The following are standout wines from recent tastings.
Aluvé Primo Volo Walla Walla Valley 2012 $48
This is the inaugural release from this winery, and this Cabernet Sauvignon dominant blend impresses with aromas and flavors of poblano pepper, spice, vanilla and cherry.
Andrew Will Champoux Vineyard Red Wine Horse Heaven Hills 2013 $74
Merlot and Cabernet Franc make up the bulk of this wine, which displays aromas, and flavors of earth, flowers, black plum, and green herb along with a sense of texture that captivates.
Andrew Will Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red Wine Red Mountain 2013 $64
This blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc brings aromas of huckleberry, green herbs and light barrel accents. The flavors are rich and dense with chewy tannins providing support.
Animale Reserve Petite Sirah Yakima Valley 2013 $26
This wine is a brooder, with purple fruit and flower aromas that lead to pure, well-balanced tannins and acid. Put it on the dinner table to see it at its best.
Avennia Arnaut Syrah Boushey Vineyard Yakima Valley 2014 $50
High toned aromas of herb, raspberry and iron lead to a fresh, layered palate that brings a sense of vibrancy.
Brian Carter Cellars Le Coursier Red Wine Blend Columbia Valley 2012 $38
Merlot takes the lead on this Bordeaux-style blend, which opens with aromas of cocoa, dark cherry, and savory herbs. The red and black fruit flavors are well balanced with a finish that sails.
Brian Carter Cellars Solesce Red Wine Columbia Valley 2012 $65
Cabernet Sauvignon is out front on this Bordeaux-style blend. It’s tight as a drum at present, with aromas and flavors of spice, dark cherry and coffee. One for the cellar.
EFESTE Final-Final Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah Columbia Valley 2013 $30
There’s a whole lot of wine packed into this bottle for this price. Generous aromas of blue and purple fruit intermingle with cherry and herb. It’s full and palate coating in feel.
EFESTE Big Papa Old Block Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2013 $60
This wine offers a medley of herb and dark fruit aromas and flavors, with lifted floral accents. One for the cellar.
Force Majeure Estate Grown Syrah Red Mountain 2014 $70
This winery’s estate vineyard is starting to stretch its legs, as shown on this bold, full bodied wine. Aromas of wildflowers and black fruit are followed by a rich, full-bodied palate with concentrated flavors.
Gård Grand Klasse Reserve Syrah Lawrence Vineyards Columbia Valley 2013 $50
The flavors of huckleberry, orange peel and flowers are full bodied and palate coating. It pulls no punches.
Gramercy Cellars Syrah Columbia Valley 2013 $40
Aromatically complex notes of violets, herb, olive, and earth lead to a supremely textured palate that is all about elegance. It lingers on the finish.
Gramercy Cellars Syrah Forgotten Hills Vineyard Walla Walla Valley 2013 $60
This wine starts out with restrained flower and raspberry aromas, with herb and smoked meat becoming more prominent over time. The palate is elegant yet layered and intense, brightened by vibrant acidity.
Kerloo Cellars Majestic Columbia Valley 2014 $24
This blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Syrah hails from Upland, Boushey and Blue Mountain vineyards. The pure aromas of violets, raspberry, herb and purple fruit give way to plump, pure fruit flavors. It’s a steal at this price.
Rotie Cellars Northern Blend Washington State 2014 $48
This wine is a big time winner from Rotie. Aromas of green olive, flowers, blue fruit and earth are followed by rich fruit and earth flavors. It’s as much about feel as flavor.
Rotie Cellars Southern Blend Washington State 2014 $48
Grenaches is out front on this GSM blend. It offers aromas of green herbs and raspberries that lead to ripe, dazzlingly pure fruit and herb flavors.
And now for some value wines…
Chateau Ste Michelle Dry Riesling Columbia Valley 2015 $9
This wine is a consistent winner from Ste. Michelle and the 2015 vintage does not disappoint. It offers generous aromas of pear, peach, and honeysuckle followed by a dry, full palate backed by tart acidity.
Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling Columbia Valley 2015 $9
Perhaps the largest Riesling by production in the world, this wine brings the goods. Aromas of white peach, lime leaf, and flowers lead to an off-dry palate that lingers.
Chateau Ste Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2014 $15
Jammy black fruit aromas lead to full, rich dark fruit flavors. It’s a quality-to-price ratio winner.
Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2014 $12
Milk chocolate, spice and cherry aromas are followed by silky, smooth fruit flavors, mixing fruit and barrel.
Helix Pomatia Columbia Valley 2013 $21
This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc brings aromas of raspberries, flowers, and baking spice that lead to generous red and blue fruit flavors.
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