Washington Wine Report is an independent publication focused on bringing Washington wine to you and bringing you to Washington wine. Our goal is:
  • To help you select Pacific Northwest wines at a variety of price levels
  • To keep you up-to-date about the Northwest’s wineries, vineyards, and individuals
  • To help you plan trips to wine country
  • To connect you to the larger wine community

Sean P. Sullivan

2019 Tour Guide

Reviewed Wineries

Tonight! June Virtual Tasting from 7-8pm. Read about how to participate here.

Tenor Wines is one of the more intriguing new wineries to come along in Washington recently.

The winery takes a unique approach in its offerings. While most wineries in Washington and elsewhere focus on making a particular lineup of wines each year – say Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, and Chardonnay – Tenor instead has a lineup that varies each year depending on what the vintage gives.

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Doubleback was unquestionably one of 2010’s most exciting new wineries. On the cusp of its second release, the winery shows every sign of establishing itself as one of Washington’s best.

Doubleback was founded by former NFL quarterback and Walla Walla native Drew Bledsoe and his wife Maura. Critical to the winery’s success, Chris Figgins from Figgins Family Wine Estates was hired as consulting winemaker (read a Focus Report on the winery here).

The response to Doubleback’s inaugural release, a 2007 Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, was overwhelming. It included dueling 95-point scores from Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator and a spot on the latter’s annual Top 100 list.

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Last week Senator Jim DeMint, Republican from South Carolina, took issue with a grant from the Economic Development Association to Prosser’s Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center. In an editorial in the Wall Street Journal, DeMint asks, “Why Are Taxpayers Paying for Wine Tasting?” To this I ask Senator DeMint, “What’s wrong with wine tasting? And by the way, why are taxpayers subsidizing your state’s tobacco industry?”

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June's Five Wines Under $15

Monday, June 27, 2011 3 comments

In tough times, we continue the search for good, inexpensive wines.

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Seattle Wine Award winners

Sunday, June 26, 2011 0 comments

Earlier this month the winners of the 2011 Seattle Wine Awards were announced. This program was founded by Executive Director Christopher Chan in 2006 to recognize the state's best wines.

This year saw an unprecedented 909 submissions. Tasting panels (see a list of panel participants here) evaluated wines blind based on color, aroma, flavor & palate, balance, finish, and overall impression. Top wines received Double Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze Grand Awards of Excellence based both on varietal and price category.

Congratulations to all of the 2011 award-winning wineries!

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A round-up of stories on Washington wine from June 15th to 21st. See previous round-ups here.

From around the world…

The Manila Standard writes about Washington Riesling.

From around the country…

The San Santonio Current writes about Charles Smith.

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In a tough economy there is nothing like finding a wine that drinks like a more expensive bottle. Here are a few that have stood out recently. While you won’t find any of these wines in the value bin – see next week’s monthly Five Under $15 for that – each of these wines drinks like a wine of a considerably higher price point, allowing one to simultaneously drink up by drinking down.

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Catching up, a round-up of stories on Washington wine from June 8th to 14th. See previous round-ups here.

From around the country…

Wines & Vines writes about the latest proposed AVAs.

The Wall Street Journal writes about the road to China with thoughs from Butch Milbrandt.

Wine Spectator writes about the aftermath of the November freeze.

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Since the beginning of the year I have been keeping track of the number of corked bottles of wine I have had versus the number of wines I have tasted. As I have done this I have wondered, what percentage of corked wines is okay?

From the beginning of the year to the end of May I have tasted 425 wines that have used a cork closure and that have not been previously screened by someone else (see below). 12 of these wines have been corked. This equates to a rate of about 3%. This rate has been consistent across the year thus far (Note: The number of corked wines is due to double in next month’s report although the overall percentage of corked wines remains about the same).

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Pardon the interruption

Thursday, June 16, 2011 5 comments

Folks, apologies for going dark. After suffering through April allergies - in June - and the loss of my closest family friend, I arrived back in Seattle last weekend and promptly set out to catch up on wine tasting and blogging. It was not to be. My computer imbibed a bottle of Riesling - not even a good one! - which I must note sounds a little bit like the dog ate my homework. This led to numerous interactions with so-called geniuses at the Apple store. Several PCs worth of repairs and a distinct lack of customer service later (is it just me or is Apple slowly becoming everything PC people once despised?), my computer is back in my hands and a safe distance away from any wine bottles. Back in action next week. Enjoy the weekend.

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A round-up of stories on Washington wine from June 1st to 7th. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country…

CNNMoney writes about Dunham Cellars.

Delta Style writes about the Red Decadence Dark Chocolate and Pacific Rim’s Columbia Valley Riesling.

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June's Virtual Tasting will be Thursday June 30th from 7-8pm Pacific. The wine is the 2009 Saviah Cellars The Jack Red Wine. This wine retails for $18 and is widely available.

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from a local retailer or from the winery

2. Post your comments/tweets on the wine between 7 and 8pm. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport. I will be using the hashtag #Saviah during the event.

Hope you will join us!

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I’m always interested to see the myriad of shipping materials wineries and retailers use to pack up wine and ship it off to consumers.

Most common from what I have seen in Washington is the molded fiber shipper, often made out of post-consumer recycled paper. These shippers come in a variety of different shapes and sizes for one bottle, two, or three bottles. The three bottle ones can be combined to make six and twelve bottle boxes.

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A round-up of stories in Washington wine from May 22nd to 31st. See previous round-ups here.

From around the country…

D Magazine writes about Domaine Serene.

The Phoenix News Times says to keep an eye out for Washington wine.

The Miami Herald writes about Willows Lodge.

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Exploring the Yakima Valley

Thursday, June 2, 2011 1 comments

The following post is written by Carrie Simon. Simon is the founder of Washington Wine 9, a custom trip planning service for travelers to Washington State's wine country.

Have you spent time in the Yakima Valley? I know for many visitors, this portion of Washington's wine country presents a challenge. Even locals admit the extended Yakima Valley lacks some of the tourism infrastructure that beckons people to Walla Walla – particularly destination restaurants and noteworthy accommodations. But that doesn’t mean that some of those places don’t exist. It just helps to know the area to be able to piece it together.

While there are a few notable restaurants sprinkled throughout the Yakima Valley, one of the area’s charms is uncovering some of the authentic Mexican restaurants Yakima is famous for. Early on, I was told by locals that Taco Loco was a must visit. From the street, one might mistake Taco Loco for just another fast food bomb. But when I walked in, and heard all the banter between the owner and customers, I knew there were a lot of faithful Taco Loco customers in town.

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Summary of Posts for May 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 0 comments
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WWR TN Database

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

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