70+ wines reviewed below and in the database, including the latest from Aquilini, Argyle, Cadence, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen, Chehalem, Chemistry, Eight Bells, Grosgrain, King Estate, L’Ecole No. 41, Mercer, Neher, Pamplin, Prospice, Pursued by Bear, Rocky Pond, Rush Lattin, Sokol Blosser, Stoller, and Sweet Cheeks.

One of the joys of visiting Walla Walla Valley is the mix of newer wineries and established ones making wine at a high level. We see that in the reviews below.

In the established category, L’Ecole No. 41 offers an exceptionally strong set of new red wines. L’Ecole overhauled its winemaking team at the end of 2019, bringing in Marcus Rafanelli as winemaker.

Rafanelli had previously been an instructor at College Cellars at Walla Walla Community College and prior to that was winemaker at Woodinville’s William Church. (Full disclosure: I am an adjunct instructor at Walla Walla Community College.) L’Ecole has been making wine at a high level for a long time. Rafanelli has moved the L’Ecole wines up a notch.

In the newer winery category are two of note below. The first is Prospice. I wrote a feature article about Prospice last year. From the winery’s inception, the Prospice wines have been very high quality. One of the things that impresses most about Prospice is the white wines are of equal quality to the reds. This has historically been rare for young wineries. The wines below show that Prospice continues to excel.

Another outstanding young winery is Grosgrain. Winemaker Matt Austin focuses on “underdog” varieties. (Pet Nat Lemberger anyone?) Grosgrain also makes more traditional varieties, such as Grenache, in a lighter, less extracted style. Grosgrain very much marches to its own drum, and the winery has added another shimmering facet to the diversity of Washington wine.

Reviews below.

* * *

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. See the Northwest Wine Report rating system and special designations. Read about how to interpret scores. See a list of recently reviewed producers.

Note that access to reviews and ratings at Northwest Wine Report requires a subscription. Wineries submitting wines are under no obligation whatsoever to subscribe and can receive reviews freely after they have been published by contacting [email protected].

Please login below to see full content or Subscribe Now to get immediate, full access to our ratings and reviews, review database, featured articles, and other subscriber-only content.


Northwest Wine Report is wholly subscriber funded and is my primary source of income. Please subscribe to support continued independent content and reviews on this site. It is the only way that the site will be able to continue. To people who have subscribed already, thank you! I ask for your continued support.

To receive articles via email, click here.