Chateau Ste. Michelle
Druthers Cabernet
Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2008 $80

91 Points
  Ste. Michelle’s former winemaker Joshua Maloney wrote on the front of the bottle: “Subtlety and restraint are not in my nature. I love bold, assertive flavors.” It shows. This aromatic wine has floral and herbal notes, black cherry, and mint while the palate is dense, rich, and firm.

Northstar Merlot Columbia Valley 2007 $40

91 Points
  An aromatically compelling wine with raspberries and other red fruit, earth, sweet spices, and milk chocolate, Northstar’s Columbia Valley merlot is polished on the palate with supple fruit flavors and well-integrated tannins.

Tero Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Windrow Vineyard Walla Walla Valley 2007 $55

91 Points
  Made from fruit grown at one of Walla Walla’s oldest vineyards, this wine boasts pleasingly tangy dark fruit flavors and a lingering finish.
Walla Walla Vintners
Cabernet Sauvignon
Sagemoor Vineyard
Columbia Valley 2008 $40

91 Points
  Owners Gordy Venneri and Myles Anderson refer to this as their “black-tie-and-tails” wine. The fruit comes from one of the state’s oldest and most highly regarded vineyards, and the results are deliciously decadent.


Sleight of Hand Cellars Funkadelic Syrah Walla Walla Valley 2009 $60

91 Points
  The name Funkadelic has a dual meaning here: The fruit source is Richard Funk’s eponymous vineyard, located in the southern Walla Walla Valley, a region famous for the so-called Cayuse funk. You can smell that funk on the nose of this 100 percent syrah, along with ash, iron, floral and savory notes.


Pacific Rim Riesling Columbia Valley 2010 $11

91 Points
  Riesling specialist Pacific Rim consistently crafts outrageously good wines at ridiculously cheap prices. Case in point: this off-dry riesling from the 2010 vintage with flavors of jasmine, orange, and stone fruit.
Pamplin Family Winery
Proprietary Red Wine
Columbia Valley 2008 $50

91 Points
  Pamplin has produced a blend of cabernet sauvignon, malbec, petit verdot, and merlot that is dark in color and closed up very tightly at present with aromas of raspberries, pencil lead, rose hips, and pepper. The palate shows both a lushness and a restrained elegance. Give it two years in the cellar to develop.


DeLille Cellars D2 Red Wine
Columbia Valley 2008 $36

91 Points
  This exquisite cab blend crashes in waves across the palate with rich fruit flavors and grippy tannins, and seems to linger endlessly.


Woodward Canyon
Chardonnay Washington State 2010 $44

91 Points
  A vibrant 100 percent chardonnay from Walla Walla Valley stalwart Woodward Canyon that has alluring aromas of spice and melon, a rich palate with touches of tropical fruit, and a crisp, acidic finish.

Stevens Winery XY Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley 2007 $42

91 Points
  The XY Reserve cab is immediately appealing with aromas of raspberries, cranberries, bittersweet chocolate, and licorice. On the palate it’s rich and fruit-forward but not over the top, with tart flavors and well-integrated tannins.


Salida Wine Tempranillo Yakima Valley 2008 $24

91 Points
  Doug McCrea is known for exploring new grape varietals (picpoul anyone?) at McCrea Cellars. In his latest project, Salida, Spanish for “exit,” McCrea is experimenting with the grapes of the Iberian Peninsula. And while tempranillo is a hot topic in Washington these days, few do it so well. This one’s rich and full of plump red flavors.

Amavi Cellars Semillon Walla Walla Valley 2010 $20

91 Points
  Pale in color, this semi-llon (with 12 percent sauvignon blanc) is an aromatic tour de force with pineapple, mango, toasty spice, floral notes, and pear syrup. It’s rich and full on the palate and has beautifully balanced acidity and a lingering finish.
Sineann Baby Poux Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Columbia Valley 2008 $42

91 Points
  Made in Oregon but grown in Washington, this 100 percent cab leaps from the glass with raspberries, earth, bittersweet chocolate, and spice. A luscious, fruit-filled wine, it’s flavored with pure cherry and raspberries and tannins that squeeze the tongue before gently letting go.


Bunchgrass Winery Triolet Red Wine Walla Walla Valley 2008 $28

91 Points
  With a trio of new investors in place and a top-notch winemaker to take the torch from founder Roger Cockerline, this Walla Walla winery has reinvented itself. The Triolet, a bordeaux-style blend, is named after an eight-line poem in which the first, fourth, and seventh lines are repeated. At $28, it’s a total steal.
Soos Creek Wine Cellars Red Wine Ciel du Cheval Vineyard
Red Mountain 2008 $30

91 Points
  Winemaker David Larsen cut his teeth in the Boeing Employees Wine and Beermakers Club. With 23 vintages’ worth of experience, Larsen continues to make outrageously high-quality wines at prices way lower than those of his peers. This one has appealing aromas of dark fruit, floral notes, chocolate, toast, and spice, and grippy tannins that wrap around a tight core of black fruit.


Syncline Wine Cellars Syrah
Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red Mountain 2009 $50

91 Points
  At Syncline Wine Cellars, James and Poppie Mantone buck the trend of bigger, riper, oakier wines, focusing instead on fruit. Here, the result is a seductive wine with pure fruit flavors.

Saviah Cellars Petit Verdot
Walla Walla Valley 2007 $30

91 Points
  Wine Advocate reviewer Jay Miller wrote last year that petit verdot was Washington’s up-and-coming star; Saviah Cellars’ inky offering demonstrates exactly what he means. A perfumed, floral palate packs a wallop on the front end and then ramps down and lingers on the finish.
Zero One Vintners The Wild Sky Cabernet Sauvignon
Columbia Valley 2008 $30

91 Points
  The Wild Sky smells of toast, spice, licorice, blackberry, black pepper, and earth, and the palate is full of dark fruit flavors that linger after each sip.
Rasa Vineyards Vox Populi Mourvedre Columbia Valley 2009 $45

91 Points
  Everyone who barrel-tasted the ’09 mourvedre from Rasa Vineyards’ Billo and Pinot Naravane begged the brothers not to blend it, thus the name for this rare 100 percent mourvedre, Latin for “voice of the people.”

Stevens Winery 424 Red Wine Yakima Valley 2008 $35

91 Points
  The 424 Red Wine is Stevens’s blend of cabernet franc (39 percent), cabernet sauvignon (36 percent), merlot (17 percent), and a splash of petit verdot. Biscuit aromas jump up from the nose and are joined by sea breeze, pepper, dry chocolate, cherries, and raspberries. The palate shows rich, tart dark cherry flavors, beautifully polished tannins, and a tart, lingering finish.

All labels courtesy the wineries.