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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
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Sean P. Sullivan

2019 Tour Guide

Reviewed Wineries

Below are my Wine Enthusiast reviews for October 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.

192 wines reviewed in the October issue of Wine Enthusiast. Too many high quality wines to individually callout, so I’ll just
spotlight just a few of them here.

I first wrote about a new winery called Grosgrain Vineyards on my WWR Facebook page back in March when I tried some of the wines at Taste Washington and then again after visiting the winery in Walla Walla Valley when they opened in May. Let’s dig a little deeper here.

Founded by Matt and Kelly Austin, Grosgrain - pronounced Grow-grain and named after a textile pattern in a callout to Kelly’s former work as a fashion designer - is located down south in the valley on an estate vineyard. The vineyard has Aglianico and Nebbiolo planted by the former owner. The Austins planted Grenache and Carignan there last year. The couple also owns a vineyard in the SeVein project that is currently being established.


Matt Austin formerly worked as a lawyer before studying enology at South Seattle Community College. He subsequently spent time at Savage Grace and EFESTE before assisting at Darby and working as cellar master at Dunham Cellars.

Those influences can be tasted in the wines. The big time charmer here – a true eye opener – is the Grosgrain 2018 Kiona Vineyard Pét-Nat Old Vine Lemberger Red Mountain ($2691 points, Editor’s Choice). This Pét-Nat sparkler comes from the first Lemberger plantings in North America and the first grape vines on Red Mountain. It doesn’t get any geekier than that. But geeky is only interesting if it’s delicious too, and this wine is nothing if not that.

The winery also makes a Walla Walla Valley Albariño, which is one of the best examples of this variety I’ve had from the state to date (Grosgrain 2018 Philips Vineyard Albariño Walla Walla Valley $24 90 pointsEditor’s Choice). Also not to be missed is a 2018 vintage Grenache from Red Mountain, a light, elegant, juicy take on the variety (Grosgrain 2018 Red Heaven Vineyard Grenache Red Mountain $3490 points).

The inaugural releases from Grosgrain could not be a stronger start for the winery. This is one of the most exciting new producers in Washington in recent years. Another top notch newcomer with reviews below is Prospice. I will feature this winery in a subsequent post.

Moving on, winemaker by day, sommelier by night Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen of W.T. Vintners is quite simply making some of the state’s best and most exciting wines. Each vintage Lindsay-Thorsen makes strides in refining and dialing in the winery’s style, with the tagline “Elegance towards excellence.” These are wines that all have a clear sense of vision – restrained, flavorful, and structured.


A good example of these strides can be tasted in  2018 Gruner Veltliner, which for the first time employed a 36 hour maceration. The result is additional aromatic and textural complexity. It’s the best example of Gruner I’ve had from Washington (W.T. Vintners 2018 Underwood Mountain Vineyard Grüner Veltliner Columbia Gorge $2292 pointsEditor’s Choice).

The four WT Syrahs are knee bucklers, each crystalline representations of their respective vineyards (W.T. Vintners 2016 Damavian Les Collines Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $4593 pointsEditor’s ChoiceW.T. Vintners 2016 Stoney Vine Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $49 93 pointsW.T. Vintners 2016 Boushey Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $40 93 pointsEditor’s ChoiceW.T. Vintners 2016 Destiny Ridge Vineyard Syrah Horse Heaven Hills $3592 pointsEditor’s Choice). The Grenache, Mourvèdre and Rhône blend reviewed below are equally delicious. I can’t recommend the wines at WT any more highly.

I’ve written a number of times previously about Cairdeas (pronounced Car-diss) in Chelan. One of the things that impresses me most about this producer is that winemaker Charlie Lybecker produces drop dead gorgeous white wines, whether blends of Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier or varietal wines like Grenache Blanc (Cairdeas 2018 Nellie Mae Columbia Valley $24, 92 points, Editor’s ChoiceCairdeas 2018 Northern Yakima Valley $24 91 pointsEditor’s ChoiceCairdeas 2018 Boushey Vineyard Grenache Blanc Yakima Valley $2490 pointsEditor’s Choice). The red wines are also top notch (Cairdeas 2016 Consonance Red Blend Yakima Valley $42 92 points).

I wrote about the wines at Cayuse Vineyards earlier this week (reviews also below). I’ll write more regarding the 2016 vintage – many of the wines reviewed here – in a subsequent post dedicated to that vintage. But here are some of the standouts from reviewed in the October issue.

Betz Family 2016 Heart of the Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $110 93 points, Cellar Selection 

Betz Family 2016 Père de Famille Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $78 92 points, Cellar Selection

Betz Family 2016 Clos de Betz Columbia Valley $60 92 points, Editor's Choice

DeLille 2015 Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $160 94 points, Cellar Selection 

DeLille 2016 Chaleur Estate Columbia Valley $80 94 points, Cellar Selection

Figgins 2016 Estate Walla Walla Valley $85 94 points, Cellar Selection
Gramercy 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $50 92 points, Editor's Choice

Gramercy 2016 Lower East Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $32 91 points, Editor's Choice

Leonetti Cellar 2016 Reserve Walla Walla Valley $150 94 points, Cellar Selection

Leonetti Cellar 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $100 93 points, Cellar Selection

Quilceda Creek 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $200 95 points, Cellar Selection

Plenty more below. Enjoy!

Image 1: Grenache, Lonesome Spring Ranch.
Image 2: Matt and Kelly Austin, Grosgrain Vineyards
Image 3: Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen, WT Vintners

* * *

14 Hands NV Pinot Grigio Washington $6 86 points
In the first canned offering from the winery, aromas of apple, melon and Vaseline offer full-feeling flavors that persist through the lightly smoky finish. It’s a sure crowd-pleaser, and the price is right.

14 Hands NV Bubbles Sparkling Blend Washington $6 85 points
Aromas of pear and apple lead to off-dry flavors. It’s an easy-drinking sparkling quaffer.

Adams Bench 2016 The V Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $58 90 points
This winery is known for its boldly tannic wines, and this offering is no different. Dark cherry, cedar, blackberry, dried herb and spice aromas lead to rich, ripe, sweet, black fruit flavors. The tannins give a firm squeeze. Best after 2023.

Adams Bench 2016 May’s Discovery Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $70 88 points
Aromas of dried black cherry, mortared herbs, blackberry and spice lead to slightly smoky, extremely tightly wound fruit and barrel flavors with a medicinal finish. The dots don’t all seem to connect.

Adams Bench 2016 Red Willow Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley $70 88 points
Aromas of licorice, bittersweet chocolate, black cherry and herb lead to full-bodied, sweet, jammy fruit flavors surrounded by dense, tightly wound, dry tannins. A warm finish follows.

Adams Bench 2016 Reckoning Columbia Valley $42 87 points
Merlot (47%) drives this wine, with Cabernet Sauvignon (40%), Cabernet Franc (10%) and Petit Verdot (3%) in tow. Brooding aromas of licorice, herb and dark chocolate lead to tightly clenched dark fruit flavors. It veers toward overripe.

Adams Bench 2016 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $70 87 points
The aromas are high toned, with notes of macerated cherry, anise and herb. Slightly sweet-seeming fruit flavors follow.

Amavi 2018 Sémillon Walla Walla Valley $24 88 points
Toast, fig and herb aromas lead to sleekly styled fruit flavors that taper toward the finish. It needs more time to come together, but there are good things going on.

B. Leighton 2016 Gratitude Olsen Brothers Vineyard Yakima Valley $45 92 points
Mourvèdre makes up 70% of this wine, with the rest Grenache and Syrah. The aromas aren’t ready to reveal themselves on first pour, with aromas of raspberry, orange peel, smoked meat and herb emerging over time. The palate shows a lovely sense of purity and detail.

Baer 2016 Star Stillwater Creek Merlot Columbia Valley $35 91 points
Pleasing aromas of dried herbs, bittersweet chocolate, dark coffee, fresh herbs and cherry lead to lush, full-bodied red fruit and green herb flavors, accented by barrel notes and backed by velvety tannins. Though it drinks green for a varietal Merlot, it brings undeniable appeal.

Baer 2018 Shard Unoaked Stillwater Creek Vineyard Chardonnay Columbia Valley $25 89 points
Aromas of freshly cut red and yellow apple are out front. Medium-bodied, fresh-fruit flavors follow, with a slightly bitter finish.

Baer 2016 Arctos Stillwater Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $43 88 points
Aromas of apple, wet hay, dried cherry, Band-Aid and medicine cabinet lead to plump but dried-out-seeming fruit flavors. It all doesn’t work. Medicinal notes linger on the finish.

Betz Family 2016 Heart of the Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $110 93 points
Luxurious aromas of barrel spice, char, roasted coffee bean, black cherry, earth, cocoa, graphite, coffee and herb lead to elegant but textured, layered, tart, lip-smacking fruit flavors. The palate is all pleasantly dialed back considering the warmth of the vintage and region, with an exquisite acidity and tannin balance. In cooler days, Washington Cabernets sat squarely between California and Bordeaux. This throwback wine does just that. Best after 2025. Cellar Selection

Betz Family 2016 Père de Famille Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $78 92 points
This winery celebrates its 20th anniversary of this wine, and what a two decades it has been. With a healthy 20% Petit Verdot and a dash of Merlot (5%), aromas of char, cherry, citrus, generous barrel spice, bay leaf, plum, thyme and anise lead to elegant, classically styled fruit flavors with lip-smacking acidity and tannins that give a gentle but notable squeeze. It’s a throwback wine. Leave it until at least 2025. Cellar Selection

Betz Family 2016 Clos de Betz Columbia Valley $60 92 points
Merlot comprises 70% of this wine, with the rest equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The aromas start out a bit reduced. Currant, coffee, cedar, herb and cassis aromas follow. It’s elegant but flavorful, showing a pleasing sense of depth and length along with a strong sense of acidity. Give it until at least 2025. Editor's Choice

Big Table Farm 2016 Funk Estate Vineyard Syrah The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater $48 93 points
The aromas are alluring, with notes of dried and fresh herbs, green and black olives, smoked meat, plum, fresh tobacco and flower. Full-bodied, intense, layered smoked meat, firepit, dark fruit and charcuterie board flavors follow. Olive notes persist on the quite long finish. It commands attention. Editor's Choice

Cairdeas 2018 Nellie Mae Columbia Valley $24 92 points
This wine is a blend of Viognier (65%) and Roussanne (35%), coming from a vineyard on the Royal Slope that is starting to make its mark. The aromas intrigue, with notes of seashell, apricot and flower. The palate is nectarous and rounded in feel, with fresh stone fruit flavors. It’s flat-out delicious, with a sense of purity and freshness that delights. Editor's Choice

Cairdeas 2016 Consonance Red Blend Yakima Valley $42 92 points
Petit Sirah makes up half of this wine, with the rest Syrah (45%) and a pinch of Viognier. The aromas aren’t ready to reveal their charms on first pour, opening to reveal notes of plum, blue fruit, smoked meat, black pepper, flower, herb and dried tangerine peel. Plump, appealing fruit, floral and savory flavors follow. Once it gets going, it captivates.

Cairdeas 2018 Northern Yakima Valley $24 91 points
Marsanne makes up 60% of this wine, with the rest Roussanne. Subtle, intriguing aromas of mineral, corn silk, marzipan, sweet herbs, nori and seashell are out front. A flavorful, textured palate follows. The enjoyment is as much about feel as flavor. Editor's Choice

Cairdeas 2018 Boushey Vineyard Grenache Blanc Yakima Valley $24 90 points
The aromas offer pretty notes of wet stone, herb and citrus. Textured, full feeling but never overweighted fruit flavors follow, with enough acidity to stand it up straight. It walks the balance beam perfectly. Editor's Choice

Cayuse 2016 God Only Knows Armada Vineyard Walla Walla Valley (OR) $100 98 points
Insanely aromatic notes of potpourri, raspberry, white pepper, soot, funk and earth are followed by bright, fresh, focused, uber-rich fruit and savory flavors. It shows a sense of delicacy and intensity with unparalleled balance. There is no end to the finish. What makes this Grenache-driven wine so extraordinary? God only knows. Best from 2023 to 2027. Cellar Selection

Cayuse 2016 En Cerise Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $90 97 points
This wine displays an overt sense of funkiness out of the gate, with the rest of the aromas not entirely ready to reveal their charms. Charcuterie board, green peppercorn, asparagus, fresh tobacco, ashtray and soot notes emerge over time. Full, dense-feeling black olive and other savory flavors follow. The intensity on the finish is commanding, and it lasts for a solid minute. It’s an exclamation point. Editor's Choice

Cayuse 2016 En Chamberlain Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $90 97 points
The aromas are exuberant, with a seemingly endless list of savory notes that include mineral, funk, potpourri, freshly ground black pepper, firepit, black olive and smoked ham, revealing more on each swirl. Intensely rich but still elegant, graceful savory and floral flavors follow. The savory and potpourri-filled finish goes on for 60-plus seconds. It’s an accomplishment. It’s irresistible now but will be best after 2025 with a long life in front of it. Cellar Selection

Cayuse 2016 Bionic Frog Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $115 96 points
The aromas fascinate, with notes of funk, earth, savory green olive, herb, soot, umami, black pepper, black olive brine, smoked meat and caper. It shows a profound sense of intensity, balance and layering to the savory and floral flavors that continue through the long, richly flavored finish of firepit and flowers.

Cayuse 2016 Armada Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $100 96 points
Aromas of potpourri, smoked meat, earth, cracked pepper and lily lead to a dense, rich palate with intense fruit, savory and floral flavors. The palate shows more overt density than the other wines from this vintage, while remaining lively, energetic and exquisitely balanced. Potpourri and smoked meat linger on and on. Best after 2024. Cellar Selection

Cayuse 2016 Wallah Wallah Special Syrah #10 Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $175 96 points
Made in magnum, this is the only wine in the portfolio to blend across vineyards. The aromas are arresting, with notes of firepit, funk, green herb, potpourri, chimney and black and green olive. Rich, intense but still lithe savory flavors follow. The intensity and length of the finish is captivating. Best after 2026. Cellar Selection

Cayuse 2016 Cailloux Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $90 95 points
Aromas of peeled orange, fresh flower, ground black pepper, bacon fat, potpourri, funk, truffle, sea salt, soot and crushed rock are at the fore. The flavors are intensely rich—grabbing you and shaking you around—while still retaining a compelling sense of elegance that ups the interest. An extended, flower-filled finish follows. Best after 2024. Cellar Selection

Cayuse 2016 Impulsivo En Chamberlain Vineyard Tempranillo Walla Walla Valley (OR) $100 93 points
The chimney, funk, earth, mineral, fresh tobacco, peat and spice aromas draw you into the glass. The fruit and savory notes are elegant but flavorful, with a long finish capping it off. The balance is impressive.

Cayuse 2017 Cailloux Vineyard Viognier Walla Walla Valley (OR) $75 93 points
Outrageous aromas of freshly cut white peach, nectarine, wet stone and honeysuckle lead to intensely flavorful peach and apricot notes that retain a sense of deftness. The finish persists an easy 30 seconds. It brings impressive energy, balance and intensity. To those who don’t believe minerality exists, this wine serves as a counterpoint to the argument.

Cayuse 2016 The Widowmaker Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley (OR) $100 93 points
There’s no question that this wine brings the funk. Cassis bud, freshly tilled soil, chimney and ember aromas are followed by flavorful cherry notes on a deft palate. It shows a surprising amount of structure for the Rocks District. There’s also a mouthwatering sense to it that ups the interest along with a long finish. Cabernet from this area is unique and hasn’t gotten as much attention as other varieties.

Cayuse 2016 Flying Pig Walla Walla Valley (OR) $100 93 points
This wine is a blend of 49% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc and 11% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aromas of green pepper, savory herb, cherry, peat and earth are at the fore. The palate is more fruitful than this area often is and also brings a considerable amount of tannic structure for the region. A fruit and savory finish ends it.

Cayuse 2016 The Lovers Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $100 92 points
Cabernet Sauvignon comprises 85% of this wine, with the balance Syrah. The aromas of black pepper, fresh herb, firepit, mineral and currant are more fruit- than savory-driven for the Rocks District. Palate-coating green pepper, currant and plum flavors follow. A lingering finish caps it off.

Cayuse 2016 Camaspelo Walla Walla Valley (OR) $90 91 points
The aromas are subdued out of the gate, with notes of earth, tobacco, fresh herb, funk, cassis bud and spice. The palate brings a sense of layering and detail.

Cayuse 2017 Edith Grenache Armada Vineyard Rosé Walla Walla Valley (OR) $50 91 points
Aromas of wet stone, raspberry, strawberry and herb lead to minerally, weighty savory flavors. It’s a unique offering from this appellation with no comparison, bringing a sense of seriousness.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2016 Artist Series Columbia Valley $65 91 points
This is a principally Cabernet Sauvignon (57%) and Merlot (36%), finished off with a bit of Cabernet Franc (5%) and Malbec (2%). Cocoa, vanilla, graphite, baking spice and black cherry aromas are followed by elegantly styled chocolate and cherry flavors. Firm tannins back it up, with dark chocolate and vanilla notes lingering on the finish. It shows a classic styling. The oak shows prominently, but it has good stuffing. Best after 2023. Cellar Selection

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2016 Canoe Ridge Estate Merlot Horse Heaven Hills $24 90 points
The aromas are subdued, with notes of baking spice, currant, smoke and graphite. Ripe, full-bodied fruit flavors follow, painting around the edges, with firm tannins providing the scaffolding.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2017 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $11 89 points
This wine's aromas are pleasing, with notes of apple, cream and spice. Full-feeling yet nuanced fruit flavors follow. Spice notes linger on the finish. It displays a lovely sense of balance that kicks it up a notch. Best Buy

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2017 Cold Creek Vineyard Riesling Columbia Valley $16 88 points
There’s no mistaking the variety, with its notes of lime leaf, flowers, red apple and whiffs of diesel. Off-dry but leaning sweeter fruit flavors follow. There’s a pleasing sense of acidity that brings it all together.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2017 Indian Wells Chardonnay Columbia Valley $NA 86 points
Vanilla and clarified butter aromas are out front along with barrel notes of baking spice on this wood-driven wine. The palate shows more of the same, with slightly sweet fruit flavors. It’s all about the oak and style.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2016 Syrah Columbia Valley $15 85 points
This wine is quite reduced out of the gate. Over time vanilla, smoked meat and mint aromas emerge. The concentration seems quite light.

Chester-Kidder 2016 Red Blend Columbia Valley $60 90 points
Barrel aromas of char, toast, roasted coffee bean and spice are at the fore. Pitch-black fruit flavors follow, with smooth tannins backing it up. Coffee and chocolate notes linger on the finish. It’s tasty, though the fruit seems subsumed by the style at times.

City Limits 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $15 88 pointsAromas of metal, whole green pepper, flower and cassis lead to plump, ripe plum and berry flavors. It’s a straightforward, very varietal Cabernet quaffer, with the oak dialed way back.

City Limits 2018 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $15 86 points
Lemon balm, herb and flower aromas are followed by sleek, nicely structured fruit flavors. Wilted flower notes linger on the finish.

DeLille 2015 Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $160 94 points
There’s no question this is a warm-vintage wine, with its aromas of black cherry, game, licorice, scorched earth, barrel spice and blackberry. The palate brings rich, intense, rollicking dark-fruit flavors that have enough firm, tightly wound tannic structure to stitch them all together. It has the stuffing to run the race and then run it again. Best after 2027. Cellar Selection

DeLille 2016 Chaleur Estate Columbia Valley $80 94 points
This is the 25th vintage of the Cabernet Sauvignon (63%) dominated blend, which is rounded out with Merlot (24%), Cabernet Franc (10%) and Petit Verdot (3%). The aromas are brooding, with notes of scorched earth, black cherry, licorice, graphite and barrel spice. Velvety, full-bodied dark chocolate and cherry flavors follow. It brings a pleasing sense of subtlety along with a lick of acidity that augurs well for its longevity. Give it time for the oak to integrate. Best after 2027 with a very long life beyond that. Cellar Selection

DeLille 2016 Harrison Hill Snipes Mountain $90 92 points
The aromas intrigue, with nuanced notes of thyme, green pepper, dried tobacco, dried herbs and cherry. Light, graceful fruit flavors follow, with enough structure supporting it to do well in the cellar. Coffee notes finish it off. This lovely offering is all about subtlety. Editor's Choice

DeLille 2015 Grand Ciel Syrah Red Mountain $68 91 points
Subdued aromas of berry, assorted herbs, olive, wood spice, coffee and minerality lead to a deft, full-flavored, juicy palate with plentiful oak accents. There’s a pleasing sense of tension that keeps the interest high.

DeLille 2016 Doyenne Red Blend Red Mountain $42 91 points
This wine is 60% Syrah and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aromas of raspberry compote, black licorice, boysenberry, cherry, spice and herb lead to ripe, jammy, lip-smacking fruit flavors. A fulsome wine, it needs some time to stretch its legs.

DeLille 2016 Signature Series Syrah Yakima Valley $44 91 points
The aromas aren’t ready to reveal their charms out of the gate, with teasing notes of blueberry, herb, orange peel and smoked meat. Pure, rich, dense fruit flavors coat the palate, gliding on the long finish. It shows the warmth of the vintage but delivers.

DeLille 2016 Four Flags Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $68 89 points
The aromas are pretty, with notes of raspberry jam, herb, plum, black tea and cherry candy. Scrumptious, light, acid-driven fruit flavors follow, with firm tannins backing it up. Coffee notes linger on the finish. Give it time to come together.

DeLille 2017 Metier Columbia Valley $38 89 points
Grenache and Mourvèdre each make up 39% of this wine, with the rest Syrah and Cinsault. An herb medley is at the fore, followed by whiffs of smoke. Cut apple, raspberry, mesquite and spice flavors follow.

DeLille 2018 Rosé Columbia Valley $32 88 points
Grenache makes up more than half of this wine, with the rest Mourvèdre and a dash of Cinsault. Aromas of sour cherry and raspberry lead to fat-feeling fruit flavors. It shows some warmth and gets bogged down.

DeLille 2016 Quintessence Vineyard Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $54 88 pointsWith the balance tilted toward Malbec (71%), aromas of ripe, leaning slightly overripe red apple and plum are at the fore, followed by notes of coffee, cherry and herb. Soft, medium-bodied, almost tangy fruit flavors follow. It seems to be in an awkward spot.

Dunham 2016 Syrah Columbia Valley $35 88 points
Aromas of butterscotch, wood spice, vanilla and cherry are followed by creamy-feeling plum flavors. The concentration seems light in the middle and the oak heavy handed for the fruit that is in the glass.

Dunham 2017 Shirley Mays Chardonnay Columbia Valley $25 88 points
Corn silk, toast and marzipan aromas lead to medium-bodied fruit flavors. Straight down the fairway, it offers a lot of appeal.

Dunham 2017 Three Legged Red Blend Washington $19 87 points
Aromas of struck match, herb, smoked ham, vanilla and baking spice lead to medium-bodied fruit and barrel flavors. Coffee and smoke notes linger on the finish. There’s a pleasing sense of texture and balance that ups the interest.

Dusted Valley 2016 Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley $45 90 points
The variety is unmistakable, with its notes of leaf and herb out front and coffee and chocolate in tow. Plump, pleasing fruit and barrel flavors follow. Fruit and barrel play equal parts.

Dusted Valley 2017 Olsen Vineyard Chardonnay Yakima Valley $36 88 points
Lemon curd, candlewax, clarified butter and roasted corn aromas are out front. The stone fruit flavors are fuller in style but maintain a sense of elegance. It’s a wine that doesn’t seem quite sure what it wants to be.

Efeste 2016 Jolie Bouche Boushey Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $45 91 points
An intriguing wine, it offers notes of black pepper, dried and fresh herbs, whole lemon, raspberry, smoked meat and spice. Ripe, rich, full-bodied raspberry, cherry and smoked meat flavors follow. The warmth of the vintage shows, but the vineyard still shines through.

Efeste 2016 Big Papa Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $62 90 points
Coming from vines with at least 30 years of age, the aromas are perfumed with notes of macerated cherry, fresh flowers, black licorice, thyme, green herbs and black fruit. Full-bodied, action-packed fruit and herb flavors follow, with enough acidity and tannin structure to go the distance and a sense of freshness that ups the interest.

Efeste 2015 Final Final Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah Columbia Valley $32 90 points
Two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Syrah, this is always one of the best bang for the buck wines in the state. Pretty aromas of raspberry jam, garden herbs and black currant lead to rich, full-bodied, tightly wound black fruit flavors that lead to a warm finish. It hits the mark. Editor's Choice

Efeste 2018 Feral Evergreen Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Ancient Lakes $22 90 points
This wine shows a lot of reduction out of the gate but is worth waiting for. Once it blows off, it reveals aromas of gun smoke, pink grapefruit, mineral, talc and herb. Sleek white and pink grapefruit flavors follow on this acid-driven offering. Pair it with a cold seafood salad with a lime-and-garlic dressing. Give it time in the cellar or an extended decant.

Efeste 2016 Ceidleigh Syrah Red Mountain $42 89 points
Pitch black in color, with aromas that are brooding, offering notes of olive, pot roast, dried herbs and nori. Fruit and savory flavors are surprisingly light and restrained considering the intensity of the aromas and warmth of the vintage, with medicinal notes on the finish.

Efeste 2016 Nana Red Willow Vineyard Yakima Valley $48 88 points
Cabernet Franc and Merlot each make up 44% of this wine, with the rest Cabernet Sauvignon. The aromas are brooding, with notes of dark chocolate, peanut shell, dried flower and herb. Somewhat lighter-styled fruit flavors follow, not entirely stitching together. A medicinal note follows.

Efeste 2016 Eléni Red Willow Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $50 88 points
Aromas of apple peel, raspberry and cherry are followed by full-bodied red fruit flavors that still bring a sense of elegance. Firm midpalate tannins back it up, needing some time to soften. This oft-expressive vineyard seems hard to find at present.

Efeste 2016 Estate Taylor Mag Vineyard Petit Verdot Red Mountain $60 88 points
Cedar, sawdust, and high-toned green herb aromas are followed by a full-bodied palate. Firm, burly tannins back it up, as does tart acidity.

Efeste 2018 Oldfield Estate Rosé Yakima Valley $24 88 points
Mourvèdre and Grenache both make up 44% of this wine, with the rest Syrah. The aromas are quite reduced out of the gate. Beneath that are peppery notes. There’s delightful, tart acidity on the palate. It doesn’t all work in concert at present.

Efeste 2017 Lola Evergreen Vineyard Chardonnay Ancient Lakes $35 87 points
Aromas of slightly burnt toast, corn on the cob and candlewax are out front. Creamy-feeling fruit flavors follow.

Elephant Seven 2017 Yellow Bird Vineyard Grenache Walla Walla Valley $30 88 points
Light in color and showing some bricking. Subdued aromas of candied raspberry, herb and flower lead to elegant, juicy red fruit flavors followed by a warm finish. The palate is lovely, but the aromas don’t seem to sync up at present.

Eternal 2017 Eternal Sunshine Viognier Walla Walla Valley $34 87 points
Aromas of vanilla, baking spice, peach and cream are followed by full-bodied fruit flavors, redolent with vanilla notes. A quite warm finish follows. The wood (and perhaps lees influence?) get in the way of the fruit, which is a shame as what can be seen is wonderful.

Eternal 2016 Eternal Zen Syrah Walla Walla Valley $59 87 points
Vibrant, jammy aromas of cranberry, cherry and orange peel lead to plentiful cranberry flavors. It’s an unusual interpretation of the vineyard and variety, with the heat of the vintage seeming to have carried it away a bit.

Eternal 2018 Eternal Perspective Grenache Blanc Columbia Valley $29 87 points
Not entirely settled aromas of pear and peach are followed by sleek-seeming flavors with a kiss of sweetness in the middle. It doesn’t all come together.

Eternal 2016 Eternal Darkness Syrah Walla Walla Valley $59 86 points
Unusual aromas of tobacco, vanilla, citrus and black pepper are followed by tangy dill and cherry flavors. The wood and ripeness get in the way.

Figgins 2016 Estate Walla Walla Valley $85 94 points
In this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Merlot, the aromas are all about dark fruit, flower and spice, with notes of anise, blackberry jam, soil and black cherry as well as a generous pinch of spice following. Luscious full, rich, highly structured fruit flavors follow. The acidity balance is impressive. Its best years are far ahead of it. Open after 2025; it will have an easy decade or more of excellent drinking beyond that. Cellar Selection

Figgins 2018 Estate Riesling Walla Walla Valley $30 89 points
Citrus peel, flower, botrytis, fresh paint and herb aromas lead to bone-dry fruit flavors. Lemony accents finish it off. The acid is lovely.

Flume 2016 Pinot Noir Columbia Gorge $32 88 points
The aromas intrigue, with notes of dried leaf, flower, orange rind and plum. Tart, tangy raspberry flavors follow.

Flume 2016 Dry Riesling Columbia Gorge $21 87 points
Vibrant aromas of slate, lime leaf, green apple, diesel and flower lead to off-dry white peach flavors. It could use a bit more acid to stand it up.

Flume 2016 Dolcetto Columbia Gorge $25 86 points
Red and black raspberry aromas are at the fore, followed by notes of freshly peeled orange, blueberry and herb. Medium-bodied, somewhat tangy fruit flavors follow.

Flume 2016 Grüner Veltliner Columbia Gorge $21 86 points
Green apple, diesel and herb aromas are followed by fruit flavors that could use more acid structure to stand them up.

Flume 2016 Chardonnay Columbia Gorge $21 85 points
Aromas of sulfur, herb and peach lead to somewhat lighter styled stone fruit flavors. It’s straight down the fairway.

Foundry Vineyards 2016 Syrah Walla Walla Valley $34 89 points
Subdued, slightly dried out seeming aromas of blueberry, cherry and herb lead to full bodied, rich fruit flavors that have a nice yum factor. A quite warm finish follows.

Foundry Vineyards 2016 Malbec Walla Walla Valley $38 88 points
Varietal examples are a rarity in this appellation, with this one coming from Summit View Vineyard. Expressive aromas of vanilla, dried leaf, orange oil and cherry lead to soft, full plum flavors. A warm finish follows, laden with green notes.

Foundry Vineyards 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $42 87 points
Unusual aromas of black olive brine, nori and cherry lead to cranberry flavors that paint around the edges. It’s interesting but needs more structure and midpalate density to stand it up.

Foundry Vineyards 2016 Sangiovese Walla Walla Valley $36 85 points
Aromas of overripe apple and cherry lead to extremely ripe-seeming fruit flavors. The heat seems to have carried it away, with the variety lost.

Foundry Vineyards 2018 White on Walla Walla Valley $21 85 points
This wine is a blend of Marsanne (35%), Roussanne (35%) and Viognier (30%). The aromas are light and elusive, with occasional whiffs of cinnamon and herb. Off-dry flavors follow, lacking the acidity to stand them up.

Gramercy 2016 Forgotten Hills Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $60 93 points
Coming in at an alcohol level nearly unheard of for modern-day red wines in the state, this wine could only come from this vineyard. Mesmerizing aromas of dried stick, raspberry, black pepper, peat, brown stem and green olive lead to supple, full, achingly pure, mouthwatering fruit and savory flavors that sail on the peppery finish. It’s a big-time winner. Editor's Choice

Gramercy 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $50 92 points
Pleasing aromas of cocoa, thyme, dark coffee, graphite and cherry lead to elegant, lip-smacking flavors that still carry a sense of richness. Refined, subtle tannins back it up. Coffee notes linger on the finish. The balance is spot on, and it brings an unabashed sense of deliciousness. Editor's Choice

Gramercy 2018 Viognier Columbia Valley $22 91 points
The aromas are intriguing, with notes of mineral, peach, herb and citrus. The palate is focused and flavorful, with a sleek styling to the seamless stone fruit flavors. A tart finish follows. It’s notably fresh and vibrant for this often ponderous variety. Editor's Choice

Gramercy 2016 Lower East Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $32 91 points
High-register aromas of fresh and dried herbs, green pepper, plum, pencil lead and black cherry lead to lighter-styled fruit flavors. (Very) far from a big bruiser, it shows a pleasing sense of elegance and a mouthwatering quality seldom seen on this variety. It will sing at the dinner table. Editor's Choice

Gramercy 2016 L’Idiot du Village Mourvèdre Columbia Valley $42 91 points
Bright aromas of dark raspberry, whole orange, dried herbs, cherry and black pepper lead to piercingly pure, layered fruit flavors that linger on the finish. Currently more fruit forward than previous offerings from the winery, with an appealing sense of precision and purity.

Gramercy 2016 Lagniappe Red Willow Vineyard Syrah Columbia Valley $60 91 points
In the first vintage of this wine to be designated Red Willow, the aromas announce themselves with notes of cranberry, hay, herb, black pepper, smoked meat and raspberry. A flavorful, dense, red fruit-filled palate follows.

Grosgrain 2018 Kiona Vineyard Pét-Nat Old Vine Lemberger Red Mountain $26 91 points
An inaugural release from this winery, this wine comes from the original blocks planted on Red Mountain in 1975. Aromas of strawberry, apple and baked bread lead to light, bright and mouthwatering fruit flavors. Aromatics, body, acid structure and, best of all, enjoyment—this wine ticks all the boxes. Editor's Choice

Grosgrain 2018 Philips Vineyard Albariño Walla Walla Valley $24 90 points
Fermented and aged in concrete eggs and neutral barrels, this inaugural release from the winery brings appealing notes of freshly rubbed herbs, lemon pith and flower. The medium-plus palate walks a fine balance between flavor expression and elegance. Editor's Choice

Grosgrain 2018 Red Heaven Vineyard Grenache Red Mountain $34 90 points
This young vintage wine is an inaugural offering from the Walla Walla-based winery. Fermented 15% whole cluster and aged in neutral oak and drinking similar to a high quality Beaujolais Nouveau, it’s a transparent ruby color. The aromas offer beguiling notes of raspberry, cherry, cigar box, earth, fresh herbs and a whiff of orange peel. It’s made in a pure, light, elegant, juicy, drink-now style—a strong opening hand.

Grounded Wine Co. 2017 Collusion Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $15 89 points
The aromas offer notes of orange peel, smoke and fresh herbs. Lightly styled, well-balanced blue fruit and citrus flavors follow.

Hors Categorie 2016 Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $260 98 points
This project from Christophe Baron comes from a newly planted area of the valley on the north fork of the Walla Walla River. Brooding, tightly wound aromas of firepit, black pepper, black olive and ham hock are followed by an action-packed and layered palate. Despite this power, there’s a sense of elegance that provides a fascinating contrast. Lingering floral and saline notes captivate on the long finish. Best after 2025. Cellar Selection

Horsepower 2016 The Tribe Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $121 98 points
Aromas of ash, black pepper, rock salt, black olive, wet stone, potpourri and fresh tobacco lead to outrageously expressive, savory flavors on the palate. There is intensity to the flavors, but still a profound sense of elegance and balance. The finish lingers on accents of potpourri and smoked meat. Hold until at least 2025. Cellar Selection

Horsepower 2016 Sur Echalas Vineyard Grenache Walla Walla Valley (OR) $121 98 points
The aromas are like putting your nose into a pepper grinder. Through that same grinder come aromas of charcuterie plate, funk, olive, wet stone, herb, flower and tobacco. The palate is arresting from the moment it hits your lips, intensely rich while remaining energetic and showing an incredible sense of balance to the fruit and savory flavors. There is a sense of seamlessness, where it’s impossible to say where the finish starts or ends, and then the finish never stops. Best after 2023. Cellar Selection

Horsepower 2016 Sur Echalas Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $121 98 points
The outrageously expressive aromas include notes of peat, firepit, black and green olive, potpourri, black pepper, crushed rock, funk, ham hock, fresh flower and tobacco. The savory flavors are palate shaking in their intensity, but still sleek and balanced, tapering toward an extremely long potpourri- and smoked meat-filled finish. It’s a complete stunner that assaults the senses. A knockout now, it should only get better with time. Best after 2025. Cellar Selection

Horsepower 2016 High Contrast Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $121 97 points
This is a new addition to the lineup, with the vineyard located at the edge of this area’s cobblestone soils. The aromas are locked up out of the gate, with notes of soot, potpourri, smoked meat, black pepper, green olive and funk. The palate is intense and layered, while retaining an ethereal sense of lightness and balance, with a texture that sets it apart from its littermates from this vintage. A rich savory and flower-filled finish that you can taste literally minutes later is the capstone. It’s a knockout, and not a TKO. Not bad for fourth leaf fruit. Best after 2025, with a good life beyond that. Cellar Selection

J. Bookwalter 2016 Volume 6 Dionysus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $100 93 points
The aromas in this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon are brooding, with notes of char, leafy herbs, freshly brewed coffee and spice. A full-flavored palate follows, laden with dark coffee flavors. The tannins give a firm squeeze. A warm finish caps it off. Give it time for the tannins to stretch their legs. Best after 2024. Cellar Selection

J. Bookwalter 2016 Protagonist Conner-Lee Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $60 91 points
Fresh herb, green pepper and roasted coffee bean aromas are out front. Ripe black fruit and herb flavors follow. Coffee notes linger on the finish. It’s a rich, hedonistic, high octane example of the variety.

J. Bookwalter 2016 Readers Merlot Columbia Valley $28 91 points
Older vine fruit from Conner Lee and Dionysus vineyards make up the heart of this wine, blended with 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Malbec, which express themselves. Lively aromas of green pepper, dark raspberry, herb, black currant, spice and plum lead to supremely rich, ripe, full-bodied, creamy-feeling dark fruit flavors. Editor's Choice

J. Bookwalter 2016 Conflict Conner-Lee Vineyard Columbia Valley $60 91 points
Cabernet Sauvignon makes up half of this wine, with the rest Merlot (48%) and a pinch of Malbec. Aromas of coffee grounds, dark chocolate, bell pepper, leafy green herbs and cherry are at the fore. A textured, full-bodied, lively palate follows along with a warm finish. Chalky tannins back it up.

J. Bookwalter 2016 Chapter 9 Conner-Lee Vineyard Red Blend Columbia Valley $110 90 points
Cabernet Sauvignon (90%) makes up the majority of this wine, which is rounded out with equal parts Merlot and Syrah. The aromas come off as quite green, with notes of mortared garden herbs, poblano pepper, orange peel and green pepper along with cedar box and tobacco. Plump fruit, herb and chocolate flavors follow. There’s a lovely sense of acidity, but it might be too green for some tastes.

J. Bookwalter 2016 Suspense Conner Lee Vineyard Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley $60 89 points
This wine displays the variety’s more herbaceous side, with notes of garden herb, green pepper and green flower. The palate brings a viscous feel, with light smoky accents on the finish.

J. Bookwalter 2016 Readers Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $28 87 points
Dionysus fruit makes up the heart of this wine. The aromas don’t sit quite squarely, which is a shame, as the dark fruit flavors on the palate are lovely.

K Vintners 2016 MCK Oldfield-Boushey Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $35 94 points
Like a genie, this wine jumps out of the bottle. Expressive aromas of charcuterie plate, olive, herb, flower, orange peel, mineral, black pepper and chopped parsley lead to palate-coating, sumptuous fruit and savory flavors that sail on the extended finish. It’s everything you want in a Syrah. Editor's Choice

Kestrel 2014 Falcon Series Syrah Yakima Valley $25 87 points
Aromas of blueberry, flower and herb lead to linear raspberry jam flavors. Considering the wine’s age, the palate still seems wound up, with quite firm tannins.

Kestrel 2018 Falcon Series Estate Pinot Grigio Yakima Valley $21 86 points
The aromas show a bit of reduction out of the gate along with a light dusty note. Full-feeling kiwi, pineapple and apple flavors follow.

Kestrel 2018 Falcon Series Estate Sauvignon Blanc Yakima Valley $21 83 points
This variety’s reductive side shows strongly here, taking over on the aromas. Medium-bodied fruit flavors follow, with strong vanilla accents. The flavors seem washed out and the oak prominent.

Kiona 2018 Estate Grown Ice Wine Chenin Blanc Red Mountain $50 88 points
Ice wines are a rarity in the state. Aromas of muscat gummy, honey and herbs lead to sweet, honeyed flavors. It doesn’t hit the heights of recent vintages, but there is still a lot to like.

Kirkland Signature 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $9 87 points
Aromas of coffee bean and chocolate are followed by notes of herb, orange peel and citrus on the nose. On the lighter side of medium-bodied, berry fruit flavors follow on the palate, finishing with a firm handshake of tannins that soften with time open. Citrus notes linger on the finish. Best Buy

L'Ecole No. 41 2016 Perigee Seven Hills Vineyard Estate Grown Walla Walla Valley $55 91 points
This wine is 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot and 7% Malbec. Aromas of leafy green herb, cherry cordial, wood and vanilla intertwine with lavender and orange peel accents. The fruit flavors are elegant and highly structured, brightened by tart acidity. Best after 2024. Cellar Selection

L'Ecole No. 41 2018 Old Vines Chenin Blanc Yakima Valley $15 90 points
The aromas are effusive, with notes of banana, papaya, herb, kiwi and fresh pineapple. Ripe, fuller-feeling tropical fruit flavors follow with enough acidity to stitch it all together. Best Buy

L'Ecole No. 41 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $40 90 points
Aromas of herb, cherry and blackberry lead to supremely tannic, highly structured fruit flavors. Almost unapproachable now, this wine needs significant time to stretch its legs, but it has the stuffing to go the distance. Best after 2025. Give it at least a 24-hour decant if drinking in the near term. Cellar Selection

L'Ecole No. 41 2016 Apogee Pepper Bridge Vineyard Walla Walla Valley $54 90 points
Cabernet Sauvignon (60%) and Merlot (25%) make up the heart of this wine, with the rest Malbec and Cabernet Franc. The aromas intrigue, with notes of fresh and dried herbs, cherry cordial, plum, coffee, vanilla, barrel spice and whiffs of orange peel. The palate paints around the edges, with quite firm tannins flowing down the middle. Bright acidity accents it. Coffee notes linger on the finish. It doesn’t all work in concert at present. Additional time in the bottle will serve it well. Best after 2025. Cellar Selection

L'Ecole No. 41 2018 Alder Ridge Vineyard Grenache Rosé Horse Heaven Hills $22 88 points
This wine shows some reduction out of the gate. Juicy, rich strawberry flavors follow. It gets a bit bogged down.

La Rata 2016 Red Blend Walla Walla Valley (OR) $76 95 points
This wine is a blend of Grenache (59%), Cabernet Sauvignon (31%) and Syrah. The aromas leap out of the glass, with notes of funk, ash, soot, potpourri, coarsely ground black pepper and peat. A panoply of rich fruit, savory and floral flavors follow, continuing seamlessly through the near-endless flower- and smoked meat-filled finish. It’s a wine that commands attention, showing depth, complexity and intensity but also grace and detail. It’s hard to keep your hands off it now, but cellaring will be rewarded. Best after 2024. Cellar Selection

Lawrelin 2006 Syrah Columbia Valley $48 91 points
This wine is a full 13 years old on release, and it is absolutely shining. Lifted aromas of dried raspberry, leather, spice and dried herbs lead to rich, full, exquisitely balanced fruit flavors. It’s swoon-worthy with time in front of it still. Editor's Choice

Lawrelin 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $56 88 points
This wine is a full 13 years old on release. Aromas of dried cherry, spice and leather lead to elegantly styled fruit flavors. It seems to be fading, but there is still a lot to like.

Leonetti Cellar 2016 Reserve Walla Walla Valley $150 94 points
Cabernet Sauvignon makes up 73% of this wine, with the balance a healthy dollop of Malbec (22%) along with a smidgen of Cabernet Franc. For the first time, this wine includes fruit from newer estate plantings at Holy Roller and Serra Pedace. The aromas reveal notes of coffee, star anise, black cherry, plum and spice. Plump, saturated, palate-coating fruit flavors follow with highly structured acidity and tannins backing it up. This wine is always more about the future than the present, and never more so than with this vintage. Best after 2025, with a long life beyond that. Cellar Selection

Leonetti Cellar 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $100 93 points
For the first time this wine contains some fruit from the winery’s Holy Roller Vineyard. The aromas pop, with notes of blackberry bramble, coffee, barrel spice and herb. Rich, ripe fruit flavors follow. There’s a pleasing sense of plumpness to the flavors but also enough acidity and tannin structure to win the race. Best after 2026, with a long life beyond that. Cellar Selection

Leonetti Cellar 2016 Sangiovese Walla Walla Valley $70 92 points
This wine, 100% varietal, for the first time includes fruit from the winery’s recently planted Holy Roller Vineyard. The aromas are captivating, with penetrating notes of pure black cherry along with plentiful herb, tobacco and leather accents. Beautifully pure, palate-coating fruit flavors follow, with enough acidity and tannin structure to age well in the cellar. Best after 2024. Cellar Selection

Leonetti Cellar 2017 Merlot Walla Walla Valley $80 91 points
Black raspberry, dried and fresh herb and black currant aromas are at the fore. Ripe, lush fruit flavors follow, supported by firm, lightly grainy tannins. It has a nice yum factor. Best after 2023. Cellar Selection

Liberty Lake 2017 Red Heaven Vineyard Zinfandel Red Mountain $45 89 points
Pure, slightly dried out-seeming plum and raspberry aromas are followed by ripe, full-bodied fruit flavors. A warm, coffee-filled finish caps it off. It’s a tasty, if a bit dried out, example of the variety.

Liberty Lake 2017 Tahija Candy Mountain Vineyard Sangiovese Yakima Valley $26 87 points
Subdued aromas of plum, raspberry and flower are followed by medium-bodied red fruit flavors. It has a lovely sense of balance and purity that heighten the appeal. It should do well at the dinner table.

Liberty Lake 2018 Tahija Dry Riesling Yakima Valley $15 86 points
Aromas of applesauce and wilted flowers lead to medium-sweet peach flavors. A pleasant lick of green-apple acidity caps it off.

Maryhill 2016 Syrah Columbia Valley $27 89 points
Attention-getting aromas of blueberry syrup, herb and spice are followed by a soft, flavorful palate, redolent with blue fruit. It’s a tasty example of the variety.

Maryhill 2016 Zinfandel Columbia Valley $16 88 points
Cranberry, toffee and spice aromas are followed by ripe, full fruit flavors. Coffee notes linger on the warm finish. It’s a crowd-pleaser.

Maryhill 2016 Proprietor’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $46 87 points
Brooding aromas of herbs, black licorice, vanilla and dark fruit are at the fore. It is full in weight, with somewhat tacky-feeling dark fruit flavors on the palate. The tannins give a dry grip. Decant if drinking in the near term.

Maryhill 2016 Sangiovese Columbia Valley $27 86 points
Muted aromas are followed by light, compact, slightly gritty raspberry flavors. The variety doesn’t seem to fully express itself.

Maryhill 2016 Proprietor’s Reserve Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley $38 85 points
With almost all of the fruit coming from Tudor Hills Vineyard, this is 100% varietal, though the variety seems hard to find. The aromas bring unusual, somewhat off-putting notes of soil, espresso bean, dried orange rind and cherry. The coffee flavors start out full and then taper toward the finish.

Maryhill 2017 Winemaker’s Red Blend Columbia Valley $16 81 points
In this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc, quite reduced gun smoke and tire rubber aromas are out front. Cherry lurks in the background. The palate seems thin and reedy. Coffee notes linger on the finish.

Mercer 2017 Chardonnay Horse Heaven Hills $17 86 points
Spice, clarified butter and peach aromas lead to buttery fruit flavors. It’s a straight-forward, stylistic quaffer.

No Girls 2016 La Paciencia Vineyard Grenache Walla Walla Valley (OR) $76 97 points
Aromas of potpourri, white pepper, charcuterie, crushed flowers, soot and raspberry captivate on the nose. Exuberant and outrageously flavorful on the palate, intense accents of smoked meat and earth arise alongside the fruit. An extremely long finish of earth and flowers completes it. Editor's Choice

No Girls 2016 La Paciencia Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $76 95 points
Complex aromas with heaping amounts of black pepper, potpourri, earth, funk, nori, black olive brine, peat and wet stone are followed by an elegant, yet rich, flavorful palate. It shows a compelling sense of deftness along with a hyperextended finish, filled with savory and floral notes. There is a mouthwatering sense to it that heightens the appeal. A knee buckler. Editor's Choice

No Girls 2016 Tempranillo Walla Walla Valley (OR) $76 92 points
The aromas are expressive, with notes of firepit, dried tobacco, cherry, plum and funk. The fruit and savory flavors are rich and layered, showing an exquisite sense of balance. A long fruit, savory and firepit-filled finish follows.

Pedestal 2016 Merlot Columbia Valley $65 89 points
The aromas offer notes of reduction, asphalt, black fruit and spice. Intensely rich, ripe, focused fruit flavors follow, backed by burly tannins. A high octane finish caps it off. It’s a full throttle offering of the variety that needs some time in the cellar to stretch its legs. If the reduction clears it might move up.

Pepper Bridge 2016 Estate Vineyards Seven Hills Vineyard Walla Walla Valley $60 90 points
Merlot (48%) plays the lead in this wine, with the Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon in equal parts. The aromas are generous, with notes of plum, blueberry, herb, raspberry compote, dark chocolate, sulfur and cherry. Pillowy, elegant fruit flavors follow, with a lick of acidity finishing it off. It’s a pretty expression of the vintage. Best after 2023. Cellar Selection

Pepper Bridge 2016 Estate Vineyards Merlot Walla Walla Valley $50 89 points
Aromas of cherry, soil, dried herbs, dried tobacco, dark raspberry and earth are followed by full-feeling fruit flavors surrounded by enough tannic structure to lay down well in the cellar. Best after 2024.

Perimeter 2018 Riesling Washington $8 88 points
Vibrant aromas of jasmine, flower, peach and citrus are followed by medium-sweet stone fruit flavors with Nestea iced tea accents. It brings value and appeal. Best Buy

Pét Project 2018 Soluna Vineyard Pétillant Naturel Grüner Veltliner Columbia Gorge $26 89 points
Aromas of lime leaf, green apple, citrus and herb are at the fore. The palate brings tart, mouthwatering, lemony acidity. Acid hounds, look no further.

Pét Project 2018 Soluna Vineyard Pétillant Naturel Pinot Gris Columbia Gorge $26 88 points
Fruit for this wine comes from a dry-farmed site, an extreme rarity in the state. Cloudy in appearance, aromas of cherry candy, raspberry, grapefruit, clay and herb lead to light, bright, rollicking citrus and mineral flavors. It has a distinctive mineral note that piques the interest.

Pét Project 2018 Conley Vineyard Pétillant Naturel Roussanne Columbia Valley $29 86 points
Certified organic. Aromas of herb, pear, peanut and brioche lead to full, rich-feeling poached pear flavors. It’s more interesting than successful.

Pirouette 2016  Columbia Valley $60 91 points
Cabernet Sauvignon comprises 68% of this wine, with the rest Merlot (15%), Petit Verdot (8%), Cabernet Franc (6%) and Malbec (3%). Aromas of burnt coffee, leaf, apple and spice lead to chocolatey flavors. Coffee notes linger on the warm finish. The tannins bring a grainy feel, needing some time to stretch out. Best after 2023. Cellar Selection

Prayers of Sinners & Saints 2017 Prayers of Sinners Red Blend Washington $10 87 points
Unusual aromas of blue fruit, gun smoke, soot, freshly peeled tangerine and herb lead to light, elegant, slightly creamy-feeling fruit flavors. Coffee notes linger on the finish. Best Buy

Prayers of Sinners & Saints 2017 Prayers of Saints Chardonnay Washington $10 86 points
Apple, pear and corn aromas lead to medium-bodied fruit flavors. It’s a straightforward quaffer. Best Buy

Prospice 2017 Les Collines Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $45 92 points
This wine comes from one of the state’s premier Syrah vineyards. Perfumed aromas of orange peel, violet, smoked meat, blue fruit and plum lead to textured, layered fruit flavors that glide on the finish. Fine-grained tannins back it up. It brings a sense of purity and freshness that thoroughly captivates. Editor's Choice

Prospice 2018 Gamache Vineyard Viognier Columbia Valley $28 90 points
An inaugural release from the winery, this wine comes from one of the state’s premier Viognier vineyards. There are intriguing details to the aromas, with notes of white peach, citrus and herb. A sleek, flavorful, acid-driven palate follows. It’s a fascinating example of the variety. Editor's Choice

Prospice 2017 Resurgent Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $45 90 points
This is an inaugural release from the winery. Lighter in color and showing a touch of bricking, the aromas are effusive, with notes of raspberry candy, herb, cracked pepper, grilled asparagus and crushed granite. Juicy, ripe but well-balanced fruit flavors follow. The stem influence shows prominently at present, but the sense of purity is lovely.

Quilceda Creek 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $200 95 points
Quilceda Creek has been a benchmark in Washington since its first vintage in 1979. Aromas of pitch-black cherry, graphite and spice lead to ripe, intense, layered dark-fruit flavors supported by velvety but firm tannins that lead to a warm finish. As always, time in the cellar will serve this wine well. Best after 2026, with a long life beyond that. Cellar Selection

Raconteur 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $20 90 points
Expressive aromas of gun smoke, plum, black currant and green pepper lead to a full-flavored but still well-balanced palate, redolent with luscious black currant flavors, with the oak seeming pulled way back. It brings a sense of purity that delights, hitting well above its weight class.

Sineann 2017 Phinny Hill Vineyard Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley $36 89 points
This Horse Heaven Hills-located vineyard is quickly making a name for itself. Appealing aromas of green pepper, fresh tobacco, dark cherry and black currant lead to tasty, well-balanced flavors that bring a sense of purity and delicacy. A smoky finish caps it off.

Sineann 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $30 88 points
Barrel notes of vanilla extract, nougat and freshly hewn wood are at the fore, with the fruit struggling to get to the surface. The palate mixes fruit and barrel, with a soft, supple feel. There are good things going on, but the wood gets in the way.

Sineann 2018 Pear Blossom Vineyard Grüner Veltliner Columbia Gorge $20 87 points
Lemon zest, cut green apple skin and green lentil aromas are out front. Medium-bodied fruit flavors follow, showing sugar that seems out of place. It can’t seem to decide which way it wants to go.

Soos Creek 2016 Slide Mountain Vineyard Yakima Valley $35 87 points
A blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot, this wine is a new addition to the lineup. The aromas are unusual, with notes of nori, gun smoke, cherry rollup, sawdust and licorice. Ripe fruit flavors around the edges follow, looking for more structure to stand them up.

Spring Valley Vineyard 2016 Estate Grown Uriah Walla Walla Valley $50 92 points
The aromas are reticent, opening to reveal appealing notes of fresh and dried herbs. Lighter-styled chocolate and coffee flavors follow, fleshing out with time open. At present it’s hard to get at, but there is a lovely sense of freshness to it and good stuffing that augurs well for its future.

Spring Valley Vineyard 2016 Estate Grown Frederick Walla Walla Valley $50 90 points
At 93%, this could easily be a varietally designated Cabernet Sauvignon. The aromas show a distinct wheat and herbal note, the hallmark of this vineyard. Baking chocolate, cherry, green pepper and spice notes follow. The palate is plump and flavorful, while showing an appealing sense of elegance.

Spring Valley Vineyard 2016 Katherine Corkrum Estate Grown Cabernet Franc Walla Walla Valley $50 89 points
Aromas of herb, green pepper, poblano pepper, dark chocolate and spice lead to full-feeling chocolate, herb and cherry flavors. It comes off as quite green, with the oak playing a more prominent role compared with recent vintages.

Spring Valley Vineyard 2016 Estate Grown Nina Lee Syrah Walla Walla Valley $50 88 points
The aromas are hard to tease out right out of the gate, with notes of orange peel, wheat and spice. Soft, sultry, fruit flavors follow. The concentration doesn’t seem all there throughout, but what is there is lovely.

Stevens 2016 StevensTimley Malbec Yakima Valley $32 90 points
The appellation, variety and producer express themselves on this wine, with its vibrant aromas and flavors of tangerine peel, herb and plum that bring a sense of freshness. It has a lip-smacking quality that heightens the appeal. It might be too green for some tastes.

Stevens 2016 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley $45 90 points
Light aromas of spice box, nori, green herbs, licorice and black fruit are followed by plump, savory black fruit flavors. Pillowy soft tannins stand it up. It’s a unique expression of the variety.

Stevens 2016 Stevens424 Yakima Valley $36 89 points
This wine is a blend of 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc, 23% Merlot and 12% Malbec. Aromas of hay, dried cherry, fresh herbs and medicine lead to tart, tangy red and black fruit flavors. A lively sense of acidity connects it.

Stevens 2016 StevensBlackTongue Syrah Yakima Valley $32 88 points
Brooding aromas of coffee, soil, green herbs, orange peel and flower are followed by blue fruit and tangerine flavors that show a sense of elegance and grace. It’s a pretty example of the variety.

Stevens 2016 StevensFranc Cabernet Franc Yakima Valley $32 87 points
Aromas of wet hay, barnyard, citrus and dried cherry are followed by tangy, slightly gritty-seeming flavors. The style seems to override the variety.

Stevens 2016 StevensThe Crest Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley $35 87 points
Aromas of raspberry jam, medicine and herby bramble are followed by red fruit flavors that are lighter in the middle, fuller around the edges. Coffee and black tea notes linger on the finish. The fruit seems desiccated.

Substance 2017 Cs Cabernet Sauvignon Washington $18 88 points
Distracting aromas of mesquite smoke and char are followed by notes of cherry and herb. Sleek but plentiful plum and smoke flavors follow. The tannins give a light grip.

Syncline 2017 Subduction Columbia Valley $25 90 points
Syrah makes up just under half of this wine, with the rest Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault and Mourvèdre. The aromas pop, with notes of ripe raspberry, white pepper, wet stone and a whiff of smoked meat. Light but still full-feeling, juicy, lively fruit flavors follow, with a mouthwatering finish. It will shine at the dinner table. Pair it with grilled pork chops.

Syncline 2018 Boushey Vineyard Picpoul Yakima Valley $25 90 points
Though plantings are scarce, this variety clearly can excel in the state in the right spot. Aromas of wet stone, whole lemon, talc and minerals lead to medium-bodied citrus rind flavors, brightened by a zing of lemony acidity. It’s a big-time winner. Pair it with shrimp ceviche. Editor's Choice

Syncline 2018 Bloxom Vineyard Grüner Veltliner Columbia Valley $25 89 points
Aromas of lemon, mineral and seashell lead to flavors that paint around the edges initially, filling out with time open. It could use a bit more acidity to stitch it together.

Syncline 2018 Boushey Vineyard Grenache Blanc Yakima Valley $30 89 points
The aromas are light and elusive, with notes of herb and citrus. Plump flavors of lees and citrus follow on the palate and lead to a drawn-out finish. The mouthfeel heightens the appeal.

Syncline 2017 Boushey Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $45 88 points
Light notes of apple, candied raspberry, cherry and smoked meat lead to tightly wound tannins surrounding light fruit and savory flavors. It doesn’t seem to have fully settled in.

Syncline 2017 Mourvèdre Columbia Valley $35 88 points
Aromas of red plum, mesquite smoke and herb lead to light, elegant fruit and smoke flavors that trail toward the finish.

Syncline 2018 Rosé Horse Heaven Hills $25 88 points
Mourvèdre (44%) is in the lead on this wine, with the rest equal parts Cinsault and Grenache. The aromas are light, with notes of minerals and fresh and dried herbs. Fuller-feeling flavors follow. It gets a bit bogged down.

Tenet 2016 GSM Columbia Valley $70 87 points
Grenache makes up half of this wine, with the rest equal parts Mourvèdre and Syrah finished off with a dash (2%) of Cinsault. Reduced out of the gate, this wine opens to reveal unusual aromas of overripe raspberry, baked biscuit, white pepper, seaweed, soil and dried orange peel. Sweet, full-bodied fruit flavors follow. The heat of the vintage seems to have carried it away. Tasted twice with consistent notes.

Two Vintners 2018 Grenache Blanc Columbia Valley $25 89 points
Aromas of cut apple, clay and spice lead to toasty, mineral-driven flavors that stretch out. It piques the interest.

Vino 2018 Evergreen Vineyard Pinot Grigio Ancient Lakes $12 88 points
There’s a lot of reduction showing out of the gate. Banana, apple and Vaseline aromas follow. The palate is a cornucopia of tropical fruit flavors, with papaya in the lead. It has an almost oily consistency. The flavors are delicious when the reduction clears. Best Buy

W.T. Vintners 2016 Damavian Les Collines Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $45 93 points
Hailing from Blocks 30 and 31 and one of the state’s best Syrah sites, the vineyard leaps out of the glass, with aromas of raspberry, violet, herb, black pepper, citrus rind, smoked meat and earth. The palate brings a medley of piercingly pure fruit and savory flavors that completely captivate. An extended finish caps it off. The sense of purity and expression is dazzling. Editor's Choice

W.T. Vintners 2016 Stoney Vine Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley (OR) $49 93 points
Mind-bending aromas of black olive, firepit, charcuterie board, chopped parsley, fresh herbs, black pepper, flower and grilled asparagus lead to intense, focused savory flavors. Citrus notes linger on the extended finish. It delights.

W.T. Vintners 2016 Boushey Vineyard Rhône Blend Yakima Valley $40 93 points
This wine is nearly equal parts Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, all coming from contiguous blocks within this vineyard. The aromas are brooding, with notes of smoked meat, lemon zest, black pepper, raspberry, sauvage and crushed herbs. Beautifully balanced fruit and savory flavors follow, with the mouthfeel heightening the appeal. It will shine brightly at the dinner table. Editor's Choice

W.T. Vintners 2016 Boushey Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $40 93 points
Aromas of lemon twist, fresh herbs, iron, bacon fat, black pepper and dark fruit lead to a palate exploding with raspberry, black pepper, smoked meat and plum flavors. It’s a knee buckler, but made in a reserved style. Editor's Choice

W.T. Vintners 2018 Underwood Mountain Vineyard Grüner Veltliner Columbia Gorge $22 92 points
This is the first vintage where half the fruit was macerated for 36 hours. The variety is unmistakable, with aromas of green apple, citrus, pear, lentil and herb. Racy, intense acidity frames a textured palate. A sense of salinity heightens the interest. It’s a benchmark for the state. Editor's Choice

W.T. Vintners 2016 Destiny Ridge Vineyard Syrah Horse Heaven Hills $35 92 points
A blend of fruit from Block 1 and Block 17. The aromas are vibrant, with notes of flowers, fresh herbs, raspberry compote, purple fruit and whiffs of smoked meat. The palate walks the balance beam between richness and elegance perfectly, with a mouthfeel that captivates. There’s enough acidity and tannin structure to reward time in the cellar. Editor's Choice

W.T. Vintners 2016 Boushey Vineyard Grenache Yakima Valley $40 92 points
The aromas announce themselves, with notes of flower, raspberry, grilled asparagus, white pepper and fresh herbs leading to plentiful, textured, flavorful smoked meat notes with a lovely sense of structure. It has a big time yum factor. Editor's Choice

W.T. Vintners 2016 Boushey Vineyard Mourvèdre Yakima Valley $40 92 points
Plentiful aromas of black pepper, citrus, pot roast, orange peel and herb are followed by achingly pure, medium-bodied fruit flavors, accented by heaping amounts of black pepper and lively acidity. Smoked meat notes persist on the finish. It will shine at the dinner table.

W.T. Vintners 2015 Damavian Les Collines Vineyard Block 30 Syrah Walla Walla Valley $45 90 points
The aromas bring a darker fruit profile than the norm for this vineyard and producer, reflecting the warmth of the vintage. Dark raspberry compote and herb aromas are followed by ripe, full fruit flavors.

W.T. Vintners 2018 Parasol Rainmaker Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Noir Columbia Gorge $22 90 points
This is a new vineyard for this wine, with young, iron-rich soils. The aromas are expressive, with notes of strawberry, pink grapefruit and sweet herbs. The palate is broad in feel, with flavors accented by tart acidity. Herb notes linger on the finish. It brings a sense of both seriousness and frivolity.

Willful 2017 Seven Hills Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $36 90 points
The aromas provide notes of flower, soil, herb and cassis. Firm tannins backed by bright acidity follow. It should shine at the dinner table. It’s drinking young at present but has great stuffing. Enjoy after 2021, or decant.

Woodward Canyon 2018 Chardonnay Washington $44 91 points
Aromas of cinnamon, cream, lees, clove and spice draw you into the glass. The palate is creamy in feel, with well-balanced fruit flavors that show a deft touch. Editor's Choice

Woodward Canyon 2016 Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon Washington $59 90 points
How times flies. In the 25th iteration of this wine, aromas of sweet barrel spice, vanilla, the blackest of cherries, herb and scorched earth lead to creamy, well-balanced fruit and barrel flavors, with vanilla extract and cocoa notes on the finish.

Woodward Canyon 2017 Estate Merlot Walla Walla Valley $52 89 points
This young release wine offers aromas of char, roasted coffee bean, dried herbs and cherry. The palate is full-bodied around the edges, lighter in the middle, with firm tannins and coffee notes on the warm finish. The oak is very expressive at present, taking over the show. Additional time in the bottle is needed. Best after 2024.

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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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