Below are my Wine Enthusiast reviews for July 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 Guide. 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 at Wine Enthusiast here.
86 wines reviewed in the July issue of Wine Enthusiast.
When winemaker Andrew Latta struck out on his own to focus on Latta Wines after a highly successful run as winemaker at K Vintners/Charles Smith, Washington wine lovers anxiously awaited the release of his first Syrah. We now have it.
The Latta 2015 Dana Dibble Freewater Rocks Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley ($45, 94 points, Cellar Selection) is more than worth the wait, a high quality example of Rocks District fruit with a 30-plus second finish. It is not to be missed if you enjoy wines from this appellation. Meanwhile Latta’s GSM continues to deliver exceptional value (Latta 2015 Latta Latta GSM Columbia Valley $35, 92 points, Editor’s Choice).
The latest releases from winemaker Jamie Brown (Waters, 21 Grams) are top notch, including the Rhône-style blend Waters 2014 Tremelo Washington ($32, 94 points, Editor’s Choice); Waters 2015 Syrah Washington ($32, 92 points, Editor’s Choice). The 2014 21 Grams is a wine for the ages ($125, 94 points, Cellar Selection). Tasting this wine over a series of days, it seemed immortal and will provide two-plus decades of drinking pleasure.
Plantings of Picpoul are scarce in Washington, but the thrilling 2018 Callan Cellars offering shows how good this variety can be (Callan 2018 Boushey Vineyards Picpoul Yakima Valley $25, 90 points).
High quality examples of Pinot Noir are rare in Washington, with most of them coming from the Columbia Gorge. The Kerloo Cellars 2016 Underwood Mountain Pinot Noir Columbia Gorge ($55, 91 points) displays why there is excitement about wines from this appellation.
Winemaker Sean Boyd of Sightglass Cellars has shown a knack for making delicious white wines over the years, and his 2018 releases bring new examples (Sightglass 2018 Artz Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Red Mountain $20, 91 points, Editor’s Choice; Sightglass 2018 Conner Lee Vineyard Chardonnay Columbia Valley $22, 90 points; Editor’s Choice).
On the value side, Disruption Wine Company is making waves (Disruption 2016 Red Blend Columbia Valley $15 91 points, Best Buy; Disruption 2017 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $15, 90 points, Best Buy; Disruption 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Washington $15, 89 points). William Weaver also has some tasty offerings (William Weaver 2018 Tattoo Girl Chardonnay Columbia Valley $12, 90 points, Best Buy; William Weaver 2018 Tattoo Girl Riesling Columbia Valley $12, 89 points, Best Buy).
* * *
14 Hands 2016 Limited Release Kentucky Derby Red Blend Columbia Valley $12 85 points
Tire rubber, apple, smoke and black cherry aromas lead to flavors that show more of the same. It comes off as reduced at present.
21 Grams 2014 Columbia Valley $125 94 points
Cabernet Sauvignon from esteemed Cold Creek Vineyard makes up the backbone of this wine. Intoxicating aromas of assorted dried herbs, graphite, spice, tea leaf, coffee and black cherry are followed by tightly wound dark fruit flavors. The rich flavors show sophistication, layering and depth, with enough acid and tannin structure for 20-plus years of enjoyment. An extended finish only heightens the impression. It’s a stunner that overwhelms on expressiveness rather than sheer strength. Best after 2025. Cellar Selection
Block Wines 2016 Discovery Vineyard Block 1 Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills $55 88 points
The aromas suggest notes of leafy green herbs, green pepper, a whiff of tire rubber, anise, scorched earth and black cherry. Focused, pitch black, lively fruit flavors follow. The acidity and tannin structures are enchanting. If the aromas and palate sync, it could move up.
Board Track Racer 2017 The Vincent Chardonnay Columbia Valley $15 89 points
Generous aromas of pear, citrus and lees are followed by sleek but still creamy feeling, well-balanced fruit flavors that finish warm. There’s a lot to like.
Board Track Racer 2016 The Shift Red Blend Columbia Valley $28 88 points
Syrah makes up 68% of this wine, with the balance Grenache and Mourvèdre. Quiet aromas of pencil eraser, tobacco and spice lead to broad-feeling fruit flavors. It seems missing in the middle.
Board Track Racer 2017 The Vincent Columbia Valley $20 87 points
Cabernet Sauvignon makes up about two-thirds of this wine, with the rest Merlot and Malbec. Locked up aromas of herb, cherry and barrel spice lead to somewhat lighter styled fruit flavors that paint around the edges, with firm tannins providing support. A kiss of vanilla lingers on the finish.
Bodewell 2017 Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley $15 89 points
The aromas bring appealing notes of fig, herb and whole lemon. Sleek, tart, citrus and tropical fruit flavors follow. It’s tasty.
Callan 2018 Boushey Vineyards Picpoul Yakima Valley $25 90 points
A bright lemon-zest aroma leads the expressive nose of this white wine. Tart citrus flavors contribute to the puckering mouthfeel on the palate, brightened even further by a blast of acidity. It screams out for oysters. Editor’s Choice
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2016 Merlot Columbia Valley $15 87 points
Aromas of spice, cherry and smoke are followed by ripe black fruit flavors. It’s straight down the fairway.
Claar 2015 Estate Grown and Bottled Merlot Columbia Valley $22 87 points
Aromas of chocolate, dried cherry and spice are followed by full-bodied fruit flavors. Dry, slightly scratchy seeming tannins back it up. The fruit seems a bit fatigued.
Columbia Crest 2016 H3 Merlot Horse Heaven Hills $15 88 points
Pitted dark cherry and vanilla aromas lead to light but creamy feeling fruit and barrel flavors. The oak plays a large part in the show, but it largely works.
Columbia Crest 2017 Grand Estates Syrah Columbia Valley $12 87 points
Oak aromas are at the fore, with notes of green wood, coconut and vanilla. Plum and orange zest aromas are underneath. The lighter-styled palate shows more of the same. Fruit and barrel seem to tussle. Best Buy
Disruption 2016 Red Blend Columbia Valley $15 91 points
A combination of Wahluke Slope and Yakima Valley fruit, this wine is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the rest equal parts Syrah and Merlot. The aromas draw you into the glass, with notes of black currant, leafy fresh herb, green pepper and plum. The palate packs a punch of fruit flavors with a lovely sense of structure. If you enjoy a little herb in your wine, along with heaping amounts of fruit but also impressive balance, this one is for you. Best Buy
Disruption 2017 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $15 90 points
This wine is nearly two-thirds Evergreen Vineyard fruit, aged in neutral oak. The balance comes from Sundance Vineyard, aged in stainless steel. The aromas offer notes of green apple, lemon, squash and the underside of a pineapple, along with a sense of chalky minerality. The palate is medium-plus bodied with kiwi and pineapple flavors. It’s loaded with fruit, but also brings a fine sense of acidity and balance. Best Buy
Disruption 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Washington $15 89 points
All of the fruit for this wine comes from the Wahluke Slope. Slightly reductive aromas of gun smoke are followed by notes of graphite, black currant and green pepper. The palate is full of black fruit flavors with a firm but not unyielding sense of structure. The balance is impressive at this price.
Flying Trout NV Hedges Vineyard Malbec Red Mountain $32 90 points
A 100% varietal, all coming from the 2014 vintage. The aromas offer subdued notes of plum, orange twist and spice. Plump, ripe, fleshy fruit flavors follow, with a light grip of tannins on the finish. Editor’s Choice
Flying Trout NV Phinny Hill Vineyard Malbec Columbia Valley $35 90 points
Coming from the 2014 vintage, this has aromas that are light, with notes of plum, spice, herb and orange peel. Full, saturated fruit flavors follow, while still bringing a sense of freshness and structure. Editor’s Choice
Flying Trout 2013 Gamache Vineyard Malbec Columbia Valley $35 90 points
The aromas are subdued out of the gate, opening to reveal abundant notes of orange peel and orange oil along with fresh herb, dried herb and heaping amounts of black pepper. It packs a mouthful of fruit flavors. Best by 2022.
Flying Trout NV Mary’s Block Windrow Vineyard Malbec Walla Walla Valley $40 90 points
Coming from the 2014 vintage, it’s a fascinating example of the variety. Flower, freshly peeled orange mist, pink grapefruit and plum aromas enchant. The palate brings plush fruit flavors that offer balance and appeal.
Flying Trout 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $25 89 points
This young release wine is all Cabernet, and it’s rare to see a red wine from this appellation at this price. The aromas offer notes of herb, plum and black currant that haven’t fully settled in. Tasty, slightly tacky feeling blue and black fruit flavors follow, with dry tannins backing them up. It has a pleasing yum factor and will only improve with some additional time in bottle. Best after 2020.
Flying Trout NV Deep River Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $29 88 points
Malbec makes up 54% of this wine; Cabernet Franc the rest. Aromas of freshly peeled tangerine, orange oil, fresh herb, cedar box and white pepper are followed by lighter-styled flavors with plenty of orange accents that dance across the palate. It’s equal parts intrigue and delivery, bringing a sense of freshness considering the warmth of the vintage.
Flying Trout NV Cutthroat Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $29 86 points
This wine is 57% Malbec and 43% Syrah. Aromas of dried tobacco, herb and hay are followed by light, tart, tangy fruit flavors that dip in the middle. It’s an odd mix.
Flying Trout 2015 Mary’s Block Windrow Vineyard Malbec Walla Walla Valley $40 86 points
Aromas of strong dried Satsuma orange peel, dried tobacco, herb, peat and plum lead to sleek, lighter-styled fruit flavors. The heat of the vintage shows.
Flying Trout 2015 Phinny Hill Vineyard Malbec Horse Heaven Hills $35 86 points
Aromas of plum, hay, anise and cherry lead to cherry flavors. It doesn’t all work.
Flying Trout 2015 Malbolo Red Blend Columbia Valley $24 85 points
This is the only blend of its kind in the state—72% Malbec and 28% Nebbiolo. Aromas of red apple skin, plum, broccoli stem and spice are followed by light, soft fruit flavors that paint around the edges.
Flying Trout 2013 Windrow Vineyard Block 2 Malbec Walla Walla Valley $35 85 points
Dried-out tobacco, dried orange peel and dried herb aromas lead to flavors that paint around the edges. The fruit seems light and dried out.
GFW 2017 Chardonnay Columbia Valley $18 87 points
Out of the gate, the aromas of burnt toast, melted butter and candlewax come off as aggressive, settling a bit with time open. Lees and vanilla flavors follow. It will provide enjoyment for those looking for a rich, buttery style.
GFW 2016 Vinocluster Wickersham Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $32 86 points
Charry notes are out front, with green herb, vanilla and cedar box behind them. The palate paints around the edges, with the wood influence dominating. Char and vanilla notes linger on the finish. It’s a pretty green interpretation of the variety.
Intrinsic 2017 Red Blend Columbia Valley $22 88 points
This wine is almost equal parts Malbec and Cabernet Franc. The aromas are alluring, with notes of plum, dried tobacco and blue fruit. Generous, supple blue fruit and smoke flavors follow.
Intrinsic 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $22 87 points
Bright aromas of fresh herb, orange rind and orange twist lead to flavors that show more of the same, with the palate bringing a lovely sense of texture. There’s enjoyment to be had, though it’s impossible to identify as Cabernet.
Kerloo 2016 Underwood Mountain Pinot Noir Columbia Gorge $55 91 points
Pale in color, the aromas fascinate, suggesting notes of dried stick, forest floor, fresh herb and cherry. Plump, juicy fruit flavors follow, showing an exquisite sense of balance and impressive length, with a lightly smoky finish.
L’Ecole No. 41 2016 Ferguson Vineyard Estate Grown Walla Walla Valley $65 91 points
Cabernet Sauvignon (62%) and Merlot (26%) make up the majority of this wine, with the rest equal parts Cabernet Franc and Malbec. The aromas of bittersweet chocolate, herb, dusty earth, graphite, vanilla and cherry show delineation and appeal on the nose. The palate brings a mouthful of restrained fruit flavors, with firm, puckering tannins backing them up. A mouthwatering finish displays a mix of red and black fruit. Best after 2023, with a long life beyond that. Cellar Selection
L’Ecole No. 41 2016 Estate Grown Seven Hills Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $37 90 points
Aromas of black raspberry, blueberry pie, dark coffee, cherry, vanilla and spice are followed by focused fruit flavors with a firm spine of tannins. It brings a pleasing sense of freshness, despite the warmth of the vintage, and has impressive staying power.
L’Ecole No. 41 2016 Estate Grown Merlot Walla Walla Valley $37 89 points
Faint aromas of dried herb, cigar leaf, mocha and raspberry are followed by light, tart cranberry flavors backed by firm, dry, somewhat gritty tannins framed by a blast of impressive acidity. It’s very tannic on its own but should fit in well at the dinner table. Pair it with pork chops with a cherry compote. It has an extremely long life in front of it. Give it a multiday extended decant if drinking before 2025.
L’Ecole No. 41 2016 Merlot Columbia Valley $25 88 points
Aromas of red apple skin, baking chocolate, spice, vanilla and cherry are followed by a fresh-seeming palate that brings cranberry-like acidity. The tannins show grip.
L’Ecole No. 41 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $30 88 points
Bittersweet chocolate, spicy dried herb, barrel spice and cherry aromas lead to elegant, juicy, well-balanced fruit flavors that carry on the finish. Grippy tannins back it up. Pair it with food to see it at its best.
Lachini 2016 La Contrada Red Mountain $65 85 points
Cabernet Sauvignon makes up three-quarters of this wine, with the rest Merlot. Aromas of raspberry compote, herb, medicine cabinet and golden raisin are followed by fruit flavors that start out full and then taper on the back half. It all seems a bit dried out.
Latta 2015 Dana Dibble Freewater Rocks Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $45 94 points
This is the winery’s first offering of Syrah. There’s no mistaking the fruit comes from The Rocks District, with the area’s hallmark aromas of olive, fire pit, charcuterie, plum, dried herb, orange peel and parsley that are intense but still show a sense of subtlety. The palate is textured and rich but still in balance, full of fruit and savory flavors. An insanely long, 30-second-plus finish caps it off. One of the wines of the vintage. Best after 2021. Cellar Selection
Latta 2015 Upland Vineyard Grenache Snipes Mountain $45 93 points
The aromas of this 100% varietal leap up with compelling notes of kirsch, plum, pomegranate, strawberry, white pepper and herb. The palate brings a beautiful sense of texture, layering and richness, followed by a hyper-extended finish. It’s a knee-buckler. Editor’s Choice
Latta 2015 Weinbau Vineyard Malbec Wahluke Slope $45 92 points
A new vineyard for this wine, the variety is unmistakable. Focused aromas of orange peel, dried herb, dark plum, clove and tar are followed by an outrageously dense, rich, textured palate with an extended finish. A slight medicinal streak runs throughout. It’s high on the hedonism scale.
Latta 2015 Latta Latta GSM Columbia Valley $35 92 points
This wine is a blend of 44% Grenache, 32% Mourvèdre and 24% Syrah, with fruit coming from Upland and Freewater Rocks Vineyard. The aromas pop, with notes of orange peel, kirsch, red fruit, black pepper, black fruit, herb, smoked meat and earth that bring a lovely sense of purity. Plush, pillowy red-fruit and orange-peel flavors coat the palate, lingering on the extended, fruit-filled finish. Editor’s Choice
Latta 2015 Lawrence Vineyard Roussanne Columbia Valley $30 92 points
This is consistently one of the state’s top white wines, and this vintage does not disappoint. The aromas captivate, with notes of beeswax, spice, mineral and apricot. The palate is full bodied, with a pleasing sense of texture and a layered feel. It lingers on the finish. Editor’s Choice
Latta 2015 Upland Vineyard Mourvèdre Snipes Mountain $45 92 points
This wine was fermented 70% whole cluster and aged in 10% new oak. Dark and brooding, the aromas offer notes of black fruit, white pepper, herb, orange oil, gravel and tar. Rich, focused, full-bodied fruit flavors follow, lingering on the long finish. It has enough stuffing to reward some time in the cellar
Mark Ryan 2016 Long Haul Columbia Valley $55 90 points
Merlot makes up 80% of this wine, with the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Aromas of gun smoke, black raspberry, red currant, herb and high-toned barrel spice are followed by soft, smooth feeling fruit flavors that stretch out on the finish.
Mark Ryan 2017 Olsen Vineyard Chardonnay Yakima Valley $40 89 points
This comes from young, north-slope plantings situated over 1,200 feet in elevation—high by the state’s standards. Aged in a mix of new and used oak along with stainless steel, the wine has aromas of clarified butter, wet stone and spice, followed by broad yet still sleek fruit flavors. The future is bright for this variety at this site.
Mark Ryan 2016 Wild Eyed Syrah Red Mountain $48 88 points
Aromas of blueberry compote, plum, dried herb and char are followed by palate-coating flavors that paint around the edges, seeming missing in the middle.
Mark Ryan 2015 Lost Soul Red Willow Vineyard Syrah Yakima Valley $48 88 points
The aromas are reticent, with notes of cigar, clove, cherry and herb. The palate is more giving, with medium-bodied flavors that come off as linear at present.
Mark Ryan 2016 Little Sister Merlot Columbia Valley $75 87 points
This wine is 100% varietal, coming from Phinny Hill and Red Willow vineyards. Reticent red apple skin, cherry and strawberry aromas are followed by a palate that paints around the edges. Coffee notes linger on the finish.
Morell-Peña 2017 Pinot Noir Columbia Valley $35 88 points
Coming from a new planting of five different clones of this variety, this wine is quite pale in color, offering aromas of orange twist, strawberry, tobacco and cherry, framed by tart, lively acidity. It’s a promising first release.
Mosquito Fleet 2016 Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley $32 88 points
The fruit seems a bit desiccated on the aromas, with notes of dried cherry along with licorice, graphite and herb. The palate has a pleasing sense of structure, but the aromas and palate don’t seem to line up. Dried fruit notes linger on the finish.
Mosquito Fleet 2016 Starboard Meritage Columbia Valley $36 88 points
Merlot (55%) and Cabernet Franc (36%) make up most of this wine, with the balance equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The aromas show notes of raspberry, cherry, cedar, licorice, vanilla and wood spice, with the palate showing elegance and appeal. Cranberry notes linger on the finish. The aromas and palate don’t line up, but there are good things going on.
Mosquito Fleet 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $42 85 points
The aromas bring notes of dried cherry, apple, anise and golden raisin, with the palate showing more of the same. The fruit seems quite desiccated.
Obelisco Estate 2015 Electrum Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $75 88 points
The aromas offer notes of char, vanilla, Band-Aid, anise and dried raspberry and cherry. Fruit and game flavors follow, dipping in the middle, with the tannins giving a firm, slightly dry squeeze.
Obelisco Estate 2015 Estate Grown Malbec Red Mountain $50 87 points
Aromas of golden raisin, Red Vines candy, Band-Aid, fruit roll-up and exotic spice are followed by medium-bodied fruit flavors. The fruit seems desiccated, with the style overwhelming the variety.
Obelisco Estate 2015 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $55 86 points
Aromas of golden raisin, red apple, hay and medicine cabinet are followed by dried out seeming cherry and Band-Aid flavors. It doesn’t all work.
Obelisco Estate 2015 Estate Grown Merlot Red Mountain $55 86 points
Aromas of char, vanilla, dried raspberry, dried red apple and fruit leather are followed by somewhat lighter styled fruit and earth flavors, with the tannins showing a bit of grit. Cranberry notes linger on the finish. It seems quite dried out.
Penrose Hill 2016 Merlot Washington $26 86 points
The aromas offer notes of cedar, spice box and barrel toast, with the oak out front. Lighter styled raspberry flavors follow, with toasty barrel notes on the finish. The oak seems intrusive.
Sightglass 2018 Artz Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Red Mountain $20 91 points
The aromas pop, with notes of banana, pear, lemon zest and pineapple. The palate is chock-full of full-bodied, textured pineapple, cantaloupe and kiwi flavors that linger on the finish. Delicious stuff. Give it some additional time in the bottle to settle in. Editor’s Choice
Sightglass 2018 Conner Lee Vineyard Chardonnay Columbia Valley $22 90 points
Coming from a block planted in 1991, this wine was fermented and aged in stainless steel. The aromas offer notes of pear, cantaloupe and whole lemon, along with a chalky sense of minerality. The palate is full and textured, with a lovely mouthfeel and layering. It delivers. Editor’s Choice
Sightglass 2016 Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $40 90 points
This wine is 75% Cabernet Franc and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, all from Stillwater Creek Vineyard from select barrels. Aromas of fresh herb, green pepper, crushed nut and bittersweet chocolate lead to full-bodied black fruit and barrel flavors, laced with vanilla notes. The tannins give a firm squeeze. The oak (50% new French) is a bit prominent at present. Give it some additional time in the bottle to settle in.
SoDo 2016 Deadbird Cabernet Sauvignon Washington $18 89 points
This wine, a 100% varietal from juice master Ryan Crane at Kerloo Cellars, brings aromas of gun smoke, dried and fresh herbs and jammy black fruit. Well-balanced black cherry and blackberry flavors follow, carrying on the lightly smoky finish.
Swiftwater 2017 Boushey Vineyards Chardonnay Yakima Valley $32 91 points
This wine comes from young plantings at a vineyard that has made its mark with Rhône varieties. The aromas pop, drawing you into the glass with notes of candlewax, whole pineapple and spice. Ripe, full-bodied tropical fruit flavors follow. A fine sense of acidity frames it all perfectly. Editor’s Choice
Swiftwater 2016 Syrah Columbia Valley $35 88 points
Aromas of raspberry jam and spice lead to full-bodied fruit, supported by somewhat pasty feeling tannins. The ripeness of the vintage shows.
Swiftwater 2016 Reserve Syrah Columbia Valley $45 87 points
The aromas offer plentiful notes of dried and green herb, cigar leaf and blanched asparagus, seeming to show abundant stem influence. Savory flavors follow, with the concentration light and the tannins bringing some grip.
Swiftwater 2017 Quintessence Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Red Mountain $28 87 points
The aromas are a bit hard to tease out, opening to show notes of melon and fig. Sleek flavors follow that flatten out on the finish. The variety seems hard to place.
Tero Estates 2015 S.T. Windrow Vineyard Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $38 88 points
This wine is 54% Sangiovese and 44% Cabernet Sauvignon. The aromas boast notes of cranberry, herb, bittersweet chocolate, cherry and saddle leather. A full-bodied palate brings enjoyment but has a slightly Port-like character to it. Chocolate notes linger on the finish.
Tero Estates 2013 Hill Block Windrow Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $53 88 points
In this 100% varietal, licorice aromas are in the lead, followed by spice, herb and black fruit. Soft, quite ripe fruit flavors follow. The flavors seem a bit Port-like but it still brings appeal. It could use more structure to hold it together.
Tero Estates 2014 DC3 Windrow Vineyards Walla Walla Valley $38 88 points
Merlot (59%) is in the lead, with the balance Cabernet Franc. Plentiful aromas of dried herb and fresh herb, pencil lead, vanilla, barrel spice and cherry juicy, ripe fruit flavors followed by a warm finish.
Tero Estates 2014 S.T. Red Wine Windrow Vineyard Red Blend Walla Walla Valley $38 87 points
A blend of 56% Sangiovese and 44% Cabernet Sauvignon. Not entirely harmonious aromas of hay, cherry and exotic spice are followed by a palate full of Porty flavors. It doesn’t all work.
Tero Estates 2012 Windrow Vineyards Nebbiolo Walla Walla Valley $60 85 points
A slightly Port-like quality pervades the aromas and flavors of this wine, with aromas and flavors of rose water, cranberry, chocolate and dark fruit. The palate is more restrained than the aromas would suggest.
The Royal Bull 2016 No Bull Lawrence Vineyard Red Blend Columbia Valley $45 88 points
This wine is a unique blend of two-thirds Syrah and one-third Malbec. Aromas of blue fruit, dried and fresh herb, dried tobacco, gravel, orange peel and flower lead to somewhat lighter styled fruit and floral flavors that persist on the finish. It’s equal parts intrigue and delivery.
Walla Walla Vintners 2015 V Cut Bank Estate Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley $50 90 points
Aromas of marionberry pie, dried herb, graphite, smoked meat and coffee are followed by ripe, layered, rich but balanced fruit flavors backed by a light grip of tannin. Smoked meat notes linger on the finish. It delivers a lot of enjoyment from this up-and-coming area of the valley.
Walla Walla Vintners 2016 Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley $35 88 points
Leafy green herb, green pepper, mocha, barrel spice and ash aromas lead to full feeling fruit, herb and dark chocolate flavors. It might be a bit green for some tastes, even for the variety.
Walla Walla Vintners 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley $45 88 points
Aromas of cherry, cedar, dried herb, vanilla, scorched earth and flower lead to somewhat compact seeming fruit flavors that bring a sense of delicacy, fleshing out with time open. Leafy notes linger on the finish. It has pleasing, mouthwatering acidity and bunchy tannins that augur well for its longevity. It’s not ready to reveal its charms right now.
Walla Walla Vintners 2016 Syrah Walla Walla Valley $35 88 points
The aromas jump up, with pleasing notes of cherry Jolly Rancher, maple and spice. Soft, pure fruit flavors follow. It intrigues, but seems to be in an awkward spot at present.
Walla Walla Vintners 2016 Merlot Walla Walla Valley $35 87 points
Fresh herb and green pepper aromas are at the fore, along with orange twist, raspberry and a tree bark note. Green pepper and blue and black fruit flavors follow, with the tannins bringing a slightly tacky feel. It doesn’t seem to have fully ripened, with the variety hard to find.
Waters 2014 Tremelo Washington $32 94 points
Syrah from Old Stones Vineyard makes up three-quarters of the blend of this wine, with the balance of Grenache from Olsen Vineyard. The aromas are outrageous, with notes of fire pit, freshly peeled tangerine, potpourri, gravel, herb and peat. Pillowy-soft fruit and an olive brine note extend on the finish. The textured mouthfeel only heightens the appeal. Editor’s Choice
Waters 2015 Syrah Washington $32 92 points
The aromas burst with notes of dried orange rind, crushed gravel, dried flower and prosciutto. Textured, sleek fruit and savory flavors follow, with a long, blue fruit-filled finish that kicks it up a notch. Editor’s Choice
Waters 2016 Capella Washington $34 90 points
This wine is a blend 60% Stone Tree Vineyard Cabernet Franc and 40% Canoe Ridge Vineyard Merlot. The aromas suggest notes of fresh raspberry, dried and fresh herb and olive. The palate brings a mouthful of lithe fruit flavors along with a pleasing tannic grip. Blue fruit notes linger on the finish. Put it on the dinner table to see it at its best. Best after 2022. Give it a long decant if drinking in the near term.
Waters 2016 Interlude Washington $25 90 points
Merlot (52%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (39%) make up the majority of this wine, which is finished off with pinches of Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Aromas of cocoa, black cherry and green herb are followed by pitch black, somewhat sleek fruit flavors that retain a sense of balance. It’s a lot of wine for the money. Editor’s Choice
Waters 2016 Stone Tree Vineyard Malbec Wahluke Slope $40 88 points
The aromas are high-toned, with notes of plum, cherry, fruity pebbles and spice. The palate comes off as ripe, with the tannins giving a squeeze. Sugared candy notes persist on the finish.
William Weaver 2018 Tattoo Girl Rosé Columbia Valley $12 90 points
This wine delivers vibrant aromas and flavors of strawberry, kiwi, Skittles candy, guava and citrus. The palate is brightened by lively acidity. It’s a cornucopia of fruit that is captivating. Best Buy
William Weaver 2018 Tattoo Girl Chardonnay Columbia Valley $12 90 points
An early release of this variety aged entirely in stainless steel, this wine offers aromas of melon and baked apple. Well-balanced fruit flavors show on the palate, backed by a tart lick of acidity. Best Buy
William Weaver 2018 Tattoo Girl Riesling Columbia Valley $12 89 points
Bright aromas of lime zest, flower, honeydew and citrus lead to medium-sweet flavors, framed by bright acidity. Pair it with spicy Mexican dishes.
William Weaver NV Tattoo Girl Red Blend Columbia Valley $15 89 points
Aromas of herb, orange peel and plum lead to soft, supple blue-fruit flavors that show a pleasing sense of texture. Light smoky notes linger on the finish.
William Weaver 2016 Tattoo Girl Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley $15 87 points
Aromas of crushed dried herb, tire rubber and purple fruit carry the nose. The palate follows suit, with light fruit flavors melding to create an easygoing package.
Leave A Comment