White wine grapes at Antione Creek Vineyard. Image by Richard Duval.

60+ wines reviewed below and in the database, including the latest from Amos RomeBaer, Beckstone, Cedergreen, Columbia Crest, Dahlman, Devison, Fortuity, Gargantua, Goose Ridge, Gramercy, Itä, Naches Heights, Owen Roe, and Résonance.

The most exciting trend in Washington wine in recent years has been the increase in quality of white wines made by smaller producers. Historically, white wine production in Washington has mostly been the purview of larger wineries. Many small wineries have, at best, produced a single white wine which has often been made by others. Now, an increasing number of wineries are taking whites seriously. The results are changing the perception of what Washington wine is and could be.

“In the last 20 years, we’re watching this slow growth in many white varieties where terroir, tension, and texture are beating out cookie cutter winemaking,” says Peter Devison of Devison Vintners. “That’s pushing the bar for Washington white winemaking.”

Devison has always shown a deft touch with white wines in general and Sauvignon Blanc in particular. Devison’s new Sauvignon Blanc and rosé, reviewed below, are both the winery’s best to date.

“15 years ago [for white wines], you picked the fruit, went straight to press, and into stainless steel,” Devison says. “Now people are working with concrete, amphora, demi-muid versus puncheon, neutral versus new [oak]. People are using skin contact.”

Goose Ridge is among the Washington wineries upping its white wine game. The winery’s new whites from the Goose Gap appellation are thrillers. (Read about Goose Gap here.)

“The white wines that we make, they always manage to have so much freshness,” says Goose Ridge head winemaker Andrew Wilson. “There’s this inherent lift that cuts across varieties.”

Like many, Wilson has been adjusting his white winemaking practices. “We’ve been doing more and more skin maceration every year on our whites,” he says. “We’re able to push phenolic development and have it be one of the ways to build mouthfeel, body, and intensity.”

Amos Rome is another winery excelling with whites. I wrote last year that Amos Rome is setting the bar for white wines in the Lake Chelan appellation. I think at the time I sold the winery short. As the wines below show, Amos Rome is making some of the best white wines coming out of Washington period. Also in the new reviews, itä offers a compelling Sémillon from Walla Walla Valley, an appellation long dominated by red wine production. (Read a feature article on itä.)

Overall, the landscape for white wines in Washington is changing. “We’re really starting to play with shaping flavors because we have the palette in Washington that gives us the artistic ability to create wines that compete worldwide,” Devison says

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

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