varietal Cabernet Sauvignon shows cocoa, green herb and cherry notes, with a hint of volatility. It’s medium bodied on the palate, with scratchy tannins.

Matthews 2013 Reserve Columbia Valley $60 88 points
In this blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, vanilla, carob, herb, green wood and dark fruit aromas are followed by fruit and oak-derived flavors in equal proportion. It shows restraint but doesn’t come together.

Milbrandt 2014 Single Vineyard Series Clifton Hill Vineyard Syrah Wahluke Slope $45 88 points
This shows vanilla, clove, barrel spice and dark fruit aromas. Its fruit flavors are full and laced with upfront barrel notes. It seems a little boozy.

Milbrandt 2015 Pinot Gris Columbia Valley $13 88 points
This shows light lime, green apple and herb aromas. It drinks dry, with abundant apple flavors supported by tart acidity. Best Buy

Milbrandt 2014 The Estates Malbec Wahluke Slope $26 88 points
This wine shows cocoa, vanilla and barrel spice aromas on the nose. The medium-weight palate shows decent fruit tones however is overshadowed by heavy-handed oak.

Milbrandt 2014 Ravenscliff Vineyard Malbec Wahluke Slope $45 88 points
Anise, barrel spice, clove, vanilla and plum scents lead to full-bodied fruit and barrel flavors in this wine. It shows some warmth on the finish, with lingering purple fruit and pepper notes.

Milbrandt 2014 Single Vineyard Series Katherine Leone Vineyard Syrah Wahluke Slope $45 87 points
This wine seems quite reduced out of the gate, delivering aromas that prove distracting. The palate shows more depth with an array of pleasing dark fruit flavors.

Nine Hats 2016 The Benches Vineyard Pinot Gris Horse Heaven Hills $14 88 points
This wine’s red and yellow apple and melon aromas lead to broad, fleshy fruit flavors. It’s direct and delivers a lot of appeal.

Nine Hats 2016 Riesling Columbia Valley $14 87 points
This wine’s aromas are surprisingly reserved for the variety, with faint peach, lime and mandarin orange notes. It’s just off dry on the palate, with zippy fruit flavors. It delivers enjoyment despite its muted aromatic expression.

Novelty Hill 2014 Cascadia Columbia Valley $50 91 points
Cabernet Sauvignon makes up just over half of this wine (52%); Merlot (46%) and a pinch of Malbec make up the rest. Plum, herb, barrel spice and currant aromas are followed by smooth fruit and barrel flavors. Lightly grainy tannins provide support while coffee flavors linger on the finish.

Novelty Hill 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $26 91 points
Dried herb aromas are at the fore of this Cabernet; exotic spice, smoke, licorice and cherry notes follow. Cherry and chocolate flavors coat the palate, showing vibrancy, while a distinctive espresso note marks the finish. Editor's Choice

Novelty Hill 2014 Merlot Columbia Valley $23 90 points
Espresso, dark chocolate, herb and purple fruit aromas lead to a soft, smooth palate in this wine. Fruit and barrel notes play equal parts, yet it comes up short on the finish.

Novelty Hill 2014 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Merlot Columbia Valley $28 90 points
This wine’s milk chocolate, herb, cherry, barrel spice and plum aromas lead to a plush, soft palate loaded with chocolate and plum flavors. It strikes a lovely balance.

Novelty Hill 2014 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Syrah Columbia Valley $28 90 points
Brooding smoke, purple fruit and violet aromas are followed by sumptuous fruit and barrel flavors in this Syrah. Barrel notes linger on the finish, feeling a bit raw but not detracting from the overall enjoyment.

Novelty Hill 2015 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley $20 90 points
This leads with vibrant and fresh aromas, recalling cut grass, herbs, lime zest and citrus, with whiffs of tropical fruit. The palate brings tart, zingy, mouthwatering citrus flavors, with a lightly creamy feel on the finish.

Novelty Hill 2014 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $30 89 points
Vanilla, bright herb, cocoa, cassis and spice aromas lead to plentiful coffee and cherry flavors in this wine. The tannins are a bit gritty.

Novelty Hill 2015 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Chardonnay Columbia Valley $23 89 points
This wine’s apricot, spice and creamsicle scents are followed by tart, medium-bodied, lightly creamy fruit flavors. Tart citrus notes fill out the finish.

Novelty Hill 2014 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Grenache Columbia Valley $28 88 points
Berry, vanilla, coconut and barrel spice aromas are followed by barrel flavors in this wine. It brings appeal, but the oak (42% new French and American) seems to take over.

Novelty Hill 2014 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Malbec Columbia Valley $28 88 points
Vanilla, cocoa, barrel spice and herb aromas are followed by creamy fruit and barrel flavors. The vanilla notes overwhelm the nose and palate, however, distracting from the fruit.

Novelty Hill 2015 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Roussanne Columbia Valley $23 88 points
Fermented in neutral oak barrels and aged sur lie for 7 months, this wine, which includes 6% Viognier, brings herb, honeycomb, pear and orange peel aromas. It drinks dry, with sleek, citrusy flavors.

Novelty Hill 2015 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Viognier Columbia Valley $23 87 points
Faint white flower, orange peel, spice and citrus aromas are followed by broad fruit flavors in this wine, which lacks concentration.

Original House Wine 2016 Rosé Columbia Valley $12 85 points
This wine is pale pink in color, with aromas suggesting herbs, cherry and red apple. It drinks off dry and is an easy-drinking porch pounder.

Original House Wine 2015 Fish House Sauvignon Blanc Yakima Valley $12 84 points
This wine delivers light herb and citrus aromas. The flavors seem washed out, lacking cohesion. It comes off as quite generic.

Pacific Rim 2016 Sweet Riesling Columbia Valley $11 89 points
This wine leaves no doubt about the variety, with its freshly peeled orange and jasmine notes. The palate is sweet yet not cloying, with impeccable balance. For those looking for a well-priced sweet wine, look no further. Best Buy

Pacific Rim 2015 Solstice Vineyard Riesling Yakima Valley $24 89 points
Vibrant diesel, orange rind, white flower and dried apricot aromas lead to dry stone fruit flavors in this wine. It shows a pleasant balance and persists through the finish.

Pacific Rim 2016 Wallula Vineyard Riesling Horse Heaven Hills $15 88 points
Subtle pear, orange rind and peach aromas lead this Riesling, along with a floral top note. It drinks off dry, with stone fruit and ale flavors that need more time in bottle to settle. It comes up a bit short on the finish.

Pedestal 2014 Merlot Columbia Valley $65 91 points
This wine opens with pleasing cocoa, dark raspberry and graphite aromas. The palate offers medium-bodied, tart fruit flavors cinched with tannin. A big, bold interpretation of Merlot.

Pendulum 2015 Red Blend Columbia Valley $17 87 points
This blend of Petit Verdot (28%), Malbec (27%), Syrah (20%), Cabernet Sauvignon (16%) and Merlot (9%) leads with wild blueberry, crushed flower, herb, vanilla and spice aromas. Soft, elegant blueberry flavors follow, persisting on the finish. Light on the midpalate, it still brings appeal.

Poet's Leap 2016 Riesling Columbia Valley $20 90 points
This wine’s aromas are bright, with honeysuckle, ripe peach, mandarin orange, slate and lime zest notes. It drinks just off dry, with abundant stone fruit flavors, mouthwatering acidity and a balance that’s spot-on.

Rasa 2015 QED Axiom of Choice Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley $38 92 points
This 100% Cabernet Franc bottling hails from Weinbau and Firethorn vineyards, both located in the Columbia Valley. It leads with bay leaf, tobacco, hickory, bittersweet chocolate and anise aromas. A palate that holds nothing back follows: big, bold dark fruit flavors supported by chewy tannins. An absolute delight.

Saviah 2014 G-S-M Washington $38 91 points
Grenache makes up two-thirds of this wine, filled out with Syrah and Mourvèdre from Lonesome Springs, Sugarloaf and Elephant Mountain vineyards. It boasts rich raspberry, herb, orange peel and spice aromas. The palate is loaded with blue fruit and earth flavors, showing appealing texture and concentration. The balance is spot-on, kicking it up a notch.

Saviah 2014 The Stones Speak Funk Estate Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $55 91 points
Orange peel, fresh flower, black olive, moist earth and tire rubber aromas lead to intense, palate-coating fruit flavors in this Syrah. It doesn’t seem to have fully blossomed yet but has all of the stuffing to suggest a long life ahead, with floral accents on the finish.

Saviah 2014 Tempranillo Walla Walla Valley $38 89 points
With fruit from Funk, Dugger Creek and Watermill Estate vineyards, this delivers funky peat, olive and fresh tobacco aromas. The flavors are light, soft and palate-coating, gliding into the finish. A subtle rendition of the variety.

Sparkman 2014 Untamed Syrah Columbia Valley $0 90 points
This wine is a blend of fruit from Olsen (50%), Boushey (34%) and Clifton Hill vineyards, aged in 34% new French oak. Its aromas are bright, recalling flowers, dark raspberry, graphite, sweet barrel spice and herb. The palate is rich with luscious fruit flavors and oak characteristics.

Stottle 2013 6 Prong Vineyard Mourvèdre Horse Heaven Hills $32 91 points
This wine’s raspberry, garrigue, black pepper and citrus aromas lead to intense flavors that linger on the finish. The round mouthfeel heightens the appeal.

Stottle 2013 Big Eddie Columbia Valley $36 89 points
This combines 60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Malbec. Its baking spice, black fruit and herb aromas are followed by silky-smooth dark fruit flavors that linger on the finish.

Stottle 2013 6 Prong Vineyard G-S-M Horse Heaven Hills $36 89 points
This blend of 37% Grenache, 37% Syrah and 26% Mourvèdre is brooding, with its char, smoke, cranberry, dark plum and woodspice aromas. On the palate, silky black cherry flavors are accented with barrel-derived notes, striking a lovely balance.

Stottle 2013 Merlot Yakima Valley $28 88 points
This wine’s aromas are quite generous, suggesting herbs, vanilla, baking spice and purple fruit. Its cranberry and cherry flavors are both tart and ripe, supported by soft tannins and a lingering café au lait note. The oak influence gets in the way of the fruit at times, but it’s pleasant all the same.

Stottle 2013 6 Prong Vineyard Syrah Horse Heaven Hills $32 88 points
Smoke, mineral, dark berry and vanilla aromas are followed by lighter black fruit flavors in this wine. It tapers off on the finish.

Stottle 2013 Hombre 6 Prong Vineyard Red Blend Horse Heaven Hills $34 87 points
Strong burnt coffee, pencil lead and cherry aromas lead the nose of this blend of Tempranillo (68%), Malbec (29%), Grenache (1%) and Mourvèdre (2%). Barrel influence shows prominently on the palate, with smoky flavors that overwhelm the fruit. A vanilla note lingers on the finish.

Stottle 2013 Dineen Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley $35 87 points
This opens with cherry cordial, cranberry, herb and barrel spice aromas that seem a bit off. The palate is marked by sweet cherry and cranberry flavors that trail off quickly on the finish.

Stottle 2013 6 Prong Vineyard Tempranillo Horse Heaven Hills $30 87 points
Burnt coffee, vanilla bean, green wood and tobacco aromas are followed by medium-bodied fruit and barrel flavors in this wine. It’s enjoyable despite the intense oak influence.

Stottle 2013 6 Prong Vineyard Malbec Horse Heaven Hills $34 87 points
Green herb, vanilla, woodspice, plum and tire rubber aromas are followed by light but sweet barrel spice flavors in this wine. The variety is obscured beneath the heavy oak influence, the whole seeming disjointed.

Stottle 2013 6 Prong Vineyard Sangiovese Horse Heaven Hills $28 87 points
Brooding raspberry, tobacco, herb, cedar and barrel spice aromas are followed by ripe cherry flavors in this wine. It’s enjoyable but lacks precision.

Syncline 2015 Mourvèdre Horse Heaven Hills $35 93 points
This 100% varietal wine delivers mineral, citrus twist, raw meat, raspberry and black pepper notes. The palate is full bodied and packed to the brim with fruit and savory flavors. It brings a seamlessness and length that are absolutely dazzling. Editor's Choice

Syncline 2015 Boushey Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $45 91 points
Brooding black raspberry, iron and crushed dried-herb aromas are followed by bright red fruit flavors in this wine. Its purity and texture provide great appeal.

Syncline 2016 Boushey Vineyard Picpoul Yakima Valley $25 91 points
From an extremely rare grape variety for the state, this delivers citrus rind and flower blossom scents and sleek fruit flavors backed by mouth-puckering acidity. It screams for shellfish. Editor's Choice

Syncline 2016 Boushey Vineyard Grenache Blanc Yakima Valley $30 91 points
Grenache Blanc is an up-and-coming variety in the state. This standout example brings talc, flower, pear and citrus aromas. The medium-bodied palate is tart and lively, piquing interest. Editor's Choice

Syncline 2014 McKinley Springs Vineyard Rosé Horse Heaven Hills $24 90 points
This blend of 35% Cinsault, 35% Grenache and 30% Mourvèdre is a very pretty pale shade of peach. It brings strawberry, herb and wet stone aromas, sleek and creamy flavors and a snap of acid. The finish lingers.

Syncline 2016 Grüner Veltliner Washington $24 90 points
There are only a few examples of Grüner Veltliner from the state, and this one—from the Columbia Gorge and Terrace Heights—shows the variety’s promise at the right site and in the right hands. Its white pepper, citrus and herb scents are followed by broad, dry fruit flavors stitched together with tart acidity that carries them into the finish.

Tempus Cellars 2014 Art den Hoed Vineyards Grenache Yakima Valley $28 88 points
This wine’s raspberry, red apple, spice and red fruit aromas are bright. The flavors are ripe and full bodied, showing some heat.

The Conqueror 2014 Red Blend Horse Heaven Hills $25 88 points
This easy-drinking blend of 33% Cabernet Franc, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah and 17% Merlot opens with blue fruit, herb and spice aromas and leads to sweet, plush fruit and barrel flavors. Lightly grainy tannins provide structure.

The Conqueror 2015 Chardonnay Horse Heaven Hills $17 87 points
This leads with light baking spice and apple pie aromas. The palate is broad, with abundant vanilla flavors that suggest strong oak influence.

The Conqueror 2016 Rosé Horse Heaven Hills $17 87 points
With its pretty pale peach color and strawberry, orange peel and herb aromas, this is dry and broad. Tart citrus flavors provide backing.

The Conqueror 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $25 86 points
From Canoe Ridge Vineyard, this delivers raspberry, herb, tire rubber and spice aromas and medium-bodied dark fruit flavors. The tannins are a bit dry and pasty.

W.T. Vintners 2014 Stoney Vine Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $48 92 points
Fermented using 75% whole clusters, this hails from Block 2 of the up-and-coming vineyard. It’s aromatically expressive, with black olive, grilled asparagus, garden herb and moist earth notes. The palate shows exquisite restraint and savory flavors, bringing more acidity than the region is known for.

W.T. Vintners 2014 Stoney Vine Vineyard Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $35 88 points
This blend of 57% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 3% Mourvèdre brings grilled asparagus, stewed fruit and black olive aromas. It’s plush and palate-coating, but the aromas and flavors are out of sync.

Walla Walla Vintners 2014 Washington State Cuvée Washington $40 92 points
This wine is a blend of all six Bordeaux varieties: 35% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, 4% Carménère, 3% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot. Its coffee, cranberry, herb, currant, barrel spice and anise aromas lead to tightly wound, layered red and black fruit flavors. Plump, silky tannins provide the frame.

Walla Walla Vintners 2014 Estate Syrah Walla Walla Valley $50 92 points
This wine’s aromas are a bit locked up at present, revealing plum, herb, clove and barrel spice notes as it opens. The palate is dense and rich, full of dark fruit flavors and generous barrel accents. It pulls no punches.

Walla Walla Vintners 2014 Malbec Columbia Valley $30 91 points
This 100% varietal wine brings brooding aromas of black licorice, anise, dark plum and herb followed by rich, focused black plum flavors. It delivers a lot of charm and hedonistic appeal. Editor's Choice

Walla Walla Vintners 2015 Sangiovese Columbia Valley $29 91 points
High toned aromas mark the nose of this wine, including dried herb, fresh plum, huckleberry and spice. Its purple fruit flavors are rich and lush, with a pleasing purity that carries through the finish. It’s uncharacteristic of Sangiovese but brings undeniable appeal.

Walla Walla Vintners 2015 Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley $35 91 points
High toned notes of garden herb, spice, cherry and bittersweet chocolate lead the nose of this wine. Chocolate and cherry flavors intertwine throughout the palate and linger on the finish. It brings plenty of appeal despite the obvious oak influence.

Walla Walla Vintners 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $45 91 points
This wine’s cedar, espresso, herb, spice, vanilla, dark chocolate and black cherry aromas lead to a supple, well balanced palate full of cherry and bittersweet chocolate flavors that carry long into the finish. With its grippy tannins, it shows finesse and elegance, though oak plays a prominent role.

Walla Walla Vintners 2015 Dwelley Vineyard Dolcetto Walla Walla Valley $29 91 points
This wine’s bright, fruit-forward raspberry, herb, cocoa and barrel spice aromas are followed by exquisitely pure, elegant red plum flavors that coat the palate from end to end. A delicious rendition of this seldom seen variety.

Walla Walla Vintners 2014 Merlot Walla Walla Valley $35 91 points
This wine’s raspberry jam, cocoa, fig and barrel spice aromas really pop. Its red fruit flavors are rich and ripe, providing hedonistic appeal.

Walla Walla Vintners 2014 Bello Rosso Sangiovese-Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $42 90 points
This blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese delivers bright cranberry, vanilla, coconut, baking spice, raspberry and milk chocolate aromas. Fruit and barrel flavors play off each other nicely on the light, lifted palate. Oak plays a primary role but is well integrated.

Walla Walla Vintners 2014 Sagemoor Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $50 90 points
With its dried herb, parsley, cherry and spice aromas, this could only be Cabernet Sauvignon. Its cherry and raspberry flavors are bright yet subtle, carrying long into the finish.

Waterbrook 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $13 88 points
Vanilla, baking spice, herb, plum and cherry aromas are followed by supersmooth, creamy feeling plum and barrel flavors in this Cabernet. Caramel and vanilla notes linger on the finish, and while the oak influence is heavy, it largely works. Best Buy

Waterbrook 2015 Malbec Columbia Valley $13 88 points
Plum, herb, blue fruit, vanilla and spice aromas lead to soft, plush fruit flavors in this wine. The texture and blue fruit flavors bring appeal. Best Buy

Waterbrook 2015 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $12 87 points
Lightly creamy fruit and vanilla flavors follow melon, apple and baking spice aromas in this wine. It’s a pleasant, straightforward easy-drinker. Best Buy

Waterbrook 2016 Mélange Founder’s White Blend Columbia Valley $12 86 points
Riesling and Gewürztraminer make up over half of this wine, giving it an aromatic punch. Vibrant ripe peach, flower and pear scents lead to an off-dry palate with fleshy fruit flavors. It provides easy-drinking appeal, though the concentration, especially through the midpalate, seems light.

Waterbrook 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley $12 84 points
You almost need to lean into the glass to perceive this wine’s faint citrus, candlewax and herb aromas, which show some reduction. It’s equally subtle on the palate and lacks concentration.

Willow Crest 2016 Pinot Gris Yakima Valley $15 89 points
This wine’s apple, melon and pear aromas are bright and appealing. The flavors are taught and focused, with a light creaminess and lemony acidity. It’s interesting overall, providing both quality and value.

Woodward Canyon 2014 Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon Washington $99 94 points
One of the state’s best bottles year after year, this delivers herb, blackberry, woodspice and vanilla bean aromas. The palate is tightly wound and impeccably balanced, with a mixture of fruit and barrel flavors that show depth. Made with the future in mind, it will be best from 2025–2032. Cellar Selection

Woodward Canyon 2013 Erratic Walla Walla Valley $59 90 points
This blend of 46% Mourvèdre, 45% Syrah and 9% Grenache showcases café au lait, milk chocolate, pepper, herb and smoked meat aromas. It’s ultrasoft on the palate, with fruit and oak flavors that linger on the finish. The oak influence is prominent but doesn’t detract from the overall appeal.

Woodward Canyon 2014 Merlot Columbia Valley $52 89 points
This wine’s aromas bring cherry and chocolate to mind. The palate provides pleasing fruit and barrel notes, but the two seem disconnected.

Woodward Canyon 2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $49 89 points
This Cabernet Sauvignon’s char, vanilla, caramel, toast, herb and dark fruit scents are followed by equal parts fruit and barrel flavors. It delivers enjoyment notwithstanding the heavy oak influence, which may yet integrate in the bottle.

Woodward Canyon 2014 Estate Barbera Walla Walla Valley $29 88 points
Walla Walla Valley Barbera is rare, although this producer consistently makes one. Its toasty spice, tart cherry and herb aromas give way to well-balanced plum and cherry flavors, needing food to truly shine.


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Tasting Note Database Read an explanation of the fields here. FINAL UPDATE 6/13/2015. See current Wine Enthusiast reviews.

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