1. Figgins Estate Red Wine Walla Walla Valley 2012 - $85
This blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and petit verdot is redolent with red and black fruit, herb, and earth; tart acids and chewy tannins provide the frame. This is a wine that needs at least five years of aging to be fully appreciated but should last 20 years or more.
2. Woodward Canyon Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon Washington 2012 - $99
Since its founding in 1981, Woodward Canyon has been responsible for some of the state’s best and most age-worthy wines. Barrel notes of coffee and vanilla take the lead, but with time dense cherry and herb take over. Give it a good 10 years—or several days decanting.
3. Côte Bonneville Carriage House DuBrul Vineyard Yakima Valley 2009 - $50
Year in and year out, DuBrul Vineyard yields some of the state’s finest wines. This blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and cabernet franc shows great purity and balance to its earth, cherry, and herb aromas and flavors. It’s drinking beautifully now but has a long life ahead of it.
4. Avennia Sestina Red Wine Columbia Valley 2012 - $60
Winemaker Chris Peterson focuses on sourcing old vine fruit from some of the state’s top sites. This cabernet sauvignon–centric blend, which hails from Dionysus, Red Willow, and Bacchus vineyards, is full of dark fruit and mouthwatering acids. It should start to truly hit its stride in 2022.
5. Sparkman Cellars Evermore Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2012 - $100
Coming from 1972 plantings at Dionysus vineyard, this 100 percent varietal wine has a classic cabernet aroma profile of black cherry and herbs along with barrel spices. The fruit is plush and layered, increasing in intensity with each swirl of the glass. Best after 2021.
6. Januik Reserve Red Wine Columbia Valley 2012 - $65
Mostly cabernet sauvignon with smidgens of merlot, cabernet franc, and malbec, the focus here is more on nuance and elegance with black fruit, herb, and coffee aromas and flavors that show exceptional detail and length. Give it a good five years, though it will last several times that.