65+ wines reviewed below, including the latest from:
Among the Giants, Ashlyn, Avennia, Board Track Racer, Brockmeyer, Chouette, Colter’s Creek, DeLille, Echolands, Figgins, Foundation, Goose Ridge, Hoquetus, Lytle-Barnett, Mark Ryan, Seven Hills, Tirriddis, Toil Oregon, Underground Wine Project, and Virtue.
Echolands is producing some of the most exciting wines in Washington. This is a new project from MS/MW Doug Frost and Brad Bergman, two Kansas City residents with a long love of Walla Walla Valley wine. Sadie Drury at North Slope Management grows the grapes, and Taylor Oswald, who cut his teeth at Mark Ryan, Gramercy, and Rôtie, makes the wines.
The Echolands wines bring the sensibility of Frost’s training, with lower alcohol (often sub-14%) and lower new oak (10-20%), as well as Oswald’s exquisite winemaking. They are thrilling, distinctive wines, worth seeking out.
Colter’s Creek is leading the way for winegrowing in Lewis-Clark Valley, Idaho. Mike Pearson manages the vineyard, while Melissa Sanborn makes the wines. The winery’s Syrah and Rhône-style blend reviewed here are among the best wines I’ve had from Idaho. The Rocinante red blend offers consistent, high-quality enjoyment.
Erik Zentler at Foundation Cellars has quietly been making wine since 2012. Zentler was originally inspired by a bottle of Purple Haze from Darby Winery and subsequently began assisting at the winery. He’s been making his wine at Darby ever since.
The Foundation wines show Zentler’s artistic side, both with their names and label designs. They also show impressive winemaking. Foundation has two wines in particular from the Rocks District that are standouts, a Syrah and a Cabernet Sauvignon. The Syrah is an outrageous value. Lovers of Rocks District wines, take note.
I’ve written recently about an increase in sparkling wine production in Washington (see here and here). Tirriddis is a new sparkling producer founded in 2021 by Washington State University graduates Andrew Gerow, Gabriel Crowell, and Matthew Doutney. The winery’s name comes from steps in traditional sparkling wine production – tirage, riddle, and disgorge. The wines are as ambitious as their young creators. They are also very well-priced for their level of quality.
Speaking of sparkling wines, Lytle-Barnett has some noteworthy offerings from Willamette Valley. The wines, made in the traditional method, focus on extended lees contact and bottle aging, providing plentiful autolytic aromas and flavors.
DeLille has been around for more than 30 years. What I remain most impressed by is the winery’s consistency in quality across wines over a long number of years. DeLille’s smaller production offerings, some only available at the winery, also provide a playground for exploration. They can be some of the most exciting wines in the portfolio.
Full reviews below. Look for upcoming feature articles on some of these wineries.
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At Northwest Wine Report, all 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 how to interpret scores. Read definitions of closure type listings. Wineries do not need to be subscribers to receive or use ratings and reviews. To receive a copy of the reviews after they have been published, contact [email protected]. Please allow two weeks for reviews to be sent via email after they have been requested.