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2019 Tour Guide

Reviewed Wineries

Below are my Wine Enthusiast reviews for April 2019. 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 GuideSee 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.

Eighty-four wines reviewed in the April issue of Wine Enthusiast.

Two Vintners continues to impress with a strong series of wines from the 2015 and 2016 vintage – far too many to list here so make sure to scroll down. Winemaker Morgan Lee’s mastery of Rhone varieties is on full display with wines like the Two Vintners 2016 Make Haste Cinsault Yakima Valley $25 (90 points, Editor’s Choice). This wine is a superb value with a compelling sense of purity. Meanwhile the winery’s Columbia Valley Syrah is again one of the best values on the market (Two Vintners 2016 Syrah Columbia Valley $2191 points, Editor’s Choice).

Walla Walla Vintners releases a delicious and ageworthy set of wines from the 2014 and 2015 vintages (Walla Walla Vintners 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $4092 points, Cellar Selection;  Walla Walla Vintners 2014 V Vottavo Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $6091 pointsCellar Selection). Of particular interest is the offering from its Cut Bank Estate Vineyard located next to the winery (Walla Walla Vintners 2014 V Cut Bank Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $60 91 points, Editor’s Choice).

Meanwhile Gramercy Cellars Lower East offerings are also some of the best values on the market (Gramercy 2015 Lower East Syrah Columbia Valley $2592 pointsEditor’s Choice). As always, many of the winery's offerings will also have great aging potential (Gramercy 2015 Cabernet
Sauvignon Columbia Valley $5091 pointsCellar SelectionGramercy 2015 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $9592 pointsCellar Selection; Gramercy 2015 Forgotten Hills Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $60, 92 pointsCellar Selection). I noted several of these wines in my ‘Undead Wines’ list on my Washington Wine Report Facebook page.
Facebook.

Dessert wine lovers must seek out the Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen 2016 Eroica Ice Wine Riesling Columbia Valley ($6094 pointsEditor’s Choice). It’s a complete standout.

On the value side, Involuntary Commitment, a side project from Andrew Will, delivers in its second vintage (Involuntary Commitment 2017 Columbia Valley $2090 points, Editor’s Choice).

Enjoy!

* * *

Bayernmoor 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $39 87 points
Brooding, not entirely settled aromas of dark coffee, herb, spice and dried cherry lead to medium-bodied fruit flavors. Firm, slightly dry tannins back it all up.

Buty 2016 Conner Lee Vineyard Merlot-Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley $45 90 points
Freshly cut bell pepper, flower and orange peel aromas are at the fore, followed by notes of cherry, graphite and dusty spices. Supple, soft, mouthwatering green pepper flavors follow, with orange peel accents on the finish, showing freshness and detail. It’s equal parts intrigue and delivery. It will be too green for some tastes, but others will swoon. It has a very long life in front of it, and should outlast most of its peers. Best from 2021–2028.

Buty 2015 Rediviva of the Stones Rockgarden Estate Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $60 90 points
Syrah makes up 78% of this wine, followed by 19% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Mourvèdre, with all the fruit coming from the Rocks District. Intriguing aromas of green herb, orange peel, matchbox, firepit and anise are followed by soft, supple, light fruit and savory flavors that carry through the smoked meat-filled finish. Best by 2022.

Buty 2015 Columbia Rediviva Phinny Hill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah Horse Heaven Hills $50 89 points
A blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17% Syrah, high-toned aromas of herb, pencil eraser, cherry and barrel spice are followed by smooth, medium-bodied cranberry and cherry flavors that initially paint around the edges, fleshing out over time. The tannins give a firm squeeze, lessening their grip as it opens. Give it some time to settle in. Best after 2022.

Buty 2016 Rockgarden Estate Walla Walla Valley $48 88 points
Mourvèdre makes up almost two-thirds of this wine, with the rest Syrah and Grenache. Raspberry compote, mineral and dark fruit aromas are at the fore, along with coffee, spice and a light candied note. The flavors are rich but still fresh and supple, extending on the cranberry juice-tasting finish.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2016 Ethos Late Harvest Riesling Horse Heaven Hills $40 91 points
This wine clocks in at an impressive 300 g/L residual sugar. Aromas of orange peel, dried apricot and citrus zest are followed by luscious, honeyed fruit flavors that persist on the finish. It shows impressive length and balance.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2015 Impetus Red Blend Columbia Valley $125 88 points
This wine is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Malbec and 21% Syrah. It starts out reductive, with notes of rubber and tar, opening up to show intriguing aromas of plum seed, jam, herb and flower. Full-bodied fruit flavors follow that paint around the edges, seeming to be missing the middle. A warm finish follows. It doesn’t seem to have fully settled in. Tasted twice with consistent notes.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2015 Artist Series Red Blend Columbia Valley $65 88 points
This wine is a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec. Brooding aromas of green herb, dark cherry, dark coffee, red apple and sweet spice are followed by coffee and cherry flavors. Firm, dry-seeming tannins back it up. It’s not clear whether some additional time in the bottle will soften the tannins.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2015 Syrah Columbia Valley $15 87 points
This warm vintage wine offers aromas of plum, vanilla and sweet barrel spice along with smoked meat. Supple fruit flavors follow with a vanilla-filled finish. There’s plenty of enjoyment to be had, though the oak gets out front.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2016 Indian Wells Red Blend Columbia Valley $18 86 points
Barrel aromas are out front, with notes of vanilla, coconut and green wood, with plum and blueberry fighting to get to the surface. There is pleasing balance to the fruit on the palate, but ultimately the wood gets in the way.

Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen 2016 Eroica Ice Wine Riesling Columbia Valley $60 94 points
The aromas of Mandarin orange peel, caramel, dried apricot, honeysuckle and honeycomb delight. Concentrated, rich, palate-coating, textured apricot, peach, citrus and flower flavors follow. It brings a sense of freshness and vibrancy. The acid balance is impeccable. The finish goes on as long as you can count. It’s a showstopper. Editor's Choice

Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen 2011 Eroica Single Berry Select Riesling Columbia Valley $200 93 points
This wine comes from the coolest vintage the state has seen and is the only wine in Washington made in this style. It shows a surprising amount of browning, appearing as a substantially older wine. Aromas of caramel, orange marmalade, peach and pineapple lead to intensely rich, sweet, palate-coating, unctuous fruit flavors with an extended finish.

City Limits 2016 Zinfandel Columbia Valley $18 89 points
Fruit-forward aromas pop, with notes of raspberry jam, cranberry, herb and mint. Sweet, ripe, full-bodied fruit flavors follow and lead to a warm finish. It’s a cold weather warmer if ever there was one and a lot of wine for the money.

City Limits 2016 Detour Red Blend Columbia Valley $18 87 points
Though labeled as a red table wine, this is almost all Cabernet Sauvignon, with the fruit coming from some high-quality sources. Aromas of cherry jam, spice and green herb lead to ripe, plush, full-bodied cranberry and cherry flavors. The tannins give a dry, slightly scratchy squeeze.

Columbia Winery 2016 Cabernet Franc Horse Heaven Hills $38 90 points
This offers aromas of dried herb and green pepper, along with nougat, flowers, baking spice, vanilla and cherry. The full-bodied palate brings plump fruit and barrel flavors that are supported by firm tannins.

Columbia Winery 2015 Element Red Blend Wahluke Slope $38 88 points
In this blend of Merlot and Petit Verdot, barrel aromas of vanilla bean, baking spice and pencil lead are out in front of dark raspberry, blueberry and herb. Saturated, ripe, full-bodied fruit and barrel flavors follow, with the tannins showing some grit and bitterness. The oak takes over at times.

Covington 2016 Franc Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley $30 89 points
Green and garden herb aromas are at the fore, with green pepper notes following on this 100% varietal with the fruit coming from StoneTree, Dineen and Seven Hills vineyards. Ripe, full-bodied cherry and herb flavors follow, with the tannins showing a bit of grip and grit. It explores the variety’s more herbaceous side, while still showing ripeness. For those looking to join that journey, look no further.

Covington 2016 Sangio Sangiovese Columbia Valley $27 88 points
This wine is a blend of fruit from Boushey (62%) and Seven Hills vineyards. The aromas dazzle, with fruit-forward notes of raspberry, red cherry and cranberry along with cedar and spice accents. There’s a lovely sense of purity and elegance to the palate, with tart fruit flavors. The tannins give a firm handshake, softening over time. It’s a delightful, elegant expression of the variety. Put it on the dinner table to see it shine.

Covington 2014 Ma Belle Olsen Vineyard Yakima Valley $45 87 points
Grenache makes up three-quarters of this wine, with the balance Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Syrah. The aromas are light, with notes of ripe apple, tobacco, high-toned cherry and raspberry. Elegantly styled fruit flavors follow. There are some good things going on, but they don’t all come together, with it all seeming quite ripe.

Covington 2016 Rough House Red Blend Columbia Valley $24 87 points
Mostly Merlot at 80%, along with 11% Petit Verdot and 9% Cabernet Franc. Aromas of cocoa, anise, ripe black raspberry and dark chocolate are followed by soft, full-bodied fruit flavors that
 up in the middle before coming back together. Somewhat gritty tannins back it up, softening as it opens. The warmth of the vintage shows, but it still brings appeal.

Covington 2017 Boushey Vineyard Chardonnay Yakima Valley $30 86 points
Fruit for this wine comes from young vines at this vineyard. It starts out quite reductive, causing distraction. Aromas of lees, char and stone fruit lead to ripe, sweet, textured peach and fruit cocktail flavors, finishing warm.

DeLille 2017 Roussanne Red Mountain $35 89 points
All of the fruit for this wine comes from Ciel du Cheval Vineyard. It starts out reductive, needing a decant. Once it opens up, it brings intriguing aromas of nori, white peach and minerality. Full-bodied, almost thick feeling fruit flavors follow but bring a sense of acidity along with them. A warm finish caps it off. It’s unlike any other wine coming out of the state, part intrigue and part delivery. If the reduction clears, it will move up.

DeLille 2016 D2 Columbia Valley $45 88 points
The 25th vintage of this wine is principally a blend of 59% Merlot and 34% Cabernet Sauvignon along with pinches of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Blackberry, plum seed, black raspberry, toast, graphite and licorice aromas lead to light but ripe red and black fruit flavors backed by grainy tannins. The warmth of the vintage shows, but there is still enjoyment to be had.

Finn Hill 2014 Tenebrae Stillwater Creek Vineyard Petit Verdot Columbia Valley $30 88 points
Brooding aromas of fresh and dried herb, graphite, orange peel and black fruit are followed by full-bodied dark fruit flavors that pack a big punch. Firm, tightly wound tannins and lively acidity back it all up.

Finn Hill 2014 Merveille Stillwater Creek Vineyard Merlot Columbia Valley $30 87 points
High-toned black cherry, anise, vanilla and barrel spice aromas lead to pitch-black cherry flavors. The tannins give a firm, dry squeeze and show some bitterness. The warmth of the vintage shows, with the tannins getting in the way.

Finn Hill 2017 Le Fantôme Sugarloaf Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Gris Rattlesnake Hills $20 85 points
Unusual aromas of lees, mesquite and strawberry lead to medium-bodied fruit and smoke flavors. The smoke influence is intrusive.

Finn Hill 2014 Le Beau Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $30 85 points
Coming from a hot region in a hot vintage, the aromas offer notes of ripe cherry and raisin along with mocha and spice. Full fruit flavors follow, with the tannins bringing a lot of astringency, which causes distraction.

Finn Hill 2017 Blondie Elephant Mountain Vineyard Rosé of Sangiovese Rattlesnake Hills $20 83 points
Electric pink in color, the aromas offer notes of apple and lees. Thick feeling, medium-bodied flavors follow, with a lightly smoky finish after.

Finn Hill 2014 L’Abîme Corfu Crossing Vineyard Syrah Columbia Valley $30 83 points
Farmyard, dried cherry, hay, licorice, dried cranberry and spice aromas are followed by medium-bodied fruit flavors. It doesn’t all work, seeming quite dried out.

Force Majeure 2016 Estate Grown Parvata Red Mountain $70 92 points
A blend of 69% Mourvèdre, 21% Syrah and 10% Grenache, raspberry jam, herb, white pepper and citrus peel aromas vie for attention. Ripe, full-bodied fruit and coffee flavors follow, with a lingering finish capping it off. It shows depth and intensity, with the tannins bringing a slightly dry grip that smooths out with significant time open. Best after 2023 with an extremely long life ahead of it.

Force Majeure 2016 Estate Grown Syrah Red Mountain $70 90 points
There’s no question of the warm vintage and growing region that this wine comes from. Expressive aromas of coffee bean, dark fruit and baking chocolate are followed by quite ripe fruit flavors, with the tannins giving a firm handshake, softening over time. It’s high on the hedonism scale.

Force Majeure 2017 Estate Viognier Red Mountain $50 88 points
The aromas are expressive, with notes of white flower and ripe peach along with a kiss of vanilla and barrel spice. A full-bodied, dense palate follows, leading to a long, quite warm finish. There are good things going on, but they don’t all come together, with the balance seeming a bit off.

Gramercy 2015 Lower East Syrah Columbia Valley $25 92 points
You know a winery is excelling when it can pack this big a punch into its second-tier wine. The aromas pop, with notes of flower, green herb, peeled orange, wet rock and smoked meat. There’s a compelling sense of balance, vibrancy and freshness to the palate. A lingering, smoked meat-filled finish follows. Delightful stuff and a superb value. Editor's Choice

Gramercy 2015 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $95 92 points
Forty-five-year-old vines at Bacchus Vineyard are at the heart of this wine, making up 66%, with the balance coming from Octave Vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley. The aromas offer subdued notes of black licorice, dark cherry, chocolate, graphite, dried herb and spice, with the warmth of the vintage on display. Concentrated, layered dark fruit flavors follow, with the tannins giving a firm, slightly dry handshake. An extended finish follows. The balance is exquisite. It needs time for the tannins to stretch out. Best after 2023 with a long life beyond that.

Gramercy 2015 Forgotten Hills Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $60 92 points
The winery’s estate vineyard is a special spot in the valley for Syrah. Locked up on first pour, this wine opens to reveal aromas of raspberry, fresh chopped parsley, black pepper, cigar box, orange peel, violet, smoked meat and dried stem. The palate is light on its feet, fresh and focused, with herb and olive flavors along with firm, very tightly wound tannins backing it up. It brings a pleasing sense of freshness, requiring food to be fully appreciated. Enjoy after 2022, but it will thrive way beyond that.

Gramercy 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $50 91 points
Phinny Hill (60%) and Bacchus (20%) fruit make up the backbone of this wine. Aromas of plum, black licorice, baking spice and black fruit are followed by a full-bodied, well-balanced, layered palate that shows depth and intensity but with a fine sense of balance. There’s no question about the warmth of the year, but it delivers and will have a very long life in front of it. Best after 2022.

Gramercy 2015 Lagniappe Syrah Columbia Valley $60 90 points
This wine comes mostly from fruit from the esteemed Red Willow Vineyard, along with a 5% pinch from Forgotten Hills. Aromas of fresh herb, blood orange, green and black olive, cured meat, hay and black pepper are out front. The palate bursts with dark raspberry and cherry flavors that bring a sense of texture, with dry, bunched up tannins backing it up.

Gramercy 2015 Lower East Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $32 89 points
The aromas are locked up out of the gate, displaying notes of gravel, raspberry, graphite, vanilla and blackberry. The palate brings firm, lightly grainy tannins that seem unresolved at first but soften a bit with significant time open. There are good things going on, but they need to make their way to the surface. Give it a very long decant if opening in the near term. It has beyond impressive staying power for a wine at this price.

Helix by Reininger 2014 Phinny Hill Vineyard Syrah Horse Heaven Hills $22 89 points
Aromas of orange peel and flower are followed by scents of plum and blueberry that show generosity. Supple, refined, palate-coating blue fruit flavors follow. Tasty stuff.

Helix by Reininger 2017 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Chardonnay Columbia Valley $20 87 points
Aromas of pear, yellow apple and banana lead to full-bodied fruit flavors. A tart, tangy finish caps it off. The acidity is lovely if the rest of it settles in.

Helix by Reininger 2014 Merlot Columbia Valley $22 86 points
Toast, dark raspberry jam and spice aromas lead to sweet, jammy fruit flavors. It’s a hyperripe offering of the variety.

Helix by Reininger 2014 Phinny Hill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $30 85 points
Aromas of overripe red apple and apple skin are out front. The cherry flavors are straight down the fairway, with quite gritty tannins providing support.

Helix by Reininger 2015 Pomatia Red Blend Columbia Valley $20 84 points
This wine is made up of 39% Cabernet Sauvignon and 29% Syrah, rounded out with Sangiovese, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Light flower, cherry, sweet spice and herb aromas lead to full-bodied fruit flavors, with the tannins bringing considerable dryness, astringency and bitterness that distracts.

Involuntary Commitment 2017 Columbia Valley $20 90 points
Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot make up this young release wine. Aromas of gun smoke, cherry, orange rind, green pepper and stem are followed by soft, medium-bodied, fruit-forward flavors with a tart finish. It brings a sense of immediacy and appeal, along with a pleasing balance that kicks it up a notch or two. Impressively, it also shows a lot of staying power especially for a wine at this price. Editor's Choice

Long Road 2015 Syrah Horse Heaven Hills $28 88 points
Aromas of raspberry jam, cola and cherry are followed by sweet, hyperrich, palate-coating fruit flavors, with some bitter notes in the background. The warmth of the vintage and region is on full display on this high-octane offering.

Long Road 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $32 83 points
The aromas seem quite dried out and evolved for a newly released wine. The flavors come off as light in concentration, missing in the middle.

Longship 2016 Wise Man McKinley Springs Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $40 87 points
Barrel aromas are out front, with notes of char, toast and sweet spice, making it hard to get at the fruit. The palate is lighter styled, bringing a sense of elegance.

Longship 2016 Quinn Red Blend Columbia Valley $36 87 points
A blend of 57% Tempranillo, 24% Malbec and 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a very unusual wine for the state, showing aromas and flavors of caramel apple, spearmint and candied ginger. Bunched up tannins back it up. It’s unique but not entirely successful.

Longship 2016 Invader Tempranillo Walla Walla Valley $36 87 points
Charming aromas of plum, blue fruit, herb and spice are followed by ripe, full-bodied blue and black fruit flavors that thin out a bit in the middle. The tannins give a firm squeeze. It comes off as light at times.

Longship 2016 Ginger Man Syrah Walla Walla Valley $32 86 points
Fruit for this wine comes from Seven Hills and Cockburn Ranch, with a pinch coming from Phinny Hill. The aromas offer notes of rubber band, cherry, dried herb, allspice and blackberry, with the variety hard to find. Cranberry and herb flavors follow. The variety and appellation seem hard to place.

Pepper Bridge 2015 Trine Estate Vineyards Walla Walla Valley $65 90 points
This is a blend of 40% Cabernet Franc with 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 10% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot. Bittersweet chocolate, anise, herb, black cherry, cocoa and graphite aromas and flavors form the core, with a light medicinal note in the background. Firm, slightly grippy tannins provide support, along with amaro-like bitters on the finish. Best after 2022, with a long life beyond that.

Plumb Cellars 2015 Gamache Vineyard Malbec Columbia Valley $42 87 points
Fruit for this wine comes from one of the state’s top Malbec vineyards. The aromas are brooding, with notes of blackberry, baking spice and herb, with the fruit seeming dried out. Full-bodied fruit flavors follow.

Plumb Cellars 2014 Damn Straight Red Blend Columbia Valley $39 84 points
Cabernet Sauvignon takes the lead on this Bordeaux-style blend. Dried out aromas of raspberry jam, prune, anise and fruit leather lead to sweet, full-bodied, quite jammy fruit flavors. It seems very evolved for its age. Drink now.

Plumb Cellars 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $42 83 points
Dried cherry, fruit roll-up, hay and jam aromas lead to fruit flavors that show more of the same. It seems extremely evolved for its age.

Plumb Cellars 2014 Estate JK Vineyard Sangiovese Walla Walla Valley $24 82 points
Aromas of barnyard, dried cherry, dried tobacco and herb are followed by somewhat lighter-styled fruit flavors that show the same. It doesn’t come together, and the variety seems impossible to find.

Plumb Cellars 2014 Estate JK Vineyard V Syrah Walla Walla Valley $28 80 points
Aromas of barnyard, dried cherry, raisin and overripe apple lead to light, tangy, dried out-seeming flavors.

Pursued by Bear 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $70 88 points
Aromas of vanilla, baking spice, nougat, coriander, graphite and coconut are followed by a palate where the barrel influence is out front. Vanilla notes linger on the finish. The wood seems to get in the way of the fruit that is in the glass. There are things to enjoy, but not for all tastes.

Reininger 2016 Syrah Walla Walla Valley $52 88 points
Cofermented with Viognier, the aromas pop, with notes of tangerine peel, huckleberry, plum and flower. Well-balanced fruit flavors follow. It brings a pretty sense of elegance, though the tannins seem gruff and bitter.

Reininger 2015 Merlot Walla Walla Valley $37 88 points
Aromas of vanilla, graphite and wood spice are followed by black fruit flavors that bring a sense of fullness. The tannins bring some grip and dryness.

Reininger 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $50 86 points
The aromas bring high-toned notes of overripe red apple and apple skin along with cherry and spice. The palate has a sense of lushness, not making up for what the aromas lack. Gritty, slight bitter tannins back it up.

Two Mountain 2016 Copeland Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $25 86 points
The aromas offer notes of blackberry jam, black licorice, crayon and spice, coming off as quite ripe. Dark fruit flavors follow, not holding together throughout, with a cranberry finish.

Two Mountain 2013 BROS Brothers Reserve Copeland Vineyard Cabernet Franc Yakima Valley $66 86 points
Light in color, with aromas suggesting notes of cranberry and raspberry jam, orange peel, sweet oak, vanilla, high-toned herb and barrel spice, making the wine seem evolved for the its age. The palate is light but rich in style, with tangy fruit and barrel flavors.

Two Mountain 2016 Reserve Copeland Vineyard Cabernet Franc Yakima Valley $35 86 points
Aromas of baking spice, anise, coriander, cherry and herb are followed by dried out cranberry, orange peel and cherry flavors. The tannins give a slight dry squeeze, with the concentration not seeming all there.

Two Mountain 2016 Copeland Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley $28 86 points
Light aromas of jammy dark fruit, orange peel and spice lead to medium-bodied, slightly tangy fruit flavors with dry tannins. It doesn’t have the structure to stand up on its own.

Two Mountain 2016 Copeland Vineyard Merlot Yakima Valley $22 85 points
Subdued aromas of cranberry, orange peel, cherry and herb are followed by light, sweet-seeming tart fruit flavors. The tannins bring a bit of grit. The variety seems hard to find, with cranberry flavors taking over.

Two Mountain NV Show Pony Red Blend Yakima Valley $24 84 points
Aromas of dried cherry, jam, herb and dried cranberry are followed by sweet, supple fruit flavors. The fruit seems desiccated, with the tannins showing some grit.

Two Mountain 2013 BROS Brothers Estate Grown and Bottled Reserve Blend No. 6 Copeland Vineyard Bordeaux-style Red Blend Yakima Valley $62 84 points
The black licorice, dried cherry, Band-Aid and menthol aromas are unusual. Somewhat lighter-styled raspberry and orange peel flavors follow. It seems both underripe and a bit dried out—a strange mix.

Two Mountain 2013 BROS Brothers Reserve Estate Grown and Bottled Copeland Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley $NA 84 points
The aromas seem candied, with high-toned notes of raspberry, dried red cherry, hay and game. Slightly sweet seeming cherry and orange peel flavors follow, missing in the middle.

Two Mountain 2013 Bros Brothers Reserve Copeland Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $68 83 points
Not entirely harmonious aromas of dried cranberry, asphalt and hay are followed by light, tart, lean flavors with a quite smoky finish. It doesn’t all work.

Two Vintners 2016 Some Days Are Stones Stoney Vine Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $50 92 points
There’s no question about the appellation this Rocks District wine comes from, with its aromas of grilled asparagus, blue fruit, firepit, black pepper, stargazer lily and tapenade leaning hard into the savory and showing nuance. Soft, palate-coating flavors follow, showing a pleasing fleetness of foot along with a lengthy finish. It’s a spot-on example of this variety, vintage and growing region. Editor's Choice

Two Vintners 2016 Some Days Are Diamonds May’s Discovery Vineyard Syrah Horse Heaven Hills $50 92 points
The Horse Heaven Hills is proving itself to be an increasingly interesting place in Washington for Syrah, with this bottle being another great example. The aromas are unique, showing notes of blackberry, potpourri, huckleberry, spice, herb, smoked meat and sage. Full-bodied, penetrating fruit and floral flavors follow. Slightly grainy tannins that need some time to stretch out back it up. There’s a lovely sense of balance and length.

Two Vintners 2016 The Waiting List Boushey Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $50 92 points
The aromas draw you into the glass, with notes of orange peel, herb, stem, black pepper, blueberry, plum and earth. Supple, seamless, full-bodied fruit flavors follow. It has a sense of volume and intensity but also a surprising amount of freshness considering the ripeness level. A light grip of tannins and a long finish cap it off.

Two Vintners 2016 Syrah Columbia Valley $21 91 pointsThis wine is a true pan-Columbia Valley Syrah, with fruit coming from far-flung, top sites that include Dineen, Olsen, Discovery, StoneTree, Pepper Bridge, Stoney Vine and Boushey. The aromas draw you into the glass, with the notes of mountain blueberry, pepper, herb, raspberry, earth, smoked meat, flower and tangerine peel that show precision and detail. Fresh, focused fruit flavors follow, with the tannins giving a light squeeze. Tasty stuff with impeccable balance and great length on the smoked meat-filled finish. One would be hard-pressed to find a more impressive Syrah from the state at this price. Give it some additional time in the bottle or a short decant to see it at its best. Editor's Choice

Two Vintners 2016 Lola Yellow Jacket Vineyard Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $30 91 points
This is the first vintage the wine has been designated from Yellow Jacket Vineyard. It’s a blend of 68% Syrah and 32% Cabernet Sauvignon. The aromas are reserved, displaying notes of blackberry, black pepper and dried herb, along with kisses of spice. Supple, medium-plus-bodied, well-balanced fruit and herb flavors follow, lingering on the finish.

Two Vintners 2016 Claire Boushey Vineyard Grenache Yakima Valley $40 91 points
Light in color with some bricking at the rim. The aromas offer hyperappealing notes of fresh ripe raspberry, white pepper, smoked meat, potpourri and dried herb. It dances on the palate with light, showy, elegant, juicy flavors that display a lovely sense of intensity and balance. A long finish caps it off. This one is all about delicacy. Editor's Choice

Two Vintners 2016 Sal May’s Discovery Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $55 91 points
The brooding aromas bring notes of pencil lead, scorched earth, dried herb and cherry, indicative of this unique growing region. Medium-bodied, pitch-black plum and cherry fruit flavors follow, backed by firm tannins. A lengthy finish caps it off. It brings a sense of seamlessness and appeal, with its best days in front of it. It captures this vineyard and vintage perfectly. Editor's Choice

Two Vintners 2016 Make Haste Cinsault Yakima Valley $25 90 points
This is a rare, 100% varietal offering from the state, with all of the fruit coming from Olsen Vineyard. Quite pale in color and aged in neutral barrels, it offers aromas of cherry Jolly Rancher, raspberry, white pepper and primary berry notes. Elegant, very pretty fruit flavors follow. It shows a lovely sense of balance and freshness, all about elegance. A superb value to boot. Editor's Choice

Two Vintners 2015 Merlot Columbia Valley $32 89 points
Most of the fruit for this wine comes from Pepper Bridge, Sheridan and StoneTree vineyards, along with a pinch from Kiona. Aromas of exotic spice, cedar box, licorice and jammy red fruit are followed by ripe, rich fruit flavors. It’s high on the hedonism scale, with the warmth of the vintage on full display.

Two Vintners 2016 Legit Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $30 87 points
The bulk of this wine comes from Discovery, StoneTree, Pepper Bridge and Dineen vineyards. High-toned, not entirely settled aromas of overripe apple, cherry, anise and dried herb are followed by sweet cherry flavors and dry, lightly grainy tannins. Perhaps some time will bring it together.

Walla Walla Vintners 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $40 92 points
There’s no mistaking the variety, with its aromas of black currant, dried herb, parsley, cedar box, plum, black fruit, coffee and green pepper. Elegant fruit flavors follow on the palate, surrounded by firm, tightly wound tannins. The acidity seems surprisingly bright for such a warm vintage. Best after 2022, with long life beyond that.

Walla Walla Vintners 2014 V Vottavo Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $60 91 points
This blend of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Sangiovese and 22% Merlot comes from a vineyard that sits nearly 1,500 feet in elevation—one of the higher sites in the valley. The aromas of raspberry, fresh herb, cherry, coffee and bittersweet chocolate bring intensity. The flavors are direct, with a compelling sense of structure. It has a long life in front of it. Best after 2023.

Walla Walla Vintners 2014 V Cut Bank Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $60 91 points
This wine comes from the winery’s young estate vineyard in the Upper Mill Creek area of the valley. The aromas intrigue, with notes of dried herb, toast, cranberry, mocha, scorched earth, pencil lead, dark chocolate and cherry. The fruit flavors are plump, lush and full. It provides appeal and has a very long life in front of it. Editor's Choice

Walla Walla Vintners 2014 V Cut Bank Estate Sangiovese Walla Walla Valley $50 87 points
The tire rubber, cherry, vanilla and wood spice aromas don’t seem entirely settled at present—surprising given the extra time in bottle. Light, tart, puckering fruit flavors follow. The acidity is delightful if the aromas clear up.

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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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