Washington birdies early on Wine Spectator list, bogeys on the back nine

Washington wines were once again well represented on Wine Spectator’s annual Top 100 list with seven wines listed, including two in the top fifteen. All of the Washington wines selected were in the first fifty.

The highest ranking Washington wine was the 2008 Baer Ursa, which came in at number 6. This is the first time that a wine from Woodinville’s Baer Winery has been listed in Wine Spectator’s Top 100, an affirmation of the winery’s path since the tragic passing of Lance Baer in 2007.

Fellow Woodinville winery Efeste made another appearance in the Top 100 list – it’s second since its inaugural vintage in 2006. The 2008 Jolie Bouche Syrah from Boushey Vineyard came in at number 15. This is the highest a Washington Syrah has ever ranked in Wine Spectator’s annual Top 100 list, a nod to both the quality and value to be found in these wines in Washington. Mark my word. A Washington Syrah will one day make it to the top of this list.

This year’s Top 100 also included a group of wineries that are not strangers to the list, including Januik, Owen Roe, Andrew Will, Tamarack, and L’Ecole No 41. Of note, this is the second year in a row that Owen Roe and Tamarack have been on the list. For Walla Walla Valley’s L’Ecole No 41, it was the capstone of a year that also saw a successful rebranding. Showing that the list makers also have a sense of humor, L’Ecole’s wine came in at No. 41.

Read the entire list here. Note that full access to Wine Spectator is free until November 26th.

Sean P. Sullivan


  1. THANK YOU!!! I so appreciate this site. This is the information I was looking for.

  2. Efeste Joie Bouche is an excellent wine. Is it better than Betz La Serenne, Sparkman Darkness, Ross Andrew Boushey, McCrea Boushey, Maison Bleue Liberte, or any of the other Boushey Syrahs made? I don't think so, but congrats to Efeste for a repeat appearance.

    Sean, what would happen if the first Washington Syrah to top this list was really from Oregon?? :)

  3. Chris, there's only one way to tell! I think a Boushey side by side is in order. All tremendous wines from one of the state's best sites.

    Regarding this so-called Oregon Syrah, clearly my annexation plans would have to be accelerated!

  4. I have all those from '08 except McCrea, they're still on '06 I think in current release. Need to find a few others, JM, Laurelhurst, Barrage?? and we can set it up. It will be a fun challenge.

  5. Interesting that Baer was $27 at Costco until this information came out. Now it's $35