Below are my Wine Enthusiast reviews for June 2018. 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 Guide. There is also a freely available Wine Enthusiast Tasting Guide app. See 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 on-line at Wine Enthusiast here.
102 wines reviewed in the June issue of Wine Enthusiast. Of note, Gorman Winery assistant winemaker Ben Paplow has his first release from Paplow Cellars (Paplow 2014 Boushey Vineyard GSM Yakima Valley $30, 91 points).
Kyle Johnson (Purple Star Wines, Muret-Gaston Wines) is quietly making some delightful wines (Muret-Gaston 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $50, 90 points; Muret-Gaston 2015 Edythe Mae Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $42, 91 points).
Sightglass Cellars is making some thrilling white wines (Sightglass 2017 Artz Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Red Mountain $20, 91 points; Sightglass 2017 Conner Lee Vineyard Chardonnay Columbia Valley $22 91 points). Sightglass recently opened a winery and tasting room in Woodinville.
Meanwhile Structure Cellars is offering numerous wines that provide both quality and value (Structure 2015 Foundation Syrah Columbia Valley $32, 91 points; Structure 2015 Bauhaus Syrah Columbia Valley $25, 91 points; Structure 2015 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Syrah Columbia Valley $35 91 points).
Barbera is a seldom seen variety in Washington, but Viola Wine Cellars, located in the Columbia Gorge, is making intriguing offerings (Viola 2016 Barbera d’Alder Alder Ridge Vineyard Barbera Horse Heaven Hills $25, 91 points).
I can’t say enough good things about the 2015 W.T. Vintners wines (W.T. Vintners 2015 Boushey Vineyard Grenache Yakima Valley $40 92 points; W.T. Vintners 2015 Boushey Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $40 92 points; W.T. Vintners 2015 Boushey Vineyard Rhône Rhône-style Red Blend Yakima Valley $40 92 points; W.T. Vintners 2015 Gorgeous Destiny Ridge Vineyard Syrah Horse Heaven Hills $30 92 points). They show impressive quality as well as purity. If you’re looking for a transparent view of these varieties and these vineyards, look no further. Also not to be missed is the W.T. Vintners 2017 Upland Vineyard Chenin Blanc Snipes Mountain ($20, 90 points).
On the value side, check out the Raconteur 2015 Red Blend Columbia Valley ($15, 90 points) and
Charles & Charles 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah Columbia Valley ($12, 88 points).
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Apex 2015 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $35 88 points
This wine’s jammy red and black fruit aromas lead to soft, ample fruit flavors. Lightly grainy tannins provide support.
Auclair 2015 96 Cedars Bordeaux-style Red Blend Red Mountain $NA 88 points
This blend of Cabernet Franc (34%), Cabernet Sauvignon (33%), Merlot (28%) and Petit Verdot was aged in 10% new French oak. Its vibrant anise aromas precede a unique profile of golden raisin, plum and spice. It shows lovely balance and finishes tart.
Barnard Griffin 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $17 88 points
Smoke, blue fruit and spice aromas lead to ripe, rounded fruit flavors in this wine. It offers a lot of direct appeal and value.
Barnard Griffin 2015 Robb’s Red Blend Columbia Valley $12 85 points
Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot make up the bulk of this wine, with the rest Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Malbec and Syrah. Arugula, garden herb, plum, cherry and spice aromas are followed by light fruit flavors with a medicinal finish.
Barnard Griffin 2016 Syrah Columbia Valley $17 87 points
Forward huckleberry and plum aromas lead to lightly sweet, easy-drinking fruit flavors in this wine. It’s not very complex, but the price is right.
Barnard Griffin 2015 Merlot Columbia Valley $17 88 points
This wine’s blueberry, herb and barrel spice aromas are appealing. Its fruit flavors are light in style and glide toward the finish. It’s an enjoyable, straightfoward Merlot.
Barnard Griffin 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley $12 87 points
This wine’s bright melon, citrus zest and herb aromas lead to tart, rounded fruit flavors. Lemon pith notes linger on the finish. It brings a lot of quality and value. Best Buy
Barnard Griffin 2016 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $14 88 points
Pleasing aromas of flower, peach and melon lead to balanced, full-feeling fruit flavors in this wine. It delivers a lot of quality and value.
Barnard Griffin 2016 Estate Bottled Riesling Columbia Valley $10 87 points
This wine’s vibrant lime leaf, honeysuckle, orange peel, citrus and ripe peach aromas are followed by generous, just off-dry flavors. A touch of bitterness is all that holds it back. Best Buy
Barnard Griffin 2016 Port Syrah Columbia Valley $17 88 points
Vanilla, plum and spice aromas are followed by sweet, saturated fruit flavors in this wine. It brings a pleasing kick of spice on the finish.
Battle Creek 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir Willamette Valley $33 88 points
Mountain strawberry, forest floor, cedar box and herb aromas are followed by medium-bodied cranberry and cherry flavors in this straightforward, varietally correct wine.
Brian Carter Cellars 2014 Opulento Dessert Wine Red Blend Yakima Valley $23 90 points
This wine is a blend of 57% Touriga Nacional, 29% Sauzao, 9% Tinta Cao and 5% Tinta Roriz. Its vanilla, purple fruit and barrel aromas lead to sweet, balanced fruit flavors that persist into the finish.
Bridgman 2016 Syrah Columbia Valley $16 86 points
This wine offers spice and blue and purple fruit aromas. Sweet boysenberry flavors follow. It’s a straightforward, varietally correct quaffer.
Bridgman 2016 Merlot Columbia Valley $17 87 points
An early red release from the vintage, this is light in color and notably blue fruited for a Merlot, with spice and orange peel accents. The flavors bring more of the same, adding boysenberry and plum notes that coat the palate before tapering on the finish. You’d never have it pegged as Merlot, but it’s tasty all the same.
Castillo de Feliciana 2015 Bolsa Negra Vino Rojo Reserve Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $60 87 points
This is half Malbec, 30% Petit Verdot, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Petit Verdot takes over the aroma, evoking flowers, potting soil and green herbs, along with barrel accents. Tart cherry and blackberry flavors follow, backed by a lot of acid.
Cedar + Salmon 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $25 88 points
Cedar, spice, vanilla, fresh herb, black licorice and cherry pie aromas are followed by firm fruit and barrel flavors in this wine. Vanilla notes linger on the finish.
Cerulean 2016 Tempranillo Rosé Acadia Vineyards Rosé Columbia Gorge $22 87 points
Pale salmon in color, this leads with light strawberry and spice aromas and dry, nicely woven fruit flavors. Orange rind notes linger on the finish. It provides a lot of intrigue and enjoyment.
Cerulean 2012 Nebbiolo Columbia Valley $35 85 points
This rare example of Nebbiolo in the state. is quite pale in color, with cherry, citrus, smoke and wet earth aromas. It’s light in both flavor and concentration.
Cerulean 2013 Acadia Vineyards Pinot Noir Columbia Gorge $36 86 points
Light in color, this offers mint and raspberry aromas. The flavors are quite light and elegant, almost seeming faint, with smoky notes on the finish.
Charles & Charles 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah Columbia Valley $12 88 points
This wine offers savory herb and flower aromas that intermingle with plum, cassis and cherry notes. It’s full-flavored, with a punch of black currant and plum fruit that’s at once pure and appealing. Best Buy
Co Dinn 2015 Red Wine Lonesome Springs Ranch Vineyard GSM Yakima Valley $45 90 points
This Syrah-dominated blend has ripe raspberry jam, blueberry pie, dried herb, anise and blackberry aromas that lead to full-bodied dark fruit flavors. It’s full-bore in style, like the vintage it comes from.
Co Dinn 2015 Roskamp Vineyard Chardonnay Snipes Mountain $45 89 points
This blend of Dijon clones 76 and 96 was fermented in 25% new French oak barrels and aged 17 months sur lie. Focused aromas of clarified butter, corn silk, baking spice and lees are followed by straw, stone fruit and citrus flavors that show texture and viscosity. It’s equal parts intrigue and delivery, though it might be too creamy for some.
Disastrous by Nature 2015 Red Blend Columbia Valley $13 88 points
Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot make up the bulk of this wine, with a number of other varieties. The aromas are fruit-forward, with plum and huckleberry notes and light herb accents. The palate offers directly appealing, sweet fruit flavors. It goes down easy. Best Buy
Dusted Valley 2014 Rachis Stone Tree Vineyard Syrah Wahluke Slope $53 90 points
This wine’s plum, crushed flower, blackberry jam and wet rock aromas are followed by concentrated purple and black fruit flavors that persist on the fruit-filled finish. A big wine, it pulls no punches.
Dusted Valley 2014 V.R. Special Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $60 90 points
This blend from Dionysus and Stone Tree vineyards offers ripe blackberry jam, black plum, nougat and barrel spice aromas. They’re followed by a full-bodied palate rich with velvety tannins. There’s no mistaking the warmth of the vintage, though its hedonistic style brings appeal.
Dusted Valley 2014 Malbec Columbia Valley $42 90 points
This wine blends Walla Walla Valley, Wahluke Slope and Columbia Valley fruit. Its blackberry, black plum jam, herb and spice aromas are followed by ripe, hedonistic black fruit flavors and a spice- and green herb-filled finish. It’s an unabashed warm vintage wine that displays both power and charm.
Dusted Valley 2014 BFM Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $53 91 points
This is made from 82% Merlot, with the balance Cabernet Franc (14%) and Petit Verdot from Southwind, Stone Tree and Dionysus vineyards. Raspberry compote, fresh flower and barrel spice aromas lead to full-bodied, no-holds-barred fruit flavors that coat the palate from end to end, backed by lightly grainy tannins. The style is ripe and rich, but so is the vintage it comes from.
Dusted Valley 2015 Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley $42 90 points
This combines fruit from Southwind, Sconni Block and Stone Tree vineyards. The aromas are light out of the gate, with barrel spice, fresh herb, black cherry, coffee and mineral notes that become more prominent over time. Concentrated fruit flavors are backed by firm, grippy tannins. The structure is impressive.
Dusted Valley 2015 Squirrel Tooth Alice Stone Tree Vineyard Rhône-style Red Blend Wahluke Slope $39 87 points
Grenache (43%) takes the lead in this wine, followed by Mourvèdre (37%) and Syrah. Unusual aromas of crushed peanuts, savory herb and überripe fruit flavors lead to a peanut shell-like finish. It doesn’t all seem in harmony.
Eternal 2016 Eternal Bliss Patina Vineyard Fortified Syrah Walla Walla Valley $50 87 points
It’s rare to see a fortified wine from this appellation, let alone a single vineyard one. Made in a dry style, it brings barrel spice, herb and purple fruit aromas that prove intriguing but do not quite deliver
Frost Bitten 2016 Ice Riesling Yakima Valley $13 89 points
Vibrant jasmine, honeysuckle and peach aromas lead to honeyed, ultrasweet stone and tropical fruit flavors in this wine. It tapers toward the finish, needing a bit more acidity to come together, but the price is hard to beat.
Gård 2014 Lawrence Vineyards Malbec Columbia Valley $35 90 points
This leads with high toned notes of clove, toast and plum. Its full-bodied purple fruit and spice flavors are tightly wound for now, backed by firm tannins. Abundant orange peel and black pepper flavors linger on the finish.
Hawkins Cellars 2015 Boushey Vineyard Syrah Columbia Valley $40 84 points
Brown stem, wilted flower, cigar ash and barrel spice aromas lead to short, dried-out fruit flavors in this wine.
Helix by Reininger 2013 Phinny Hill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $30 87 points
This wine from an up-and-coming vineyard offers fragrant aromas of raspberry, herb and woodspice and well-balanced fruit flavors that taper toward the tart finish. It doesn’t seem fully ripe.
Helix by Reininger 2013 Bacchus Vineyard Merlot Columbia Valley $29 87 points
From one of the state’s finest vineyards, this offers high-toned raspberry, blueberry and spice aromas and a well balanced, fruitful palate.
Helix by Reininger 2013 Phinny Hill Vineyard Syrah Horse Heaven Hills $29 87 points
This wine comes from a vineyard best known for its Cabernet Sauvignon. Perfumed flower, smoke, herb and purple fruit aromas lead to fresh, elegant fruit and herb flavors. It intrigues.
Helix by Reininger 2013 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Sangiovese Columbia Valley $30 86 points
Light in color, this pops with cherry Jolly Rancher, herb and spice aromas. The flavors are light and elegant but lack concentration. It doesn’t stand up on its own but has a place at the dinner table.
Johnson Ridge 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $32 87 points
Cherry, plum, vanilla, cedar and green herb aromas are followed by plump yet restrained fruit and barrel flavors that trail out on the finish. Though aged in only 40% new oak, the wood character seems a bit overbearing.
Johnson Ridge 2014 Syrah Walla Walla Valley $32 86 points
Aged 21 months in 50% new French and Hungarian oak, this offers char, smoke, vanilla and spice aromas and flavors, while the fruit is hard to tease out. It drops off on the finish.
Johnson Ridge 2014 Merlot Horse Heaven Hills $32 87 points
Blended with 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, this delivers plum, red fruit, mocha, green herb, barrel spice and dark raspberry aromas. It’s light in style on the palate, with fruit-forward flavors and dried tobacco-inflected finish. The tannins are surprisingly dialed back for Washington Merlot.
Kiona 2015 Estate Bottled Lemberger Red Mountain $15 88 points
Cigar box, cherry, orange zest and spice aromas lead to elegant, fresh flavors. With its blue fruit-laced finish, it brings a whole lot of appeal, especially for the price.
Kiona 2015 Estate Grown Merlot Red Mountain $25 88 points
This wine offers ground cranberry, red currant, dried herb and golden raisin aromas. The flavors are surprisingly elegant, considering the warmth of the vintage and region; they taper toward the finish.
Kiona 2015 Heart of the Hill Vineyard Malbec Red Mountain $40 87 points
Exotic spice and dried fruit aromas are followed by plump, ripe fruit flavors in this wine. It’s enjoyable but seems a bit evolved for its age.
Kiona 2014 Old Block Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $75 91 points
This wine comes from the oldest vines on Red Mountain, planted in 1975. The aromas are appealing, recalling herbs, cassis, dark fruit, dates and exotic spice. The fruit and barrel flavors are concentrated and tightly wound, bringing a structure that augurs well for its longevity.
Kiona 2014 Syrah Red Mountain $25 88 points
Blackberry, dried herb, barrel spice, tire rubber and mineral aromas lead to sweet, rich fruit and barrel flavors in this wine. Those flavors lose their rhythm toward the finish.
Kirkland Signature 2013 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley $15 87 points
Candy cane and cherry aromas lead to easygoing strawberry and cherry flavors in this wine. Its not very complex but still provides appeal.
Laelaps 2015 Seven Hills Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $45 89 points
Appealing aromas of fresh herb, dried thyme, raspberry and cherry are followed by plump, lightly styled fruit flavors. Grainy tannins provide support. Give it some time to open up.
Laelaps 2015 The Rocks Cabernet Sauvignon The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater $50 88 points
This light colored wine leads with red apple skin, herb and spice aromas and follows with surprisingly tart red fruit flavors that dip a bit in the middle. The tannins seem a bit grainy. It’s an interesting expression of the variety from this up-and-coming region.
Latah Creek 2016 Familigia Vineyard Rosé of Malbec Ancient Lakes $13 85 points
This is the winery’s first varietally labeled rosé. Electric pink in color, it follows its cherry and fresh herb scents with lightly spritzy, fat and off-dry fruit flavors.
Locations NV WA5 Red Blend Washington $20 88 points
This blend of Syrah, Merlot and Petite Sirah has generous plum, tar, herb, blueberry and blackberry aromas. They lead to full-bodied fruit flavors that lose a bit of their concentration and rhythm toward the finish but still provide a lot of enjoyment.
Maryhill 2014 Vineyard Series Painted Hills Vineyard Primitivo Wahluke Slope $28 86 points
This wine’s raspberry and cranberry aromas seem slightly dried out, with plenty of baking spice notes from 20 months in 65% new European and American oak. The full-bodied red fruit flavors finish tart.
Maryhill 2014 Vineyard Series Les Collines Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $36 85 points
Light woodspice, vanilla and cherry aromas are followed by wound-up fruit and barrel flavors in this wine. It’s a bit compact, with little sense of place, as the oak (21 months, 55% new) is far too heavy.
Maryhill 2014 Vineyard Series McKinley Springs Vineyard Syrah Horse Heaven Hills $32 86 points
Although light on first pour, this wine’s vanilla, purple fruit, nougat and woodspice notes become more prominent over time. Fruit and barrel flavors intermingle, but the latter wins out. It shows a bit of astringency that distracts.
Maryhill 2014 Northridge Vineyard Syrah Wahluke Slope $40 87 points
This offers brooding dark fruit and high-toned flower aromas. The palate is packed with black fruit and barrel flavors, but the oak aging (20 months in 65% new French) has overwhelmed it.
Maryhill 2014 McKinley Springs Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $36 87 points
This wine’s appealing aromas include black currant, herb, clove and woodspice. The fruit flavors are tart and lively, but the tannins are gritty and distracting.
Maryhill 2014 Vineyard Series McKinley Springs Vineyard Cinsault Horse Heaven Hills $36 88 points
Pale in color, this offers dried herb, raspberry, plum and baking spice aromas and elegant fruit and barrel flavors that trail off toward the finish. Still, it brings charm.
Muret-Gaston 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $50 90 points
This wine’s black cherry, herb, graphite, woodspice and chili pepper aromas are followed by a palate tightly wound with burly tannins and fresh acidity. It needs some time in the cellar to settle.
Muret-Gaston 2013 Syrah Red Mountain $50 90 points
Vibrant black cherry, black raspberry, licorice and barrel spice aromas lead to pitch-black fruit flavors in this wine. Despite the warmth of the fruit profile, it has lovely balance. Best before 2022.
Muret-Gaston 2014 Klipsun Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $50 90 points
From one of the appellation’s most esteemed vineyards, this offers brooding aromas on first pour, including black cherry, tar, flower and high toned herb notes. The palate is restrained in style, with a long finish.
Muret-Gaston 2014 Klipsun Vineyard Merlot Red Mountain $50 88 points
Raspberry, black licorice and wood spice aromas lead to smooth cherry flavors in this wine. It pulls up short on the finish.
Muret-Gaston 2015 Edythe Mae Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $42 91 points
This wine’s mountain blueberry, huckleberry and flint aromas leap out of the glass. Its blue fruit flavors are rich, saturated and hedonistic. It’s unabashed in its appeal.
Muret-Gaston 2015 Olsen Vineyard Petit Verdot Yakima Valley $42 89 points
This wine’s appealing plum, barrel spice, smoke and fresh herb aromas lead to well balanced black fruit flavors supported by lively acidity. It’s quite enjoyable and should shine with steak.
Muret-Gaston 2016 Weinbau Vineyard Chardonnay Wahluke Slope $28 89 points
This wine’s nuanced aromas include pear, baking spice and apple. Its restrained fruit and barrel flavors display finesse and length. A charmer.
Muret-Gaston NV Red Blend Red Mountain $28 91 points
This wine is a blend of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Petit Verdot and 31% Syrah. Its ripe black cherry, dried herb and barrel spice aromas are appealing. They lead to concentrated, textured fruit flavors with enough tannin to go the distance. It has a high yum factor. Editor’s Choice
Northwest Ridge 2014 8 Barrel Cuvée Red Blend Columbia Valley $20 88 points
This wine is a blend of 52% Syrah and 48% Merlot. Its boysenberry, red currant and spice aromas are followed by a fruit-forward palate with easy-drinking appeal.
Pamplin 2015 Red I.Q. Bordeaux-style Red Blend Columbia Valley $14 88 points
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot make up the majority of this wine, which is finished with Malbec. It’s all from high quality vineyards, including Seven Hills, Alder Ridge and Discovery. Blue fruit, herb and spice aromas are followed by red and blue fruit flavors that hollow out on the midpalate. Still, there’s plenty of enjoyment to be had.
Pamplin 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $50 91 points
The fruit for this 100% varietal wine comes from top sites Seven Hills (51%) and Klipsun (46%), with a dash from Scooteney Flats. Its barrel spice, dried herb, cocoa, black currant, pencil lead and dark cherry aromas are locked up at the moment, but the palate is well balanced and full of fruit and crunchy tannins. It needs time to unwind. Best after 2020. Cellar Selection
Panther Creek 2015 French Creek Vineyard Chardonnay Columbia Valley $NA 86 points
This wine’s strong lees aromas mix with peach and clarified butter notes. The fruit flavors are creamy but light, dominated by heavy-handed oak influence.
Paplow 2014 Boushey Vineyard G-S-M Yakima Valley $30 91 points
This inaugural release from Ben Paplow, assistant winemaker at Gorman Winery, is a blend of 67% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 9% Cinsault and 4% Viognier—all cofermented and aged in neutral oak. Its blackberry jam, white pepper, flower and orange rind aromas are followed by smooth, polished fruit and meat flavors. It displays a lot of purity and finesse. Editor’s Choice
Purple Star 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $20 88 points
This wine’s aromas pop, evoking leafy garden herb and black cherry. It’s pleasing in style, weight and balance. A bit too herbal for some tastes, but appealing nonetheless.
Raconteur 2015 Red Blend Columbia Valley $15 90 points
Cabernet Sauvignon (70%) takes the lead here, with the balance in Syrah. The aromas fascinate, evoking gun smoke, spice, Bing cherry, black currant, dried herb and fresh flowers, with the oak influence dialed way back. The flavors show dazzling purity and richness, along with a grip of tannins and a meaty, smoke-laced finish. It’s a whole lot of wine in a nearly oak-free style rarely seen from the state at this price point. Best Buy
Reininger 2015 Syrah Walla Walla Valley $51 88 points
This wine’s aromas are outrageously vibrant, suggesting freshly peeled orange, potpourri, flower and boysenberry jam. The flavors are sweet and full, with the floral notes completely taking over the show.
Reininger 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $50 88 points
This wine’s red and black currant, fruit leather and exotic spice aromas are followed by licorice and dark fruit flavors. Grainy, underripe tannins provide support yet seem dried out.
Reininger 2013 Mr. Owl’s Bordeaux-style Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $25 88 points
Cabernet Sauvignon (55%) and a huge dollop of Petit Verdot (36%) make up most of this wine, which is finished with Cabernet Franc. Despite being almost five years old, the aromas are not too pronounced, with cherry, flower, soil, purple fruit and spice notes. It has fine acidity and structure, but the tannins are pretty firm at present. It’s not clear if they will settle with time.
Reininger 2013 Merlot Walla Walla Valley $45 87 points
Exotic spice, dark raspberry and barrel spice aromas lead to restrained fruit flavors in this wine, with cocoa notes on the finish. Despite the warmth of the vintage, it seems underripe.
Shooting Star 2014 Blue Franc Blaufränkisch Washington $14 86 points
The fruit for this wine comes from Destiny Ridge Vineyard, with an average vine age of 35 years. Unusual, dissonant aromas of flint, date, clove and dried orange rind lead to sweet, dried-out fruit flavors that drop off on the finish.
Sightglass 2017 Artz Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Red Mountain $20 91 points
Fermented in stainless steel and aged on the lees for a month, this leads with compelling aromas of sweet herb, melon, citrus, and tropical fruit. The sleek palate bursts with fruit flavors, framed by lively acidity. Editor’s Choice
Sightglass 2015 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon-Malbec Columbia Valley $33 90 points
An equal split between the two varieties, this brings lurking dark roasted coffee, herb, plum, dark fruit and spice aromas. Its blue fruit flavors are tightly wound; they dip in the middle before coming back together, surrounded by luxurious French oak spice notes. The wood seems a bit primary at present, but there are a lot of good things going on.
Sightglass 2017 Conner Lee Vineyard Chardonnay Columbia Valley $22 91 points
Fermented and aged in stainless steel, this offers apple, pear, straw and lees aromas followed by full-feeling, textured fruit flavors with captivating purity. A warm finish caps it off. Editor’s Choice
Structure 2015 Foundation Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley $38 91 points
Stillwater Creek, Upland, Boushey and Destiny Ridge vineyards comprise equal parts of this 100% varietal wine. Light in color, it has pleasing aromas that suggest dried and fresh herb, along with toasty spice, cherry and moist earth. Full, luscious, pure cherry flavors are followed by a lingering finish. It’s a winner.
Structure 2015 Foundation Syrah Columbia Valley $32 91 points
Made predominantly from Wallula vineyard fruit (40%), with equal parts Upland, Destiny Ridge and Hedges, this has generous boysenberry, mountain blueberry, flower and dried herb aromas, along with kisses of spice. Ripe, silky fruit flavors lead to a lingering, olive- and meat-filled finish. A charmer. Editor’s Choice
Structure 2015 Foundation Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $35 88 points
This 100% varietal wine was made from fruit from Wallula, Hedges, Destiny Ridge, Stillwater Creek and Upland vineyards, using no new oak. The aromas need some coaxing, showing light spice, savory herb, cocoa, cherry and cigar box notes. The palate is more revealing, with sumptuous, full-feeling flavors of black cherry and herb that taper toward the finish. It’s intriguing, albeit a little green.
Structure 2015 Foundation Malbec Yakima Valley $35 91 points
This 100% varietal wine hails from Olsen Brothers vineyard in Yakima Valley and Upland vineyard on Snipes Mountain. The aromas leap from the glass, suggesting satsuma orange peel, jasmine, green herb and plum. They lead to plush red and purple fruit flavors, with prominent satsuma peel notes on the finish. It shows delightful purity.
Structure 2015 Bauhaus Syrah Columbia Valley $25 91 points
This wine is made from equal parts Upland, Hedges and Destiny Ridge vineyard fruit. The aromas leap out of the glass, suggesting green olives, chopped parsley, fresh flowers and smoked meat, the fruit notes lurking the background. The concentration of fruit and savory flavors is seamless and exquisite, with a lengthy finish. Editor’s Choice
Structure 2015 Spire Merlot Yakima Valley $25 87 points
A distinct green tinge colors the aromas in this blend from Olsen (60%) and Boushey vineyards, with herb and green tea notes more characteristic of Cabernet Franc. The palate brings soft-feeling orange peel and raspberry flavors
Structure 2015 Piloti Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley $27 91 points
This wine is a blend of fruit from Destiny Ridge, Stillwater Creek, Boushey and Upland vineyards. Fragrant aromas of flower, cherry and green herb lead to a focused, flavorful palate. With the oak influence pleasantly dialed back, it’s a superb value. Editor’s Choice
Structure 2015 Boushey Vineyard Cabernet Franc Yakima Valley $35 89 points
Aged in once-used and older French oak, this leads with aromas that draw you into the glass: dried and fresh herb, cherry, tobacco, flower and dark raspberry. The dark fruit flavors display concentration and depth, with a texture that heightens the appeal.
Structure 2015 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Syrah Columbia Valley $35 91 points
Stillwater Creek is considered a Bordeaux variety site, but this wine proves that Syrah can excel there too. Mineral, dried herb, bacon fat, dark plum, barrel spice and red and blue fruit aromas lead to a full-bodied palate that blends fruit and savory notes. It’s equal parts intrigue and delivery.
Structure 2015 Wallula Vineyard Syrah Horse Heaven Hills $35 89 points
Fennel, herb, spice and boysenberry and black fruit scents are followed by concentrated fruit flavors in this wine. An intriguing light meaty streak carries through the finish. The tannins bring a slight astringency, keeping it from fully coming together. Perhaps more time in bottle will help.
Structure 2015 Wallula Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $35 88 points
This wine’s assortment of herbal aromas are followed by black olive, green pepper, green leaf and smoke scents. Its cherry and plum flavors are elegant and sophisticated, with a dried tobacco finish. It comes off as quite green.
The Pines 1852 2016 Old Vines The Pines Vineyard Zinfandel Columbia Valley (OR) $50 89 points
From vines planted in the late 1800s, this offers cigar box, raspberry, cranberry and cherry aromas and focused cranberry, plum and raspberry flavors. It’s spot-on for the variety.
Viola 2016 Barbera d’Alder Alder Ridge Vineyard Barbera Horse Heaven Hills $25 91 points
Aged in stainless steel and fermented with native yeasts, this has freshly crushed cranberry, raspberry and lemon peel aromas and pure flavors that undulate across the palate with compelling texture. Fresh raspberry notes persist on the tart finish. It’s flat-out delicious and should shine at the dinner table. Editor’s Choice
Viola 2016 Traminer Aromatico Oak Ridge Vineyard Gewürztraminer Columbia Gorge $23 90 points
Vibrant white flower, lychee and candied ginger aromas are followed by bone-dry fruit flavors in this wine. It shows exquisite length and balance, with a flavorful finish.
W.T. Vintners 2017 Upland Vineyard Chenin Blanc Snipes Mountain $20 90 points
This wine underwent a vineyard change this vintage; the fruit now comes from 1979 plantings at Upland. The aromas pop, recalling scooped cantaloupe, ripe pear, red apple and freshly sliced star fruit, with intriguing salinity. Simultaneously sleek and textured fruit flavors lead to an acid-driven finish. Editor’s Choice
W.T. Vintners 2017 Underwood Mountain Vineyard Grüner Veltliner Columbia Gorge $20 90 points
One of the few bottlings of this variety in the state, this brings spicy herb, white peach, citrus rind and white pepper aromas. The flavors are light, sleek and acid-driven, with a drawn-out finish. It provides a lot of appeal and versatility at the table.
W.T. Vintners 2015 Boushey Vineyard Grenache Yakima Valley $40 92 points
The winery’s first Grenache from this esteemed vineyard, this was aged in neutral French oak. It’s expressive in aroma, with flower, mountain strawberry, green olive, white pepper and smoked meat notes that become more prominent over time. The palate is full-flavored but still elegant, with fruit and savory notes that lead to a peppery finish. Editor’s Choice
W.T. Vintners 2015 Boushey Vineyard Mourvèdre Yakima Valley $40 91 points
Achingly pure plum, red fruit, game, black pepper and fresh green herb aromas are followed by textured, seamless red and black fruit flavors in this wine. The finish is long and redolent of cranberries. It’s riper than the norm for this winery, but so was the vintage it comes from.
W.T. Vintners 2015 Boushey Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $40 92 points
From one of the state’s top Syrah sites, this 50% whole cluster wine draws you in with captivating notes of fresh and dried herb, ground black pepper, iron, crushed flower, green olive, cherry and bacon fat. Its fruit and savory flavors are palate-coating but still sleek, pure and vibrant. A meaty finish caps it off. Give it time to open up, and it’s flat out delicious. Editor’s Choice
W.T. Vintners 2015 Gorgeous Destiny Ridge Vineyard Syrah Horse Heaven Hills $30 92 points
All the fruit for this wine comes from Block One of this vineyard. Its aromas are fresh and vital, with sagebrush, dried and fresh herb, flower and red and black fruit notes. Lively acidity frames the flavors—a pleasant surprise considering the warmth of the vintage and region. Exquisitely balanced and deserving of its name, it demands food to be fully appreciated.
W.T. Vintners 2015 Boushey Vineyard Rhône Rhône-style Red Blend Yakima Valley $40 92 points
Equal parts Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache, this was aged in neutral oak. Its aroma intoxicates with piercingly pure chopped parsley, green olive, dried flower, bacon fat, red plum, white pepper, smoke and moist earth notes. The flavors live up to the hype; they’re lithe and light but full of fruit and savory notes, culminating in a bacon fat- and fresh herb-inflected finish. It drinks well now but should only improve with time in the bottle. Best after 2021. Cellar Selection
William Weaver 2015 Tattoo Girl Riesling Columbia Valley $13 88 points
Appealing aromas of ripe peach, honeysuckle and orange rind are followed by lightly styled, off-dry fruit flavors in this wine. What it lacks in complexity it makes up for in charm and appeal. Best Buy
William Weaver 2013 Artist Series Malbec Columbia Valley $16 87 points
This wine emphasizes the variety’s savory side, with garden herb, freshly peeled orange, plum and exotic spice notes. The flavors are pure and juicy.
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