Jeffrey Dorgan
WINE
DIRECTOR, WILLOWS LODGE AND BARKING FROG
With a self-deprecating humor that’s as sharp as his palate, Jeffrey Dorgan is the antithesis of the so-called wine snob. In 2006 he opened Smash Wine Bar and Bistro in Wallingford but has since sold his share and now runs the wine program at the Willows Lodge and Barking Frog. Dorgan was named 2009 Sommelier of the Year by the Washington Wine Commission. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.


WHITE
2008 Airfield Estates Unoaked Chardonnay, $12

Yakima Valley, Washington
This is a chardonnay in its truest form, without the manipulation of oak. It is light bodied with great acids, and has flavors of lemon and grapefruit plus a little peach on the finish.

2008 Efesté Feral, $18
Columbia Valley, Washington
Fermented with native yeasts in neutral oak barrels, Efesté’s sauvignon blanc is very Old World in style with lots of minerality and notes of flint and grapefruit.

2008 Syncline Grüner Veltliner, $20
Columbia Gorge, Washington
This unusual white varietal from the cool climate of the Underwood Mountain Vineyards in the Columbia Gorge has flavors of lemon, pineapple, honeydew melon, and white pepper, and brilliant acids.

2008 Stevens Winery Divio Viognier, $21
Yakima Valley, Washington
From the Dineen Vineyard in the town of Zillah, Stevens’s viognier is lower in alcohol than most with no residual sugar. It tastes of dried apricot and has a honeyed nose.

ROSÉ
2008 Wineglass Cellars Fran’s Wine Sangiovese Rosé, $12
Yakima Valley, Washington
Fran’s is a light, clean sipping rosé at an excellent value. It has cherry notes and a little spice, with the great acids typical to the varietal.

RED
2007 Des Voigne Cellars San Remo Sangiovese, $26

Red Mountain, Washington
I love sangiovese from Washington and this one, from the Ciel du Cheval Vineyard, in particular. With notes of red cherries, strawberries, and spices, it pairs with lots of different foods but is equally great on its own.

2006 Alexandria Nicole Cabernet Sauvignon Alderdale, $32
Horse Heaven Hills, Washington
You would never know this wine from the Destiny Ridge Vineyards in Horse Heaven Hills was aged for 20 months in 90 percent new French oak, because its structure, depth, and fruit stand up so well. With dark fruit, ripe berries, rosemary, vanilla, cigar box, and spice, it is a very complex wine for the price.

2006 DeLille Cellars Doyenne Aix, $34
Red Mountain, Washington
A rich, velvety, and well-structured syrah–cabernet sauvignon blend that boasts bright loganberry and orange blossom notes.

2005 Page Cellars Preface Cabernet Sauvignon, $37
Red Mountain, Washington
From the E&E Shaw vineyard, it’s a soft, elegant, complex blend with refined tannins and flavors of blackberry and spice.

Next: April Pogue, general manager, Grand Cru

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April Pogue
GENERAL
MANAGER, GRAND CRU
April Pogue runs a tight ship at Grand Cru, the new Bellevue wine bar and shop where every Friday the sparklers go pop during TGIC, Thank Goodness It’s Champagne. Before Grand Cru, she worked wine at Earth and Ocean and Yarrow Bay Grill.

 

WHITE
2007 Dusted Valley Vintners Viognier, $26

Yakima Valley, Washington
An amazing acidity balances this full-bodied white. It tastes of stone fruits and white flowers, and has a crisp finish.

2007 Buty Conner Lee Vineyard Chardonnay, $35
Columbia Valley, Washington
As close to a perfect chard as you can come: Balanced, with juicy citrus, crisp green apple, and a slight roundness that give way to a creamy finish.

ROSÉ
2008 Cedergreen Cellars Viola Rosé, $14

Columbia Valley, Washington
This is a perfect summer wine: light and fruity with bright citrus and hints of strawberry.

RED
2006 Alexandria Nicole Quarry Butte Red Blend, $20

Columbia Valley, Washington
This is a velvety wine with remarkable backbone and luscious fruit.

2007 Chinook Cabernet Franc, $22
Yakima Valley, Washington
Chinook’s cab is fruit forward and full bodied, with rewarding acid that lifts the palate to provide a light, floral finish.

2006 Laurelhurst Cellars Laurus Nobilis Red Blend, $28
Columbia Valley, Washington
A full-bodied blend whose fruit balances perfectly with its structure.

2006 Januik Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, $30
Columbia Valley, Washington
This value vino is full bodied, bold, spicy, balanced, and complex with dark plum, vanilla, and nutmeg notes.

2006 Bunnell Family Cellars Northridge Vineyard Mourvèdre, $38
Wahluke Slope, Washington
A full-bodied and balanced mourvèdre with earthy, spicy, dark fruit.

2006 JM Cellars Merlot, $38
Red Mountain, Washington
This inky, rich, full-bodied, smooth merlot has dark plum and spicy nutmeg flavors and medium tannins.

2006 Grande Rêve Collaboration Series II Syrah, $45
Red Mountain, Washington
It has an amazing sense of terroir balanced by its fruit (blackberry, cassis). France should grant this syrah an honorary citizenship.

Next: Michael Anderson, beverage director, 0/8 Seafood Grill and Twisted Cork Wine Bar
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Michael Anderson
BEVERAGE
DIRECTOR, 0/8 SEAFOOD GRILL AND TWISTED CORK WINE BAR
Michael Anderson is self-taught. All the more impressive, then, that with Anderson at the helm 0/8 Seafood Grill and Twisted Cork earned a 2008 Award of Ultimate Distinction from Wine Enthusiast magazine. 

 

WHITE
2007 Cedergreen Cellars Sauvignon Blanc, $14

Columbia Valley, Washington
It’s crisp and clean with delicious aromas of star fruit and melon. Pair it with scallops, Dungeness crab, or oysters.

2007 Chinook Chardonnay, $18
Yakima Valley, Washington
Produced by one of the state’s best winemakers, Kay Simon, with her grower-husband Clay Mackey, this is a very good pairing wine thanks to apple, citrus, and pineapple notes.

2008 Poet’s Leap Riesling, $20
Columbia Valley, Washington
The only white wine from the very cool people at Long Shadows Vintners, the Poet’s Leap is somewhat German in style—medium dry with an abundance of fruit.

2007 Ken Wright Pinot Blanc, $25
Willamette Valley, Oregon
Made by the very talented Ken Wright—one of Oregon’s premier winemakers—this pinot blanc has hints of apple, lemon, and pear.

RED
2005 Kestrel Cabernet Sauvignon, $22

Yakima Valley, Washington
A rich and well-structured cab at a great value, this one tastes of plum and cassis.

2005 Fidélitas Merlot, $25
Columbia Valley, Washington
Charlie Hoppes is another of Washington’s best wine­makers. His merlot is earthy, with flavors of black fruits.

2004 Dussek Family Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, $35
Rattlesnake Hills, Washington
Brought to us by a family group in Woodinville, it has loads of cassis and black currant flavors.

2006 Efesté Big Papa Cabernet Sauvignon, $45
Columbia Valley, Washington
The name says it all: If you are looking for a huge blockbuster of a wine, you’ll love this one.

2006 Lachini Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir, $45
Willamette Valley, Oregon
Lachini makes a powerhouse of an Oregon pinot blended from three different estate blocks.

Next: Lisa Rongren, wine director, John Howie Steak
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Lisa Rongren
WINE
DIRECTOR,
JOHN HOWIE STEAK
Recently serving as sommelier for those farm-to-table fetishists at the Herbfarm, Lisa Rongren is now lead sip-and-spitter at the newest restaurant from John Howie (of Seastar) in Bellevue. Her intimidating roster of credentials includes an advanced certificate with the Court of Master Sommeliers in London.

 

WHITE
2007 Ross Andrew Meadow, $16

Willamette and Rogue valleys, Oregon
Ross Mickel crafts this aromatic white blend in his Woodinville winery from the best of Oregon grapes. Aromatics of summer flowers and a dry palate of tart apple and apricot make for a versatile appetizer wine.

2007 Ponzi Arneis, $20
Willamette Valley, Oregon
Known as the “little rascal” in Italy, arneis grows wild among the Nebbiolo vines of Barolo and Barbaresco. Ponzi has cultivated this varietal to create an utterly unique wine full of character and body but with a dry finish.

2006 àMaurice Chardonnay, $28
Columbia Valley, Washington
Anna Schafer has done it again. Under her tutelage chardonnay, a chameleon of a grape, takes on the flavors of Burgundy, with a kiss of oak to add body and aromatics.

ROSÉ
2008 Soter North Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir, $20

Willamette Valley, Oregon
Roses and violets waft from the glass as strawberries tingle the palate. A perfect rosé from start to finish.

RED
2006 Columbia Crest Two Vines Shiraz, $8

Columbia Valley, Washington
When anyone asks me to suggest the best value in Washington wine, Columbia Crest Two Vines (well made from vintage to vintage) is always at the tip of my tongue. A perfect choice for a backyard gathering: Blueberries, currants, and cassis leap from every glass of this unspendy shiraz.

2007 Benson Vineyards Estate Winery Sangiovese, $27
Lake Chelan, Washington
From Washington’s newest AVA, this sangio is soft yet focused, reminiscent of tart pie cherries with just the right amount of baking spice, courtesy of a balanced amount of oak.

2006 Boedecker Athena Pinot Noir, $34
Willamette Valley, Oregon
Husband and wife Stewart and Athena Boedecker set out to craft the best Oregon pinot noir. But during trials they discovered (as can happen in marriage) that they had different opinions of the perfect blend. Thus was born the Stewart and Athena bottlings. Lush, velvety, with Rainier cherries and vanilla flower, Athena is a great fireplace wine. (Sorry Stewart, yours is great, too!)

2006 Gramercy Cellars Iñigo Montoya Tempranillo, $40
Walla Walla, Washington
“My name is Iñigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!” This wine is named for the Princess Bride character, but the substance doesn’t end there. Greg Harrington aged it in the Spanish style for 15 months in American oak, achieving the perfect balance of ripe red fruit with silky spice.

2006 Betz Family Winery Clos de Betz Red Wine, $44
Columbia Valley, Washington
Merlot fruit is responsible for the velvety structure and cherry fruit, while cabernet sauvignon adds black currant and tannins and cabernet franc lends lively aromatics of violet and rose.

Next: Jake Kosseff, owner, Jake Kosseff Wine Consulting
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Jake Kosseff
OWNER
, JAKE KOSSEFF WINE CONSULTING
Blowfish Asian Café, Cascadia, CampagneJake Kosseff’s been around, baby. And he’s got the palate to show it. That’s why back in 2006, when Seattle Met put together its restaurant dream team, Kosseff was our fantasy sommelier. Today his consulting business helps restaurants design their wine programs.


WHITE
NV Pacific Rim White Flowers Sparkling Riesling, $15

Yakima Valley, Washington
Tasty sparkling wine is always worth noticing, especially at a good price. This wine is crisp, floral, and fruity.

2007 Sleight of Hand Cellars The Magician, $17
Columbia Valley, Washington
Good gewürztraminer is rare, but this one is dry and rippling with an acidity that keeps floral, nutty aromas at bay, allowing the fruit to shine.

2008 Januik Bacchus Vineyard Riesling, $20
Columbia Valley, Washington
A beautifully balanced wine that is ever-so-slightly sweet, with screaming citrus and stone fruit.

2007 Chehalem Pinot Gris Reserve, $24
Willamette Valley, Oregon
A pinot gris that actually has character—how strange! It is dry and complex with rich pear and citrus flavors and an exciting, mineral acidity.

2008 Maison Bleue La Vallee du Soleil Roussanne, $25
Yakima Valley, Washington
A new small producer showing up a lot of established producers with Rhône whites. From Olsen Vineyard, the roussanne is dry, moderately oaked, and full of creamy peach, orange, and lemon verbena.

2005 Tranche Cellars Chardonnay, $30
Columbia Gorge
The spitting image of a really good white Burgundy, but unmistakably from Washington. This chard is full bodied, dry, and moderately oaked, with racy yellow apple, fresh cream, toast, and butter notes.

RED
2007 Saviah Cellars The Jack, $14

Columbia Valley, Washington
A supergood, supercheap full bodied cab blend from winemaker-owner Rich Funk. It’s rich and structured, full of black fruit, cocoa, and baking spice. Yum!

2007 Wallace Brook Pinot Noir, $15
Willamette Valley, Oregon
This is a second label for Adelsheim, but they’ve gone to great lengths to keep it from being associated with their brand. The best cheap Oregon pinot noir I’ve had, with juicy cherry and strawberry, spicy herbs, and surprising complexity.

2006 Waters Forgotten Hills Vineyard Syrah, $40
Walla Walla Valley, Washington
Just beginning to show its character, this syrah is superdense and intensely flavored, tasting of brooding blackberry, smoke, and creosote—not for the weak spirited.

2006 Boedecker Cellars Momtazi Vineyard Pinot Noir, $45
Willamette valley, Oregon
This pinot grown at Momtazi, one of the best vineyards you’ve never heard of, has laser beam wild cherry flavors balanced by green herb and roasted boletus mushroom.

Next: Christopher Chan, executive director, Oregon and Washington Wine Awards; director, Wine and Spirits, The Rainier Club
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Christopher Chan
EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR, OREGON AND WASHINGTON WINE AWARDS AND DIRECTOR OF WINE AND SPIRITS, THE RAINIER CLUB
This is him, people: the guy in charge of the most serious wine honors in the state, doled out each year at the Rainier Club (don’t wear jeans) amidst much fanfare, hoopla, and fancy cheese. Christopher Chan is currently preparing his palate for the Advanced Court of Master Sommeliers Exam, which he’ll be taking in October. If you see him, wish him luck.


WHITE
2007 Willamette Valley Vineyards Riesling, $12

Willamette Valley, Oregon
This riesling is a sweet tart of a wine with fresh peach, pear, and nectarine, and bright, steely acidity.

2007 Methven Family Vineyards Pinot Gris, $18
Willamette Valley, Oregon
Ripe crenshaw and honeydew melon flavors mix with white floral notes—it’s crisp and tart with a hint of residual sugar.

2007 Olsen Estates Chardonnay, $28
Yakima Valley, Washington
In Olsen Estates’ chard, tropical notes, gala apple, and stone fruit are wrapped in toasty French oak.

RED
2005 Anna Maria Tempranillo, $24

Applegate Valley, Oregon
Just darn tasty. This tempranillo offers red plums and red and black raspberries with hints of vanilla and toast on the palate, and bright acidity.

2006 Watermill Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, $24
Walla Walla Valley, Washington
Black cherry and currant, a hint of spiced vanilla oak, and friendly wet tannins make this a food-friendly, mouthwatering winner.

2006 Stoller JV Estate Pinot Noir, $25
Dundee Hills, Oregon
This Oregon pinot noir features ripe red cherry and black raspberry fruit framed by caramel spiced oak and velvety tannins.

2006 Walla Walla Vintners Washington State Cuvée, $28
Washington
Here is an easy yet interesting recipe of seven grapes that is at once approachable and complex.

2007 Syncline Mourvèdre, $30
Horse Heaven Hills, Washington
Roasted plum, black pepper, and a hint of tar plus medium acidity makes for a long lush finish.

2006 Five Star Cellars Merlot, $32
Walla Walla Valley, Washington
Black cherry, boysenberry, clove, and baking spice make this merlot a real palate pleaser.

2006 àMaurice Cellars The Tsutakawa Red Blend, $35
Columbia Valley, Washington
A big-boy wine with layers of black fruits, cassis, cedar, and baking spice—it’s plush, structured, and long.

Next: Lucas St. Clair, wine director, Wild Ginger Bellevue
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Lucas St. Clair
WINE
DIRECTOR, WILD GINGER BELLEVUE
After graduating with a degree from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, Lucas St. Clair, the man in charge of the wine program at Wild Ginger ’s new Bellevue outpost, earned his wine chops at New York City’s venerable 11 Madison Park restaurant.

 

WHITE
2008 McKinley Spring Chenin Blanc, $12

Horse Heaven Hills, Washington
This wine is rich and textured with lovely acid and notes of ripe stone fruits.

2008 Ransom Pinot Gris WV, $15
Willamette Valley, Oregon
Tad Seestedt started out making spirits but grew into wine production. Truly a master of whites, his pinot gris is all free-run juice.

2008 Syncline Subduction White, $18
Washington
Made with fruit from Columbia Gorge and Horse Heaven Hills, this viognier-chard blend has great richness and is kept in balance with exceptional chardonnay from Celilo Vineyard.

2008 Abacela Albariño Umpqua, $18
Umpqua Valley, Oregon
The Umpqua Valley always reminded Earl Jones of the vineyards he’d seen in Spain, so he decided the Spanish variety Albariño would work very well here. He was right. The wine has great acid, low alcohol, and matches well with all sorts of Northwest seafood.

2007 àMaurice Viognier, $25
Columbia Valley, Washington
Wonderfully dynamic with medium body, this wine has a nice perfumed nose that doesn’t overpower the white blossom aromas and a soft-textured palate with midlevel ripeness and an almond finish.

RED
2007 Cor Cellars Momentum, $18

Horse Heaven Hills, Washington
No new oak is used in Young vintner Luke Bradford’s blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, petit verdot, and malbec (in almost equal parts), and the profile of the grapes comes through wonderfully. It has nice spicy aromas with a bit of cocoa and coffee and a long bright finish.

2007 Evesham Wood WV Pinot Noir, $19
Willamette Valley, Oregon
On the southern slopes of the Eola-Amity AVA at Les Puits Sec vineyard, Mary and Russ Raney farm the land organically and practice natural winemaking in the cellar, including using natural yeast strains, and the result is amazing. The only problem is that there is so little of it to go around.

2008 Owen Roe Abbots Table Red Blend, $21
Columbia Valley, Washington
This kitchen sink blend of zinfandel, sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, merlot, cab franc, blaufränkish, and malbec shows dark fruit but is not overly extracted. It has balance and grace with lovely layers of fruit.

2006 J. K. Carriere WV Pinot Noir, $42
Willamette Valley, Oregon
This blend is made up of all the barrels that don’t go into a single vineyard wine. Powerful but not overblown, focused but fruity, it can stand to be cellared a few years—but with a good decanting it drinks very well right now.

Next: Dawn Smith, wine director, the restaurants at Bellevue Towers
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Dawn Smith
WINE
DIRECTOR, THE RESTAURANTS AT BELLEVUE TOWERS
Dawn Smith runs the wine show at Heavy, whose restaurants include the Purple Café and Wine Bar, Barrio, and Bliss, but this is a sommelier who could work just about anywhere she chooses, and sort of has: She held posts at Canlis and the winecentric Bin Vivant in Kirkland.

 

WHITE
NV Chinook Yakima Valley White Wine, $12

Yakima Valley, Washington
A blend of sauvignon blanc, sémillon, and chardonnay, this is a quality wine at a price everyone can afford. It is crisp and refreshing and has ripe citrus with hints of yellow apple.

2007 The Four Graces Dundee Hills Pinot Blanc, $18
Willamette Valley, Oregon
A very elegant example of Oregon pinot blanc: crisp, fruity, and food loving.

2008 Amavi Cellars Sémillon, $20
Walla Walla Valley, Washington
This is an excellent alternative to chardonnay, with ripe yellow apple, honeydew melon, and pineapple fruit, a creamy texture, and bright acidity.

2007 Pacific Rim Wallula Vineyard Riesling, $20
Columbia Valley, Washington
Pacific Rim’s food-friendly riesling has apricots, white peach, citrus, and honeysuckle flavors, refreshing acidity, and a long finish.

RED
2006 Corvidae Lenore, $13

Columbia Valley, Washington
Washington is establishing a reputation for producing high-quality syrah. If you haven’t tried one yet, then this one with ripe blackberry and plum and hints of smoke and spice is a great place to start.

2007 Substance Malbec, $18
Columbia Valley, Washington
A malbec that is rich and structured with flavors of dark berries, cherries, spice, smoke, and vanilla.

2006 Tempus Cellars Red Wine, $28
Columbia Valley, Washington
Joe and Mollie Forest are newcomers to the Washington wine market and are doing a great job producing small lots of quality wine. This cab blend has rich blackberry fruit, baking spice, vanilla, hints of coffee, sweet herbs, and a long finish.

2006 Gramercy Cellars Lagniappe Syrah, $38
Columbia Valley, Washington
Lagniappe means “a little something extra,” and that is exactly what this syrah delivers in quality and balance. With aromas and flavors of violets, black cherry, blueberry, plums, smoked meat, and spice, it is structured and rich with a long finish.

2007 Va Piano Syrah, $38
Columbia Valley, Washington
This wine balances power and elegance, and will be mighty tasty with beef or lamb.

2007 Buty Merlot–Cabernet Franc, $40
Columbia Valley, Washington
From vintage to vintage it is always one of my favorites. The 2007 features blueberry fruit, hints of spice, chocolate, black currant leaf, and vanilla, with a wonderful velvety texture.

Next: Nelson Daquip, wine director, Canlis
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Nelson Daquip
WINE
DIRECTOR, CANLIS
Only 31, Daquip earned the top job at Canlis after starting as a server’s assistant just seven years ago. He has received lots of awards, but we’re most impressed with how Lettie Teague described him in Food and Wine: “Tall and good-looking with very white teeth.”

 

WHITE
2007 Efesté Evergreen Vineyard Riesling, $16

Columbia Valley, Washington
A cool-climate, surprisingly dry riesling from above the Columbia Gorge, it has fresh lime and white peach fruit, and a slatey minerality.

2007 Syncline Viognier, $20
Columbia Valley, Washington
This viognier is a great expression of ripe tropical fruit, Starburst candy, and finesse.

2007 Cadaretta Sauvignon Blanc—Sémillon, $24
Columbia Valley, Washington
An aromatic nose with that gooseberry, citrus, and herbaceous quality of sauvignon blanc. On the palate you’ll find a wonderfully creamy texture, evidence of sémillon in perfect balance.

2007 Abeja Chardonnay, $36
Columbia Valley, Washington
Abeja has achieved a graceful balance of fruit, spice, and texture, it’s the finest expression of chardonnay in the Northwest.

ROSÉ
2008 Buty Winery Beast Malbec Rosé of the Stones, $19

Walla Walla Valley, Washington
The Beast line is the alter ego of Buty winery, the rosé is vibrant with wild strawberries and peppery cherry fruit and a refreshing acidity.

RED
2007 Substance Cabernet Sauvignon, $18

Columbia Valley, Washington
Plush and generous with fruit—black currant, blueberries—and cedar opening up to chocolate and tobacco.

2007 Waters Interlude, $30
Walla Walla Valley, Washington
This merlot-cab blend has layers of currant, black plums, and espresso.

2006 Des Voigne Solea Cabernet Sauvignon–Merlot–Cabernet Franc, $30
Columbia Valley, Washington
A silky, elegant bordeaux blend, this cab was served at Brian and Rebecca Canlis’s wedding and is a mainstay on the list at Canlis.

Next: David Leclaire, owner, Seattle Wine Events and Promotions
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David Leclaire
OWNER
, SEATTLE WINE EVENTS AND PROMOTIONS
David LeClaire is a sommelier on the move: He’s a prof at North Seattle Community College, has founded wine clubs in Portland and Seattle, and runs a business organizing tasting events for corporate and private parties.

 

WHITE
2006 Steppe Cellars Dry Riesling, $19

Rattlesnake Hills, Washington
Fresh, with crisp acidity and soft fruit, it is perfect on a hot day.

2007 Buty Sémillon-Sauvignon-Muscadelle, $25
Columbia Valley, Washington
A touch of muscadelle gives this year’s Buty a hint of a floral backdrop. It is refreshing and interesting as ever.

ROSÉ
2008 Yellow Hawk Cellar Rosato, $12

Columbia Valley, Washington
Northwest rosés range from bone dry to sweet, but this lovely rosato is nestled just in between.

RED
2006 Gilbert Cellars Estate Malbec, $26

Wahluke Slope, Washington
This malbec is a soft, supple wine that lingers and leaves you wanting more.

2006 Des Voigne Cellars Montreux Syrah, $30
Red Mountain, Washington
If syrah has a fault, it’s that it can be too jammy and Australianish. Not the 2006 Montreux—it’s solid and deep, never overly ripe or fruity.

2007 Vin du Lac Barrel Select Cabernet Franc, $35
Columbia Valley, Washington
Cab franc sometimes has too many green notes for me, but this one has no veggie flavors or aromas.

2006 Fielding Hills Winery Merlot Riverbend Vineyard, $36
Wahluke Slope, Washington
This winery has quietly earned industry respect over the past few years, thanks in part to its success with merlot. Deep, brooding, and powerful, this is an amazing wine.

2006 Baer Winery Ursa, $39
Columbia Valley, Washington
A truly balanced, not over-the-top blend of cab, cab franc, and merlot.

Next: Sarah Munson, cofounder, The Local Vine
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Sarah Munson
COFOUNDER
,
THE LOCAL VINE
Together with partner Allison Nelson, Sarah Munson has created one of the most accessible wine shops/sipping stations in town—a Belltown boîte that uses great wine and a friendly approach to lure oenophiles, casual sippers, and everyone in between.

 

WHITE
NV Domaine Ste. Michelle Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Wine, $13

Columbia Valley, Washington
Consistently amazing value for the price with wide availability, it’s a crisp and dry sparkler with tree fruits including pear and green apple.

2008 Dowsett Family Gewürztraminer, $21
Columbia Gorge, Washington
This is an exceptional wine with pure fruit and balance.

2007 Chateau Ste. Michelle Eroica Riesling, $25
Washington
The Old World–New World partnership between Dr. Loosen and Bob Bertheau produces the best riesling in Washington. It has crisp lime and mandarin orange, good minerality, racy acidity, and terrific body.

2007 Delille Cellars Doyenne Roussanne, $32
Red Mountain, Washington
Here is a great new varietal for people stuck in a chardonnay or sauv blanc rut. It’s full-bodied with honey, floral notes, and lemon.

RED
2007 Independent Producers Merlot, $10

Columbia Valley, Washington
Plum and blackberry fruit, a touch of smoke, and structure allow this versatile wine to pair well with lots of foods.

NV Va Piano Bruno’s Blend IV Syrah-Malbec, $23
Columbia Valley, Washington
This one is an easy-drinking everyday wine that’s lush with cherry and blueberry fruit.

2006 Fidélitas Malbec, $35
Columbia Valley, Washington
This structured malbec has color and flavors of spice and dark fruits.

This article appeared in the September 2009 issue of Seattle Met Magazine.

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