Wine Reviews November 30th 2022

80+ wines reviewed below, including the latest from Leonetti, Liminal, Rocky Pond, Airfield, Kiona, Tendril, Lone Birch, Stoller, and more.

At Northwest Wine Reportall scores come from blind tastings in varietal/style sets. Read more about this site’s process for rating and reviewing wines. Read about the Northwest Wine Report rating system and special designations. Read about how to interpret scores.



RED WINES

BORDEAUX-STYLE BLENDS

Leonetti Reserve Walla Walla Valley 2019 $160
94 points, Cellar Stocker

This reserve is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (82%) and Malbec, with fruit coming from estate sites Loess, Holy Roller, Mill Creek Upland, and Serra Pedace. Aged 22 months in French oak, the aromas draw you into the glass, with notes of cocoa, dark raspberry, cedar, scorched earth, and a kiss of orange rind. The flavors are tightly wound and fresh, showing impressive layering and depth. It’s got length for days. As always, it’s much more about the future than the present. Best from 2030 to 2040 with plenty of life beyond that. 14.7% alcohol. 902 cases produced.

Leonetti Serra Pedace Red Wine Walla Walla Valley 2019 $138
94 points, Cellar Stocker

This is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, coming from a terraced estate vineyard in the SeVein project in the southern section of the valley. The aromas are bright and beguiling, with notes of dark cherry, red plum, orange twist, cedar, clove, and crushed rock, showing intricacy and detail. The palate is packed full of layered, opulent fruit flavors and firm, lightly grainy tannins. There’s a whole lot of flavor, but it also has the freshness of the vintage along with sophistication. It’s a knockout and shows the great promise of this site. Best from 2028 to 2040, but it will shine as long as you care to keep it. 14.4% alcohol. 75 cases produced.

Leonetti Loess Red Wine Walla Walla Walla Valley 2019 $138
93 points, Cellar Stocker

This is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. The aromas are brooding, with notes of black cherry, plum, rhubarb, and herb. Soft, structured cherry flavors follow, showing layering and intensity. There’s sneaky structure behind it all. A long finish caps it off. Best after 2030. 14.5% alcohol. 75 cases produced.

Leonetti Cellar Mill Creek Upland Red Wine Walla Walla Valley 2019 $138
93 points, Cellar Stocker

Like most of the other single vineyard wines from the vintage, this is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. The aromas are reserved, with notes of raspberry, barrel spice, dried cherry, anise, and clove. High thread count cherry and spice flavors follow. The brightness of the vintage shines through, putting it all in vivid focus. It needs time to be properly appreciated. Best from 2030 to 2040, with a long drinking window beyond that. 14.5% alcohol. 75 cases produced.

Rocky Pond 11 Dams Double D Vineyard Columbia Valley 2020 $46
91 points, Critic’s Choice

Merlot (54%) takes the lead on this wine, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon (29%), and Malbec. Plum, blue fruit, and dried herb aromas lead to plump, textured, pure, fruit flavors. Orange rind notes provide accents on the finish. The appeal is as much about feel as flavor. 14.9% alcohol. 559 cases produced.

Airfield Red Wine Yakima Valley 2020 $20
90 points, Value Pick

Cabernet Sauvignon makes up 60% of this wine, with the rest Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (12%), and Petit Verdot (3%). The aromas are subdued, with notes of cedar, herb, and cherry. The flavors are reserved and sophisticated. It’s a pretty wine that provides a lot of value. 14.2% alcohol. 1,943 cases produced. Screwcap.

Airfield Dauntless Yakima Valley 2020 $20
89 points

This wine is made in a Right Bank Bordeaux style. Aromas of dark raspberry fruit roll up, woodspice, green herb, and orange zest lead to plump fruit flavors. The tannins give a grip on the finish. Give it time or a short decant. 14.2% alcohol. 1,777 cases produced. Screwcap.


CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Leonetti Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley 2019 $110
93 points, Cellar Stocker

This is 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc, with fruit coming from estate sites Mill Creek Upland, Loess, Serra Pedace, Seven Hills, Holy Roller, and Leonetti Old Block. Aged 22 months in new and used French oak, the aromas bring notes of spice box, anise, woodspice, cassis, and clove. There’s richness, layering, and depth to the fruit flavors. There’s also a lot of structure. Expect it to be near eternal. Best after 2030. 14.5% alcohol. 2,940 cases produced.

Pamplin Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2018 $50
91 points

This is almost all varietal along with a dollop of Petit Verdot (5%), with fruit coming from Scooteney Flats (78%), Seven Hills (14%), and Elephant Mountain. Aged primarily in older French oak (11% new), aromas of soil, dark raspberry, and black cherry lead to wound up black fruit flavors. It’s all about sophistication and finesse, but it ramps up in depth and intensity as it opens. Give it additional time in bottle or decant. 14.2% alcohol. 207 cases produced.

Rocky Pond Cabernet Sauvignon Double D Vineyard Columbia Valley 2020 $75
91 points

The recently approved Rocky Reach appellation in the far northern section of the Columbia Valley provides the fruit for this wine. The aromas bring notes of blueberry, black currant, dried herb, and black pepper. Very primary fruit flavors follow, with lightly grainy tannins backing it up. It brings surprising freshness. 14.8% alcohol. 256 cases produced.

Lone Birch Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley 2020 $13
90 points, Value Pick

One sniff and this is unmistakably Cabernet Sauvignon, with its aromas of black currant, fresh herb, and a whiff of smoke. Plump, fruit-forward flavors follow. Plenty of structure surrounds it all. There’s nothing overly serious here, but looking for that would miss the point. It’s straight up delicious and screams glass pour or early week wind-down wine. 14.1% alcohol. 2,500 cases produced. Screwcap.

Airfield Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley 2020 $20
89 points

Aromas of raspberry and other red fruit are accented by whiffs of tire rubber and herb. There’s plushness to the fruit flavors and also freshness, but it doesn’t entirely stay together throughout. Perhaps some additional time will join all the pieces more fully. 14.2% alcohol. 6,429 cases produced. Screwcap.


MERLOT

Itä Merlot Les Collines Vineyard Walla Walla Valley 2020 $48
93 points, Critic’s Choice

It is not an overstatement to say that there is no one in Washington making Merlot like Kelsey Itämeri. Coming from a vineyard in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, fruit forward, immediately captivating aromas of red berry, brown stem, and flower lead to a plush, vivid, achingly pure palate. The freshness is completely dazzling. 13.5% alcohol. 133 cases produced. Microagglomerative cork. 

Airfield Merlot Yakima Valley 2020 $20
91 points, Value Pick

Washington Merlot is singular and offers unabashed appeal. This is a delicious example. The aromas and flavors are generous, with notes of raspberry, dried herb, and licorice stick. The palate brings texture, tannin, and polish. The fruit is very primary and appealing, with a nice yum factor. 14.4% alcohol. 1,525 cases produced. Screwcap. 

Kiona Heart of the Hill Merlot Red Mountain 2018 $60
90 points

Black fruit aromas are in the lead, followed by notes of licorice, vanilla, and plentiful barrel spices. The flavors are luscious, rich, and creamy, with barrel notes playing the prominent part. Vanilla flavors linger on the finish. 15% alcohol. 275 cases produced.

Dineen Estate Grown & Bottled Merlot Yakima Valley 2020 $37
88 points

100% varietal and aged 16 months in second fill French oak, the aromas offer subdued notes of date, dark fruit, and licorice, seeming unsettled. The flavors are lighter styled, painting around the edges, with bunched up, cinnamony tannins. There’s a freshness that adds to the appeal. 14.3% alcohol.

Amos Rome Estate Reserve Merlot Lake Chelan 2018 $38
87 points

Fruit for this wine comes from blocks 98 and 14 at the winery’s estate vineyard. Aged 36 months in oak, unsettled, muted-seeming aromas of date, smoke, and currant lead to fuller feeling, lightly smoky flavors. There’s good fruit and winemaking, but smoke from the vintage appears to get into the way. 15.3% alcohol. 170 cases produced. TCA-free microagglomerative cork.

Cursive Signature Merlot Wahluke Slope 2020 $16
87 points

The aromas bring notes of tire rubber, black currant, and dried herb. Lighter styled, straightforward fruit flavors follow. It has some tannic heft. Give it some air to blow of the reduction. 14.5% alcohol. 840 cases produced.


OTHER BORDEAUX VARIETIES

Rocky Pond Malbec Double D Vineyard Columbia Valley 2020 $46
91 points, Critic’s Choice

All of the fruit for this wine comes from the nascent Rocky Reach appellation, with this the largest vineyard in the area. The aromas boast notes of orange essence, wild blueberry, and plum, with the palate delivering more of the same. There’s a lovely purity and mouthfeel to it all, along with surprising freshness given the listed alcohol. 15% alcohol. 559 cases produced.

Dineen Estate Grown & Bottled Cabernet Franc Yakima Valley 2020 $37
88 points

The aromas bring notes of green herb, dark fruit, date, smoke, and nori, seeming somewhat muted. Svelte, lightly smoky flavors follow backed by gritty tannins, with the smoke persisting on the finish. It’s clear there’s good fruit here, but the smoke of the vintage gets in the way. 14% alcohol.

Kiona Estate Grown Cabernet Franc Red Mountain 2018 $50
88 points

This was blended with 17% Cabernet Sauvignon. The aromas bring notes of date, menthol, vanilla, and milk chocolate. Fuller feeling chocolatey flavors follow. The oak plays prominently in the show, with the fruit second fiddle. 15.6% alcohol. 408 cases produced.


SYRAH, GRENACHE, AND RHONE-STLYE BLENDS

Liminal High Canyon Series Syrah WeatherEye Vineyard Red Mountain 2020 $85
95 points, Critic’s Choice

Fruit for this wine comes from a canyon high up on Red Mountain. Co-fermented with 3% Viognier and aged in once-fill (40%) and neutral barrels, red and blue fruit aromas are at the fore, followed by notes of lavender and dried herb. Opulent, pure, exquisitely balanced flavors follow, with outrageous texture. A long, long finish follows. It’s shockingly good, pulling no punches with its full-on hedonism. Give it an extended decant. 15.1% alcohol. 122 cases produced.
 
Liminal High Canyon Series Grenache WeatherEye Vineyard Red Mountain 2020 $85
94 points, Critic’s Choice

This vineyard at the top of Red Mountain is quickly distinguishing itself as perhaps the best site for Grenache on the Washington side of the Columbia Valley. This wine only further bolsters that claim. The aromas are subdued initially, with notes of ember, red fruit, dried herb, and Red Vine licorice. The flavors are layered, intense, and palate coating, with a firm squeeze of tannin supporting them. It’s a flat out gorgeous, full-bodied expression of this variety. Decant. 15.1% alcohol. 68 cases produced.

Liminal Block 16 Block Highlight Series WeatherEye Vineyard Syrah Columbia Valley 2020 $70
93, Critic’s Choice

Fruit for this wine comes from the north side of Red Mountain, outside the appellation boundaries. The aromas are dazzlingly pure, with notes of purple fruit, fresh herb, and cedar box. Supremely rich, full-bodied, textured flavors follow. It’s a one wine argument that there’s something special going on at this site. 15.2% alcohol. 90 cases produced. 

Liminal WeatherEye Vineyard Vineyard Series GSM Columbia Valley 2020 $70
91 points

This is a blend of 46% Grenache, 28% Syrah, and 26% Mourvèdre. The aromas are brooding, with notes of plum, smoked meat, spice, and herb. Full bodied, rich, but balanced flavors follow, showing some smoke impact but still delivering a lot of goodness. Drink now. 15.4% alcohol. 187 cases produced.

Rocky Pond Estate Winery Stratastone Red Blend Double D Vineyard Columbia Valley 2020 $46
91 points

Grenache makes up 46% of this wine from the Rocky Reach appellation, with the rest nearly equally split between Syrah and Mourvèdre. Aged 16 months in French oak (30% new), aromas of crushed flower, freshly ground herb, white pepper, and brooding dark fruit lead to soft, supple fruit and savory flavors. It wins on charm, though there’s plenty of substance too. 14.8% alcohol. 436 cases produced.

Airfield Syrah Yakima Valley 2020 $20
90 points, Value Pick

Fruit forward and appealing aromas of blueberry, blackberry, plum, and bramble lead to plush, palate coating, full-bodied blue fruit flavors. It’s got the thick, pleasing mid-palate that is the hallmark of so many Washington wines. More please. 14.6% alcohol. 1,893 cases produced. Screwcap.

Lone Birch Estate Grown Syrah Yakima Valley 2020 $13
88 points, Value Pick

Aromas of dark berry, blueberry, tire rubber, and smoke lead to plump, pleasing flavors. There’s plenty of enjoyment to be had, and the price is right. Give it a quick decant. 14.3% alcohol. 1,351 cases produced. Screwcap.

Airfield Mustang Red Wine Yakima Valley 2019 $32
88 points

This is a blend of 60% Syrah, 29% Grenache, and 11% Mourvèdre. Aromas of raspberry gummy, cranberry, and dried herb lead to linear, center-focused flavors with a lightly creamy feel. The vintage’s prettiness is on display. 14.5% alcohol. 341 cases produced. Screwcap. 

Cooper Ridge Syrah Umpqua Valley 2015 $38
88 points

This wine was aged in oak for two years prior to bottling. The aromas offer notes of dark berry, vanilla and other barrel spices, along with licorice. Full-bodied flavors follow, mixing fruit and barrel. Vanilla notes linger on the reserved finish. The oak gets in front of the fruit. 13.9% alcohol. 225 cases produced.

Troon Vineyard Biodynamic Wine Syrah Applegate Valley 2020 $40
88 points

The aromas bring notes of vanilla bean, cigar box, campfire, and whiffs of medicine. The palate is subdued and reserved, with plentiful red fruit flavors. There appears to be significant smoke impact, but there’s still enjoyment to be had. It’s also clear the underlying fruit is high quality. 13.9% alcohol. 250 cases produced. TCA-free microagglomerative cork.


PINOT NOIR

Stoller Estate Grown Reserve Pinot Noir Dundee Hills 2019 $50
92 points, Critic’s Choice

The aromas immediately capture attention, with notes of steeped black tea, flower, citrus, and dark fruit. The palate reveals full feeling, joyful red and darker fruit flavors. It’s completely captivating, with freshness and intensity in equal proportions, along with directness and most of all balance. 13.9% alcohol. 3,400 cases produced. TCA-free microagglomerative cork.

Tendril Single Varietal Extrovert Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2018 $58
92 points, Critic’s Choice

2018 was a generous, giving vintage in Willamette Valley. We see that here. The aromas charm, with notes of thistle, cherry, graphite, and dried orange rind. A full-flavored palate follows, with juicy, rich, but balanced flavors. There’s lovely intensity and layering. Black tea notes linger on the finish. 14.1% alcohol. 230 cases produced. TCA-free microagglomerative cork.

Stoller Pinot Noir Dundee Hills 2021 $35
91 points, Critic’s Choice

This young wine leads with aromas of dried rose petal, along with potpourri, tea leaves, and plum. The palate is straight down the fairway and pleasing, with plush black tea and red fruit flavors. Orange rind notes linger on the finish. Decant. 13.5% alcohol. 13,430 cases produced. Screwcap.

Angela Pinot Noir Yamhill-Carlton 2018 $38
90 points

Fruit for this wine comes from regeneratively farmed vineyards fermented with native yeast. Aged 11 months in older French oak barrels, the aromas bring notes of forest floor, plum, pepper, orange twist, and dark raspberry. Juicy, bright flavors follow, showing delicacy and balance. It hangs on the finish. 13.0% alcohol. 2,762 cases produced. TCA-free microagglomerative cork.

Stoller Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2021 $25
90 points, Critic’s Choice

This wine is still settling into bottle, showing some carbonic-like notes, along with flower, plum, and whiffs of stem. Medium-bodied, juicy flavors follow. A light grip of cinnamony tannins ties it all together. There’s value to be had. Give it additional time in bottle or decant. 13.5% alcohol. 9,160 cases produced. Screwcap.

Chateau Bianca Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2021 $20
89 points, Value Pick

This early release red is still stretching its legs. Aromas of evergreen, satsuma, and red fruit are followed by flavors on the lighter side of medium bodied. There’s a pleasing delicacy and juiciness. 13% alcohol. 2,000 cases produced. TCA-free microagglomerative cork.

Child’s Play Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2021 $32
89 points

This young wine shows some reductive aromas out of the gate. Behind that are notes of plum and barrel spice. Full-bodied mocha and plum flavors follow. The oak plays somewhat too prominently at present. Perhaps some additional time in bottle will pull it better into balance. 14.0% alcohol. 1,000 cases produced. TCA-free microagglomerative cork.

Tendril Single Varietal TightRope Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2017 $75
89 points

The aromas are subdued, showing notes of chocolate nib, mocha, tomato leaf, and dark berry. Dried cranberry and dried cherry flavors follow. Menthol notes linger on the finish. There are interesting pieces, though it seems somewhat evolved for its age. 14.2% alcohol. 150 cases produced. TCA-free microagglomerative cork.

Chehalem Pinot Noir Chehalem Mountains 2021 $30
88 points

Aromas of cranberry, berry, fresh herb, and mocha lead to scrunched up tasting red and darker fruit flavors. It still seems to be settling in. 13.5% alcohol. 12,400 cases produced. Screwcap.

Melrose Vineyards Parker’s Pinot Noir Umpqua Valley 2021 $17
88 points, Value Pick

The aromas offer subdued notes of dark plum along with cinnamon and other spices. Broad feeling, lightly sweet seeming flavors follow. It offers value and enjoyment. 13.0% alcohol. 1,200 cases produced. Screwcap.

Angela Pinot Noir Yamhill-Carlton 2019 $38
87 points

This wine starts out reduced, with aromas of nori and tire rubber. Beyond that are cola and raspberry. The flavors are light, showing creamy oak influence. 13% alcohol. 2,762 cases produced. TCA-free microagglomerative cork.

J. Scott Cellars Pinot Noir Oregon 2018 $30
87 points

Bright aromas of dried satsuma, woodspice, and red fruit lead to creamy but still delicate seeming fruit and barrel flavors. Barrel notes dominate on the (quite) warm finish. The wood gets a bit too far out front of the fruit. 14.6% alcohol. 500 cases produced. TCA-free microagglomerative cork.


RED BLENDS

Leonetti Holy Roller Red Wine Walla Walla Valley 2019 $138
93 points, Cellar Stocker

Cabernet Sauvignon makes up 92% of this Rocks District wine, with the rest 8% Sangiovese. The aromas offer notes of dark cherry, cedar, barrel spice, and earth. Sumptuous, velvety-soft dark cherry and sanguine flavors follow. The finish carries. There’s impressive tannic structure and freshness for this region. There’s also a seriousness about it that captivates. Enjoy after 2028. 14.3% alcohol. 75 cases produced.

Airfield Vineyard Salute Bombshell Red Yakima Valley 2020 $20
90 points, Value Pick

This is 46% Merlot, 25% Syrah, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 8% Malbec. Appealing aromas of black currant, blackberry, herb, and sagebrush lead to medium-bodied dark fruit flavors with cranberry accents. Lightly grainy tannins back it all up. There’s a pleasing plushness to it all. 14.3% alcohol. 730 cases produced. Screwcap.

Kiona Estate Grown Ranch Vineyard Series Ranch at the End of the Road Red Mountain 2018 $85
90 points

Cabernet Sauvignon makes up almost the entirety of this wine, with the rest comprised of bits of Petit Verdot (5%) and Zinfandel. The aromas open with notes of blueberry, fresh herb, raspberry, and spice. Vivid fruit and barrel flavors follow, with firm tannins backing it up. Cocoa notes linger on the finish. 15.5% alcohol. 261 cases produced.

Airfield Spitfire Yakima Valley 2020 $32
88 points

A blend of 60% Sangiovese and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, aromas of coffee, cherry, green herb, licorice, and oak spices lead to light, slightly creamy-feeling milk chocolate flavors. 14.1% alcohol. 323 cases produced. Screwcap.

Airfield Hellcat Red Wine Yakima Valley 2020 $32
88 points

Aromas of Dimetapp, cherry, and herb are followed by soft, plump fruit flavors. The flavors are pleasing but need more structure to fully stand them up. 14.6% alcohol. 368 cases produced. Screwcap.

Dineen Estate Grown & Bottled Vintner’s Blend Red Wine Yakima Valley 2020 $25
88 points

The aromas bring a Yakima Valley-centric profile of orange rind, herb, nori, and fresh fruit. The palate is light, fresh, and slightly tacky in feel. There are interesting pieces. Perhaps time will bring them together into a whole? 14.1% alcohol.

Kiona Estate Grown Reserve Red Mountain 2018 $65
88 points

This is a blend of principally Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Merlot (14%), and Petit Verdot (5%), with the rest comprised of bits of Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec. With most of the fruit coming from Heart of the Hill and the rest Sunset Bench and Kiona vineyards, fruit and barrel play off each other on the aromas, with notes of vanilla prominent, along with blackberry and date. Creamy feeling flavors follow. The oak steals the show, though there is still plenty of enjoyment to be had. 15% alcohol. 135 cases produced.

Lone Birch Estate Grown Red Wine Blend Yakima Valley 2020 $13
88 points, Value Pick

Herb aromas are out front, followed by notes of cherry and anise. Middle-focused black currant flavors follow, tapering toward the finish. It provides good value. 14.1% alcohol. 2,112 cases produced. Screwcap.


OTHER RED VARIETIES

Leonetti Sangiovese Walla Walla Valley 2019 $80
94 points, Cellar Stocker

One sniff and it’s clear this is a high quality offering, with its aromas of scorched earth, black and red cherry, dried herb, and anise that are locked up but still provide appeal. The palate is tightly wound and highly structured, with dark fruit flavors supported by a firm grip of tannins. Bright acidity keeps it all in the focus. The stuffing is all there, but it needs time to expand to be fully appreciated. The rewards will be there waiting. Best from 2027 to 2038. 14.3% alcohol. 908 cases produced.
 
J. Scott Cellars Petite Sirah Rogue Valley 2018 $NA
88 points

The aromas bring notes of medicine, leather, dark fruit, and herb, not fully in harmony and seeming to show some evolution. Full bodied flavors follow, delivering the punch of dark fruit this variety is known for. 14% alcohol. TCA-free microagglomerative cork.
 
Troon Vineyard Biodynamic Wine Estate Vineyard Tannat Applegate Valley 2020 $50
86 points

The aromas are subdued, with notes of ember, campfire, cedar, and pipe tobacco. Dark fruit and smoke flavors are up front, with a gritty feel to the palate. Smoke notes linger on the finish. There’s good fruit here, but unfortunately the smoke of the vintage appears to have had a significant impact. 13.7% alcohol. 275 cases produced. TCA-free microagglomerative cork.

Kiona Carménère Heart of the Hill Red Mountain 2018 $65
88 points

The aromas show some evolution, with notes of date prominent, along with green herb, vanilla, barrel spice, and licorice. Ripe but lighter-feeling, barrel-focused flavors follow, with vanilla and coconut notes lingering on the finish. The variety gets lost in the style. 15% alcohol. 196 cases produced.


WHITE WINES

CHARDONNAY

Stoller Reserve Estate Grown Chardonnay Dundee Hills 2020 $40
91 points

Fruit for this wine was barrel fermented with indigenous yeast. The aromas offer notes of crayon, peach, apricot, and fresh herb, along with a whiff of tropical fruit. Pineapple and stone fruit flavors follow. The acid gives it verve. 13.5% alcohol. 532 cases produced. TCA-free microagglomerative cork.

Tendril Single Varietal Enchanter Chardonnay Willamette Valley 2018 $50
91 points

Aromas of vanilla bean, lemon balm, fresh herb, and dried thyme lead to creamy feeling fruit and candle wax flavors. There’s richness but also balance and length. It delights. 13.5% alcohol. 175 cases produced. TCA-free microagglomerative cork.

Child’s Play Chardonnay Willamette Valley 2021 $32
90 points

Barrel-fermented and released after three years of aging, the aromas bring notes of clarified butter, herb, and spice. Textural cardamom, pumpkin spice, and stone fruit flavors follow. It lingers on the finish. 13.5% alcohol. 400 cases produced.

Airfield Unoaked Chardonnay Yakima Valley 2021 $20
88 points

Pleasing aromas of melon, cut yellow apple, and herb lead to medium-bodied, bright citrus and apple flavors. There’s a pleasing lick of acid on the finish that ties it all together. It’s a very enjoyable unoaked offering of the variety. 13.2% alcohol. 561 cases produced. Screwcap.

Headturner Chardonnay Horse Heaven Hills 2021 $25
87 points

Malolactic aromas are up front, with notes of fresh cream dominant. Over time, stone fruit emerges as well. They lead to full-bodied peach and malolactic flavors. The style gets too far in front of the substance. 14.9% alcohol. 1,062 cases produced.

J. Scott Cellars Le Chavalier Chardonnay Oregon 2019 $28
87 points

Malolactic aromas are out front, with woody notes behind that. Medium-plus bodied, creamy-feeling flavors follow. Lees notes linger on the finish. It’s very style-driven. 13% alcohol. 175 cases produced.

Melrose Estate Grown Chardonnay Umpqua Valley 2019 $25
87 points

Aromas of canned pineapple, peach, and a whiff of smoke lead to straight down the fairway, fruit-forward flavors. It’s a straight-forward quaffer. 13% alcohol. 550 cases produced. Screwcap.

Airfield Chardonnay Yakima Valley 2021 $17
86 points

The aromas offer notes of squash, spice, and pumpkin. Medium-bodied, somewhat non-descript-seeming flavors follow. A medicinal note pops up on the finish. 13.4% alcohol. 1,500 cases produced. Screwcap.

Angela Chardonnay Willamette Valley 2020 $38
86 points

Aromas of burnt popcorn lead to medium bodied flavors. Citrus and cinnamon notes run throughout. Give it time in bottle or an extended decant in hopes the oak influence becomes secondary. Tasted twice with consistent notes. 13% alcohol. 407 cases produced. TCA-free microagglomerative cork.


PINOT GRIS/GRIGIO

Chateau Bianca Pinot Gris Van Duzer Corridor 2021 $16
88 points

One sniff and the varietal immediately announces itself, with notes of cut apple and pear, along with kiwi and other tropical fruits. The palate is medium-plus bodied, with a lightly viscous feel. It drinks off-dry, and needs more acid to fully pull the sugar off, but for those looking for that style, it delivers plenty of enjoyment. 13% alcohol. Microagglomerative cork. 

Airfield Pinot Gris Yakima Valley 2021 $20
86 points

Kiwi and canned pineapple aromas lead to bone dry drinking, neutral seeming flavors. Kiwi notes are threaded throughout. It’s pleasant if a bit innocuous. 13.2% alcohol. 612 cases produced. Screwcap.

Cursive Pinot Grigio Columbia Valley 2020 $NA
86 points

This is an aromatic wine, with notes of lime, cut apple, peach, and a good whiff of smoke. Light, bright fruit flavors follow, with mesquite notes throughout, particularly on the finish. 12.5% alcohol. 3,528 cases produced. Screwcap.
 
Lone Birch Estate Grown Pinot Gris Yakima Valley 2021 $12
86 points

Freshly scooped cantaloupe aromas leap out of the glass. They are followed by medium-bodied kiwi and melon flavors. It’s a straight-down-the-fairway easy drinker. 13.2% alcohol. 4,499 cases produced. Screwcap.


RIESLING

Airfield Riesling Yakima Valley 2021 $18
89 points

Jasmine, iced tea, peach, and apricot aromas lead to medium-sweet stone fruit flavors. There’s more than enough acid to keep it all in focus. 9.0% alcohol. Screwcap.
 
Lone Birch Estate Grown Riesling Yakima Valley 2021 $12
88 points, Value Pick

Citrus blossom, peach, and apricot aromas are followed by medium-sweet stone fruit and Lipton Iced Tea flavors. It’s a straight-up crowd pleaser and also provides good value. 12.4% alcohol. 596 cases produced. Screwcap.

Cursive Riesling Columbia Valley 2021 $10
87 points, Value Pick

The aromas are pleasing, with notes of apricot, white flower, and jasmine. The palate is dry and medium-bodied. The stone fruit flavors lose some of their concentration in the middle, but there’s still plenty of enjoyment and value to be had. 12.5% alcohol. 528 cases produced. Screwcap.

Dineen Estate Grown & Bottled Riesling Yakima Valley 2021 $22
87 points

Aromas of sweet lime, crushed flower, tin, and lemon iced tea lead to off-dry drinking flavors. It needs more acid or concentration to fully pull off the style. 13.2% alcohol. Screwcap.

Chateau Bianca Riesling Van Duzer Corridor Willamette Valley 2020 $16
86 points

The aromas bring notes of fresh herb, mint, lime, and diesel. Off-dry flavors follow, breaking up in the middle, needing more acidity to tie it all together. There’s an off note on the finish that pulls it down. 11.5% alcohol. 168 cases produced. TCA-free microagglomerative cork.


OTHER WHITES

Stoller Estate White Pinot Noir Dundee Hills 2020 $40
91 points, Critic’s Choice

Grapes for this wine were whole cluster pressed, given limited skin contact, then aged in neutral French oak. The aromas are pleasing, with notes of pear and apple. Medium-plus bodied, creamy feeling flavors follow. An uptick of lemony acidity on the finish ties it all together. it’s delicious. 12.8% alcohol. 693 cases produced. TCA-free microagglomerative cork.
 
Airfield Moscato Yakima Valley 2021 $18
88 points

One sniff and the variety is unmistakable, with vivid notes of lychee, tangerine rind, ripe peach, and lime pith showing the appeal this variety brings. Off-dry drinking Nestea Iced Tea flavors follow. It’s straight up enjoyment. 9% alcohol. 336 cases produced. Screwcap.
 
Airfield Sauvignon Blanc Yakima Valley 2021 $17 
88 points
Bright aromas of melon, flower, lemon balm, and white grapefruit peel lead to lighter-styled kiwi, pineapple and citrus flavors. Tart lemon notes carry the finish. It’s more accent than main event, with the concentration light through the middle. Still, there’s still plenty of enjoyment to be had. Pair it with halibut ceviche and diced mango. 12.7% alcohol. 6,117 cases produced. Screwcap.

Airfield Sangiovese Rosé Yakima Valley 2021 $18
87 points

Pale peach colored, the aromas suggest notes of rose petal, herb, and strawberry. Full-bodied, off-dry drinking flavors follow. The fruit flavors are pleasing, but it gets bogged down by the sugar. 12.9% alcohol. 2,109 cases produced. Screwcap.

Airfield Lightning Yakima Valley 2021 $25
87 points

A blend of 57% Viognier and 43% Chardonnay, the aromas bring notes of apricot, peach gummy, pear, cantaloupe, and medicine. The stone fruit flavors are fuller feeling but still deft. A distracting medicinal note emerges on the finish. 13.3% alcohol. 244 cases produced. TCA-free microagglomerative closure.

Airfield Vineyard Salute Flygirl White Yakima Valley 2021 $18
87 points

Pinot Gris makes up 54% of this wine, with the rest Viognier (26%) and Chardonnay. Bright aromas of cantaloupe and melon are followed by medium-plus bodied stone and tropical fruit flavors. Kiwi notes linger on the finish. There’s pleasing balance to the feel, but the flavors don’t all seem in harmony. 13.2% alcohol. Screwcap.

Airfield Viognier Yakima Valley 2021 $18
87 points

Aromas of lime, melon, and herb lead to bone dry drinking, medium-bodied flavors. The variety is hard to find. 13.5% alcohol. 1,238 cases produced. Screwcap.

Cooper Ridge Estate Grown Ridgeview Cuvée White Wine Blend Umpqua Valley 2021 $28
87 points

Riesling makes up just over half of this wine, with the rest Gruner Veltliner (31%) and Viognier (15%). The aromas are quite subdued, with notes of flower, orange rind, and herb. Center-focused peach flavors follow, with apricot notes on the finish. 13.1% alcohol. 175 cases produced. Screwcap.

J. Scott Cellars Viognier Oregon 2021 $25
87 points

The aromas offer notes of apricot, canned peach, and tangerine peel. The palate is medium-bodied and viscous, almost thick in feel. It stretches its legs with some time open. 13.5% alcohol. 180 cases produced. Screwcap.

Kiona Sage Advice Red Mountain 2021 $32
87 points

This is a blend of Roussanne (58%), Viognier (21%), and Chenin Blanc. The aromas bring notes of vanilla, clarified butter, and spice. Fuller bodied, creamy feeling flavors follow. A bitter note lingers on the finish, with the alcohol poking through and causing distraction. 14.2% alcohol. 135 cases produced. Microagglomerative cork.

J. Scott Cellars Albariño Washington 2020 $24
85 points

The aromas show notes of cut, slightly overripe apple, wilted flower, and dehydrated fruit. Full-bodied flavors follow, finishing warm. Rose petal notes linger on the finish. The warmth of the vintage seems to have carried it a bit too far. 14.4% alcohol. 400 cases produced. Screwcap.

Sean P. Sullivan

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comment will be published after it has been moderated.

Instagram