Best Washington Wines 2012: Great Whites

Each of these Washington whites received 90 points in the blind test. We present them here, unranked.

By Sean P. Sullivan August 22, 2012 Published in the September 2012 issue of Seattle Met

Amavi Cellars Semillon Walla Walla Valley 2011
This wine displays everything there is to love about the grape—aromas of white peaches, figs, and spice followed by citrus and more stone fruit flavors. $20 

Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling Washington State 2011
An outrageously good wine for the price, overflowing with tangerine flavors and mouthwatering acidity. $12 

Columbia Crest H3 Chardonnay Horse Heaven Hills 2010
Fruit and oak are both at the fore on this wallet-friendly wine that puts its California counterparts two or three times the price to shame. $15

DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Blanc Columbia Valley 2010
A blend of semillon and sauvignon blanc lends an acidic lilt to flavors of cardamom, straw, citrus, and spice. $35

Force Majeure Collaboration Series Viognier Red Mountain 2010
The first white release from this star winery is a knockout, full of mineral and stone fruit aromas and flavors. $35 

Guardian Cellars Angel Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley 2011
Aromas of gooseberry, lemon, and lime give way to drawn-out fruit flavors and an equally lengthy finish. $20

Januik Chardonnay Cold Creek Vineyard Columbia Valley 2010
Though he left Ste. Michelle in 1999, winemaker Mike Januik continues to purchase grapes from the winery each year to produce this standout chardonnay. $30

Maison Bleue Au Contraire Chardonnay French Creek Vineyard Yakima Valley 2011
The 2011 vintage is a more medium-bodied style than its predecessors, presenting pear, peach, and plantain notes with a drawn-out feel and a lingering finish. $25

Mark Ryan Winery Viognier Columbia Valley 2010
Fruit for this aromatic dazzler comes from the blazing hot Ciel du Cheval and the cool(ish) Red Willow vineyards, creating fascinating complexity in the glass with stone fruit, citrus, and floral notes. $28

Novelty Hill Wines Sauvignon Blanc Stillwater Creek Vineyard Columbia Valley 2011
Hailing from the winery’s estate vineyard, Stillwater Creek, this appealing sauv blanc is a riot of spices and tropical notes with a creamy feel on the tongue. $18

Saviah Cellars Star Meadows White Wine Columbia Valley 2011
A perfect summer white blend of 62 percent semillon and 38 percent sauvignon blanc, the wine was aged in both oak and stainless steel, imparting texture while retaining freshness. $22 

Sparkman Cellars Apparition Roussanne Yakima Valley 2011
Newly added to the Sparkman lineup—a seldom-seen varietal bottling of roussanne—is a wine full of stone fruit, mineral, and spice with neutral oak aging providing a textured mouthfeel. Try it before it vanishes! $32

Tempus Cellars Riesling Evergreen Vineyard Columbia Valley 2011
This racy riesling boasts all of the mineral notes and mouthwatering acidity Evergreen vineyard is known for. $16

Tenor Wines Chardonnay Columbia Valley 2010
The Woodinville winery's first chardonnay doesn’t hold back. It’s a fruit-forward wine loaded with tropical fruit flavors, made in a bold, full-bodied style. $48 

Tranche Cellars Chardonnay Columbia Gorge 2008
One hundred percent Celilo Vineyard grapes go into this zippy chardonnay, which uses oak aging and full malolactic fermentation (think milk instead of a green apple), adding weight and texture. $30 

Treveri Cellars Extra Brut Blanc de Blanc Columbia Valley NV
Treveri Cellars is making a dazzling lineup of sparkling wines—even Hillary Clinton’s State Department chef agrees—and none better than this extra brut made from chardonnay. $14

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