HERE IN SEATTLE, we can’t get enough of wines from Washington and Oregon; they just taste like home. Yet these days oenophiles the world over are falling for our cabs and our merlots, our pinots and our chardonnays. To create a list of the best Pacific Northwest wines currently in release, Seattle Met enlisted wine critic Condé Cox, a current candidate for the prestigious master of wine certification, who braved serious palate fatigue from tasting over 1,000 different bottles. We start with the very best and make our way through 100 bottles, along the way encountering surprising varietals like Nebbiolo, an Italian grape that, a few years back, no Northwest vintner would have dreamed of planting. Pour any of them at a party tonight and your guests will ask when you got so serious about wine. Some, however, we’ve suggested you save—these are the wines that, like the region that bore them, will only improve as the years go by.
Our Methods, UncorkedOur Methods, Uncorked
How we chose the top 100 wines.
With 943 wineries in Oregon and Washington, how did Seattle Metpick the best 100 bottles? We enlisted Jacksonville, Oregon–based wine expert Condé Cox, who visited wineries from Willamette Valley to Woodinville, and teamed up with Washington vino expert Jay Miller—the Northwest nose for famed wine journalist Robert Parker—to sip and spit his way through hundreds of the best Washington bottles. Cox modified the five-factor system used by the Institute of Masters of Wine to rate each sample based on balance, complexity, intensity of flavors, varietal character, and palate persistence. For more on his credentials visit Cox’s Web site, PlaceInTheGlass.com.