Photo copyright Suzi Pratt.

Taste Washington, the nation’s largest, single region tasting event, is coming March 14th through 24th. Taste Washington is the event to attend if you are interested in or love Washington wine.

Across the event, there are seminars (which I have helped the Washington State Wine Commission organize these since 2013), dinners, a brunch, and other events. Taste Washington culminates with the Grand Tasting March 16th and 17th. It will feature 200 Washington wineries and 75 local restaurants.

Below, I select 20 wines to see out at the Grand Tasting. These are based on my recent tastings. Almost all of the wines are in my review database or have been recently tasted. I have starred wineries that are new(ish) for those interested.

Note that, in some cases, wineries did not provide information about the specific vintage they will be pouring. I have made my best guess based on my tastings.

For those attending, remember, Taste Washington is a tasting event. It is not a drinking event. For maximum enjoyment, use the spit and dump buckets liberally. I also strongly recommend taking public transportation or rideshare services to the event, as alcohol accumulates even when spitting.

Enjoy and be safe!

Amavi 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley
Amavi has made a well-earned name for itself by offering high quality, well-priced Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Sémillon from Walla Walla Valley. The winery’s 2020 Cabernet is a beauty.

Amos Rome 2022 Diounne’s Vineyard Chenin Blanc Lake Chelan*
Amos Rome is one of the wineries pioneering grape growing in the Lake Chelan region. The winery produced a thrilling set of 2022 vintage white wines. This delicious Chenin Blanc is one of them.

Avennia 2021 Gravura Columbia Valley
Avennia consistently produces exceptional quality wines across its entire portfolio. The winery’s 2021 Gravura, a Bordeaux-style blend, is both outrageously delicious and well-priced.

Baer 2019 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Ursa Columbia Valley
The Baer Ursa has long been a benchmark Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend in Washington. The 2019 offering is stunning.

Bear Barton 2022 Allure The Highest Rosé Washington*
Bear Barton’s estate vineyard comes from one of the highest vineyards in Washington, located nearly 3,000-feet above sea level. This wine is a blend of Gruner Veltliner, Zweigelt, and Agria. Need I say more?

Cairdeas 2021 Caisléan an Pápa Yakima Valley
Lake Chelan-based Cairdeas focuses on Rhône varieties. The Caisléan an Pápa – Irish for ‘The Pope’s Castle’ – is the winery’s tribute to the wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It’s absurdly good.

Covington 2021 May’s Discovery Vineyard Lawson Red Wine Horse Heaven Hills
Covington makes a lot of exceptional wine. This Bordeaux-style blend from Discovery Vineyard consistently stands out in the lineup.

Devison 2022 Evergreen Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley
Devison makes a style of Sauvignon Blanc unseen elsewhere in the state. It balances tart, livewire acidity with depth and breadth of flavor. It is the best Sauvignon Blanc in Washington.

Devium 2021 WeatherEye Red Wine Columbia Valley
A winemaker said to me recently. “I push the limits on my winemaking. I mean, I don’t push it as far as Devium does.” Yes, Keith Johnson’s wines at Devium are all about pushing boundaries. Here he works with fruit from one of Washington’s very best vineyards on this blend of Mourvèdre (63%) and Graciano.

Foolhardy 2022 Evergreen Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Ancient Lakes*
Foolhardy is pouring different wines on Saturday and Sunday of the grand tasting. All the wines in the portfolio are worth seeking out. The winery is pouring this delicious, acid-driven Sauvignon Blanc both days.

Gramercy 2020 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley
Gramercy is best known, and deservedly so, for its Syrah. However, the winery also makes expressive Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2020 Reserve is one of the best Cabernets the winery has made to date.

itä 2023 Les Collines Vineyard Carbonic Zinfandel Walla Walla Valley*
Itä is making a fascinating collection of wines, focusing on vineyards in the foothills of Walla Walla Valley’s Blue Mountains. This wine, carbonic macerated Zinfandel, is on the cutting-edge. It’s captivatingly delicious, piercingly fresh, and focused. There’s not another wine quite like it in the state.

Massalto 2022 Extravaganza Carbonic Cinsault Royal Slope*
Here’s a grape you rarely see varietally labeled in Washington. It’s also made in a style that some winemakers play with, but few fully commit to. The results here are insanely delicious.

Matthews 2021 Cuvée Columbia Valley
There was a lot of media buzz when Matthews hired its new winemaking team. This wine, and others from the 2021 vintage which are the first reds from the new team, show what all of the fuss was about.

Prospice 2020 Phinny Hill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills
Phinny Hill has distinguished itself as a special site for Cabernet Sauvignon in Washington. Here, Walla Walla Valley’s Prospice gives a terrific example of what makes this vineyard so unique.

Quiddity 2019 Ubuntu Grenache Rattlesnake Hills*
Woodinville’s Quiddity is making a name for itself offering exquisitely pure Rhône varieties and blends as well as select other wines. All of the wines feature vivid fruit and impeccable winemaking.

RR Poet 2019 Pinebreak Vineyard Allusion Rattlesnake Hills*
RR Poet is a new winery focusing on estate wines from Pinebreak Vineyard. Billo Naravane (Rasa) is in charge of the winemaking. The winery’s inaugural 2019 wines are head turners.

Sagemoor 2021 Weinbau Vineyard Codebreaker Grenache Syrah Mourvèdre Wahluke Slope 2021
We don’t see a lot of GSM-style blends coming from the Wahluke Slope. Wines like this make one wonder why. It’s straight up delicious.

Syncline 2022 Boushey Vineyard Picpoul Yakima Valley
The Syncline Picpoul is consistently one of Washington’s most compelling white wines. The 2022 vintage wine is one of the best examples that the winery has made to date.

Trothe 2019 Andrews Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills*
Trothe is a new, top-end project looking to elevate the Horse Heaven Hills in the eyes of wine lovers. With wines like this, they will surely succeed. NB: If interested, try this wine early as it is likely to pour out.

NB: This article has been updated to correct the date of the grand tasting.

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