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

Pacific Rim is Washington State’s Riesling specialist. This beautiful dessert wine – the 2007 Vin de Glacier – hails from Selenium Vineyard. Grapes were frozen and then pressed with the resulting juice approximately 36 Brix. The wine was then fermented to 16% Residual Sugar but the wine retains the acidity to pull it off. The final result is a compelling wine that drinks like a wine of a much higher price point – a perfect punctuation to any meal.

McKinley Springs is one of a small number of Washington wineries that include a Chenin Blanc in their lineup. Wines like this 2008 offering from the winery’s original 1981 planting make one wonder why. This is a deliciously enjoyable wine at a fantastic price. The Late Harvest Chenin, also reviewed below, is from the same vineyard from the previous vintage.

This is the third consecutive month that I have reviewed a wine from Renegade Wine Co. in the Five Under Fifteen, so you all know the drill. Trey Busch of Sleight of Hand Cellars buys the juice and puts the wines out for can’t-be-beat prices. Renegade Wine Co. is quickly establishing itself as a go-to winery for Washington value wines.

Waving Tree Vineyards & Winery is located in the Columbia Gorge, just below the Maryhill Stonehenge War Memorial. The winery’s vineyards, which see a mere twelve inches of rain annually, include plantings of Barbera, Grenache, Syrah, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, and Muscat Canelli.

See previous Five Under $15s here.

Pacific Rim Vin de Glacier Riesling Selenium Vineyard Columbia Valley 2007 $14
Rating: * (Excellent) Ever so slightly copper in color. Leaps from the glass with diesel, lemon peel, orange rind, pear, and brown sugar. Coats the palate with orange peel flavors. A thick, rich wine with well-balanced acidity. A persistent finish. 10.4%, acid is 0.88%, pH 3.14, and Residual Sugar 16.0%.

McKinley Springs Chenin Blanc Horse Heaven Hills 2008 $12
Rating: + (Good) Light golden color. A very appealing nose with hay, melon, tropical fruit, and ripe Golden Delicious apples. The palate is off dry and full with a rounded, creamy feel stitched together by bright acidity. 14.2% alcohol. 1.5% Residual Sugar. 546 cases produced. Recommended

McKinley Springs Heaven’s Reward Late Harvest Chenin Blanc Horse Heaven Hills 2007 $14
Rating: + (Good) Nose shows dried pineapple, brown sugar, honey, and peach. A soft, pretty palate nicely accent by sugar. Aged sur lies in stainless steel with limited amount also aged in new oak. 10.5% alcohol. 11% Residual Sugar. 461 cases produced.

Renegade Wine Co. Cabernet Franc Horse Heaven Hills 2008 $15
Rating: + (Good) Varietal aromas of herbal notes and pepper along with cherry on a lightly aromatic nose. Palate is very dry but with an abundant amount of fruit with a bit of a sour pickle finish. Tannins are a bit drying but overall a very enjoyable wine.

Waving Tree Sangiovese Estate Columbia Valley 2008 $14
Rating: . (Decent) A pleasing, fairly aromatic wine with cranberries, red currant, and earth along with vanilla. As the wine opens up it shows light herbal notes along with oak accents. Palate is a quite tart and the wine finishes a bit astringent.