Nine Of Our Favorite Washington Wines

wine-web1. Cayuse Vineyards, God Only Knows, Grenache Armada Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley, 2009
This is an aromatically arresting wine with umami and prominent floral notes, alongside peat, olive brine, and sea salt. It’s soft and seductive, offering abundant savory flavors and a long, lingering finish. cayusevineyards.com/static

2. Force Majeure Collaboration Series VI, Red Wine Ciel du, Cheval Vineyard Red Mountain, 2010
Force Majeure—a French term for an act of god or a “superior force”—pairs some of the state’s top winemakers with fruit from Ciel du Cheval Vineyard, one of our state’s viticultural crown jewels. Here Syncline Cellars winemaker James Mantone blends mourvèdre and syrah with a pinch of grenache. synclinewine.com

3. Figgins Estate, Red Wine, Walla Walla Valley, 2010
This Bordeaux-style blend hails from a single vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley. This is one for the cellar. Give it at least two years or decant. figginsfamily.com

4. Rasa Vineyards QED Red Wine Columbia Valley, 2010
This blend of syrah, mourvèdre, grenache, and viognier is an aromatic tour de force with barrel spices, smoked meat, huckleberries, and black pepper. It’s lush in feel, and its concentrated flavors display depth and intensity. rasavineyards.com

5. Soos Creek Artist Series No. 10 Red Blend, Columbia Valley, 2010
A blend of cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot coming from some of Washington’s top vineyard sites, the 2010 Artist Series No. 10 Red Blend shows cabernet franc’s intoxicating floral side and is packed to the brim with herbs and dark fruit while still showing exceptional restraint. sooscreekwine.com

6. Reynvaan Family Vineyards, Stonessence Estate Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, 2010
Stonessence has an abundance of aromatics including black fruits, Asian spices, smoked meats, sandalwood, with hints of violets and marshmallow. Stonessence has a long mouth feel of green olive and crushed pepper, which coat the palate. The 2010 Stonessence syrah takes the winery to a new level. reynvaanfamilyvineyards.com

7. Cayuse Vineyards, Syrah Cailloux, Walla Walla Valley, 2010
This is another classic from Cayuse Vineyards, whose distinctive terroir always shows off syrah’s savory side with rich, earth-laden aromas and flavors now universally referred to as the “Cayuse funk.” It’s sublime with floral notes, olive, earth, and umami. The palate is soft and elegant while retaining exquisite concentration and depth. cayusevineyards.com

8. Maison Bleue Le Midi Grenache, Boushey Vineyard, Yakima Valley, 2010
Jon Meuret left behind a promising career as a dentist in Kansas City to come to Washington to make Rhone-style wines. Hailing from a vineyard long known for its syrah, his 2010 Le Midi Grenache is a head turner with aromas of black and red raspberries, white pepper, herbs, anise, and mineral. The intensity of fruit flavors is simply breathtaking. mbwinery.com

9. Dunham Cellars Late Harvest Riesling, Lewis Estate Vineyard, Columbia Valley 2011
Coming in at a mighty 26.7 percent residual sugar, this dessert-style riesling, made with grapes from a single vineyard, is supremely rich and decadent with notes of marmalade, honeysuckle, and petrol. dunhamcellars.com

LEAH GROUT