Preliminary Voting Begins! Reader Survey 2011 Wine of the Year and 2012 Wine to Watch

Preliminary voting for the 2011 Reader Survey Wine of the Year and 2012 Wine to Watch has begun! Use the surveys on the right-hand side of the blog to vote for any three nominees in each category. Readers may only vote one time. Those receiving these posts via email, go to to vote. Preliminary voting continues until 9pm on Sunday the 11th.

A few words about the nominees. For 2011 Wine of the Year, I eliminated nominations that did not contain a vintage date as well as wines from back vintages; wines that I could not confirm were from current vintages/available in 2010 based on information on winery websites; and wines that did not conform to other rules (see here). This represented a very small number of nominations. The list below is an incredibly strong list of wines, and seeing this list is my favorite part of this survey each year.

For the 2012 Wine to Watch, it is considerably more difficult to verify that each of these wines will be released next year. While I was doubtful about some, I aired on the side of inclusion rather than exclusion.

See the complete list of nominees below (note that in the survey some names are truncated).

Below are the dates for the preliminary voting and the final voting. Enjoy!

Wednesday 12/7 to Sunday 12/11 9pm
Vote for any three wines in both categories from those wines nominated.

Sunday 12/11 to Friday 12/16 9pm
Vote for any one of the finalists.

Read other rules here.

NB: All all of the wines listed below and in the preliminary round of the survey were nominated by readers of Washington Wine Report via email or comment. Any single nomination qualified a wine for the preliminary round, although many had multiple mentions (Note: This text was added to the original post).

2011 Nominees for Wine of the Year
Abeja ‘07 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley
Abeja ’08 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley
Adams Bench ’08 Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon Yakim Valley
aMaurice ‘08 "Amparo" Malbec Walla Walla Valley
aMaurice ‘09 "Sparrow" Viognier Walla Walla Valley
Betz Family Winery ‘08 La Cote Patriarche Syrah Yakima Valley
Cadaretta ‘10 SBS White Wine Columbia Valley
Cadence ‘07 Bel Canto Red Wine Red Mountain
Cayuse Vineyards ‘08 Cailloux Syrah Walla Walla Valley
Chateau Ste. Michelle ‘09 Eroica Riesling Columbia Valley
Corliss Estates ‘06 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley
Corliss Estates ‘06 Red Wine Columbia Valley
Corliss Estates ‘06 Syrah Columbia Valley
Covington Cellars ‘07 Bruno Sangiovese Seven Hills Vineyard
DiStefano ‘07 Domenica Red Wine Columbia Valley
Doubleback ’08 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley
Dumas Station ‘07 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley
Dumas Station ‘07 Reserve Cabernetn Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley
Dumas Station ‘09 Cow Catcher Red Red Wine Walla Walla Valley
Efeste ‘08 Jolie Bouche Syrah Yakima Valley
Elsom ‘08 Malbec Columbia Valley
Fidelitas ‘08 Ciel du Cheval Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain
Fielding Hills ‘08 Cabernet Sauvignon Riverbend Vineyard Wahluke Slope
Fielding Hills ‘08 Cabernet Franc Riverbend Vineyard Wahluke Slope
FIGGINS ‘08 Estate Red Wine Walla Walla Valley
Force Majeure ‘06 Ptera Red Wine Red Mountain
Gramercy Cellars ‘08 John Lewis Reserve Syrah Walla Walla Valley
Gramercy Cellars ‘09 Third Man Red Wine Columbia Valley
Gramercy Cellars ‘09 Syrah Walla Walla Valley
Heaven's Cave ‘08 The Dweller Syrah Destiny Ridge Vineyards Horse Heaven Hills
Hestia Cellars ‘08 Merlot Columbia Valley
Hestia Cellars ‘09 Malbec Columbia Valley
Hestia Cellars ‘10 Chenin Blanc Columbia Valley
K Vintners ‘10 Viognier Columbia Valley
Kerloo Cellars ‘09 Tempranillo Columbia Valley
Kontos Cellars ‘08 Syrah Walla Walla Valley
Leonetti Cellar ‘08 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley
Maison Bleue ‘09 Graviere Red Wine Upland Vineyard Snipes Mountain
Maison Bleue ‘09 Le Midi Grenache Boushey Vineyard Yakima Valley
Maison Bleue ‘09 Liberté Syrah Boushey Vineyard Yakima Valley
Maison Bleue ‘10 Petite Joie Marsanne Boushey Vineyard Yakima Valley
Mansion Creek Cellars ‘08 Waldheim Cuvee Walla Walla Valley
Obelisco Estate ‘08 Red Wine Red Mountain
Owen Roe ‘09 Ex Umbris Syrah Columbia Valley
Pomum Cellars ‘08 Shya Red Wine Columbia Valley
Pomum Cellars ‘08 Syrah Columbia Valley
Rasa Vineyards ‘08 Creative Impulse Red Wine DuBrul Vineyard Yakima Valley
Rasa Vineyards ‘08 QED Walla Walla Valley
Reininger ‘08 Syrah Walla Walla Valley
Reynvaan Family Vineyards ‘09 In the Rocks Syrah Walla Walla Valley
Reynvaan Family Vineyards ‘09 Stonessence Syrah Walla Walla Valley
Reynvaan Family Vineyards ‘09 The Unnamed Syrah Walla Walla Valley
Rotie Cellars ‘09 Northern Blend Washington State
Sleight of Hand ‘09 Funkadelic Syrah Walla Walla Valley
Spring Valley Vineyard ‘07 Uriah Red Wine Walla Walla Valley
Tero Estates ‘07 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Windrow Vineyard
Thurston Wolfe ‘08 The Teacher Cabernet Sauvignon Washington State
Two Vintners ‘10 Grenache Blanc Boushey Vineyards Yakima Valley
Walla Faces ‘07 Frank Syrah Walla Walla Valley
William Church ‘08 Malbec
Woodward Canyon ‘08 Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley
Woodward Canyon ‘09 Chardonnay Walla Walla Valley

2012 Wine to Watch
Adams Bench ‘09 Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley
Avennia ’10 Rhone-Style Blend
Boudreaux Cellars ‘08 Malbec
Buty ’10 Rediviva of the Stones Red Wine
Cooper Estate ’09 Merlot Red Mountain
Corliss ‘07 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley
Dumas Station ‘08 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Dumas Station ‘09 Estate Cabernet Franc
Efeste ‘10 Klipsun Merlot
Efeste ‘11 Feral Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley
Hestia Cellars ‘09 Tempranillo
JB Neufeld ‘09 DuBrul Cabernet Sauvignon
Kontos Cellars ‘09 Walla Walla Valley Syrah
Maison Bleue ‘11 Rose of Mouvedre Yakima Valley
Ott & Murphy ‘09 Petite Sirah Spice Cabinet Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills
Ott & Murphy ‘09 Tempranillo
Ott & Murphy ‘10 Elephant Mountain Vineyard Viognier
Rasa Vineyards ‘09 "Occam's Razor" Syrah Seven Hills Vineyard Walla Walla Valley
Rasa Vineyards ‘09 Perfect Union Red Wine
Reynvaan Family Vineyards ‘10 Stonessence Syrah Walla Walla Valley
Reynvaan Family Vineyards ‘10 The Contender Syrah Walla Walla Valley
Tenor Wines ‘09 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley
Tranche Cellars ’07 Slice of Pape Columbia Valle
Walla Walla Vintners ‘10 Cabernet Franc Walla Walla Valley
Yak Yak Wines ’11 Riesling Yakima Valley
Zanzibar Cellars ‘09 "Sandra" Red Willow Vineyard Yakima Valley

Sean P. Sullivan


  1. Sean,
    As suggested last year, I hope that you will provide your own WOTY and Wine to Watch when the reader results are presented.

  2. Hi Alan, I've got my top list from 2011 ready but won't be publishing it until early January as I have a number of reviews to post still. I'll give my thoughts on 2012 Wine to Watch once the voting is finished.

  3. Thanks, Sean. I look forward to reading your selections. Thank you for another great year of covering the WA wine industry.

  4. Gramercy Cellars ‘09 Syrah Walla Walla Valley
    Abeja ’08 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley
    Owen Roe ‘09 Ex Umbris Syrah Columbia Valley

  5. Hi Nathan, please note that all voting must be done via the polls on the right hand side. Thanks!

  6. What a horrible way to judge wines. Wonder how many wineries submitted their own names...probably a lot given all one had to do is submit the info w/o any reasons why. What is the purpose of this gathered a few suggestions over a short period of time and will then give acclaim to the wineries that successfully was able to get their friends to submit the most votes. Geez...kind of reminds me of our own messed up political system. How does this help the wine industry mature with these gimmicks?

  7. Anon, first, there is no "judging." This is a reader survey as stated.

    I spend my year writing about and rating wines. The intent of the annual Reader Survey is to allow my readers to say what *they* think. It is to get people to think about what their favorite Washington wines were throughout the year, discuss these wines, and talk about Washington wines more generally.

    Many people have written me each year about how much they enjoy this process and how much time they spend picking the wines that they submit and vote on. One person this year noted that he spent *three days* thinking about his submissions. You can decide if that has value.

    I allow anyone to nominate their favorite wines via comment or email and subsequently vote on them for the same reason I allow anyone to send in an anonymous, jackass comment. In the interests of inclusion. Most people are responsible and use this privilege judiciously. An occasional few unfortunately do not.

    I believe if you review this year's list of reader nominated wines you will find a very, very strong list. Is it complete? By no means. Are there numerous, excellent wines and wineries that were not nominated by readers? Yes. Is this any reflection on the wineries not listed? No.

    "all one had to do is submit the info w/o any reasons why"

    Next year I'll make people write an essay on the merits of the wine and decide which should be included based on this because that makes sense. I should note that some already did that this year and this happens each year because people are passionate about the wines they pick. That is a good thing.

    "...and will then give acclaim to the wineries that successfully was able to get their friends to submit the most votes." I think I'll let that considered sentence speak for itself.

  8. Just received an email from a winery soliciting me for a vote, link led me right here. Haven't had this particular wine of theirs in a number of years but they weren't interested in that (that would have involved an invitation to their tasting room), they were interested in my vote, hence the link. Does this platform encourage people to buy wine? No. It encourages voting. If your goal is a popularity contest then you've succeeded. The most 'friends' win. If you're interested in what people think based on their experience, then voting would be from, say, tasting rooms. Just call it what it is. And the pot-shot you took at 'Anonymous' for their grammar, calling their comment 'jackass', really? This is forum to post comments, not turn in English papers. By having an open forum you're encouraging people to speak not just agree with you. Be gracious, write an apology. Maybe have a nice glass of wine to go with it.