1. Chateau Ste. Michelle and Dr. Loosen Eroica Ice Wine Riesling Horse Heaven Hills 2014 • $60
The longstanding partnership between Chateau Ste. Michelle and famed German riesling producer Ernst Loosen yields another gold-standard dessert-style wine, full of outrageously rich aromas and flavors of lychee, orange peel, and marmalade.
2. Kiona Estate Grown Ice Wine Chenin Blanc Red Mountain 2016 • $35
Ice wine is a rare beast in Washington: Grapes picked in the wintertime, after they have frozen on the vine, produce a superconcentrated dessert wine, a perfect end to any dinner.
3. Morell-Peña Ysabella Bjork Chardonnay Columbia Valley 2015 • $45
A new project from winemaker Aryn Morell (Matthews, Tenor) produces three chardonnays, each named after one of his daughters; eldest daughter Ysabella’s wine doppelganger is all about a rich palate and balanced tropical fruit.
4. Woodward Canyon Chardonnay Washington 2015 • $44
Year after year, decade after decade, Woodward Canyon produces some of the finest chardonnay to be found in the state, like this blend of fruit from Woodward Canyon’s own vineyard and Celilo vineyard, a top chardonnay site in the Columbia Gorge.
5. Dowsett Family Celilo Vineyard Gewürztraminer Columbia Gorge 2015 • $22
Chris Dowsett takes a variety often conscribed to cheap, sweet wine and elevates it to an art form; this bottle is one of the best examples to be found in the country.
6. Sightglass Conner Lee Vineyard Chardonnay Columbia Valley 2016 • $22
Sean Boyd’s inaugural release is a strong one (see also our no. 15 cabernet); the winemaker’s first white is fermented and aged in stainless steel, imparting a brightness to the apple, pear, and candle-wax aromas and flavors.
7. Two Vintners Boushey Vineyard Grenache Blanc Yakima Valley 2016 • $25
Grenache blanc plantings are beyond scarce in Washington, but backers predict its higher acid levels will help it weather our warm summers. Winemaker Morgan Lee does some of the state’s best work with this up-and-coming variety, as evidenced by aromas of straw and spice followed by tart, lemony acidity.
8. W. T. Vintners Stoneridge Vineyard Chenin Blanc Columbia Valley 2016 • $20
RN74 sommelier by night, winemaker by day, Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen releases his first chenin blanc, a delicious offering with aromas of pear, apple, and melon, not to mention sleek flavors and bright acids.
9. Côte Bonneville Estate Bottled DuBrul Vineyard Riesling Yakima Valley 2016 • $22
This winery is best known for its two bordeaux-style blends, but this fragrant riesling, full of stone fruit and orange flavors, also benefits from using all estate fruit from DuBrul vineyard.
10. Abeja Chardonnay Washington 2015 • $40
Cabernet built Abeja’s fan base, but don’t overlook its chardonnay, some of the most elegant in the state; crystal clear aromas of candy corn, summer squash, and clarified butter lead to a very nuanced palate.
11. Poet’s Leap Riesling Columbia Valley 2016 • $20
Washington riesling at its best, with bright aromas of honeysuckle, peach, and lime followed by a just-off-dry palate with high-wire acidity and a spot-on sense of balance.
12. Novelty Hill Stillwater Creek Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley 2015 • $20
Sauvignon blanc can be a particular challenge in our warm growing climate, but vibrant aromas of cut grass, lime, herb, and tropical fruit—giving way to tart, zippy flavors with a lightly creamy feel—show this grape’s true capabilities here.