1. Cloudlift Cellars Stratus Petit Verdot Yakima Valley 2012 - $32
Petit verdot—best known for its high acidity and burly tannins—is most often used in minute amounts as a blending variety. Here winemaker Tom Stangeland shows it can also stand on its own in this flavorful wine, which has notes of mocha, cherry, and potting soil.
2. Spring Valley Vineyard Katherine Corkrum Estate Grown Cabernet Franc Walla Walla Valley 2012 - $50
Cabernet franc consistently thrives at this vineyard site. The variety’s hallmark herb, cherry, and floral notes are on display here, showing a mixture of elegance and intensity along with a silky feel and vivid acidity.
3. Kerloo Cellars Mourvèdre Art Den Hoed Vineyard Yakima Valley 2013 - $32
Winemaker Ryan Crane’s creations always push boundaries. Here he perfectly captures this characteristically peppery variety with a wine that shows great purity and a real sense of texture.
4. Rasa Vineyards QED Axiom of Choice Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley 2012 - $35
A blend of fruit from Weinbau and Echo Ridge vineyards, this wine shows plenty of refinement and intrigue with its soft, sumptuous herb, cherry, and chocolate flavors that lead to a lengthy finish.
5. Barrister Winery Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley 2012 - $29
Cabernet franc has become a signature variety for Spokane-based Barrister Winery, and this cab franc demonstrates why. It offers concentrated flavors of cherry, chocolate, and espresso with a captivating mouthfeel.
6. Idilico Reserva Graciano Upland Vineyard Snipes Mountain 2012 - $30
Graciano is a red grape variety principally grown in the Rioja region of Spain. Here Spanish-raised winemaker Javier Alfonso explores its expression in Washington. Exotic aromas of mango, pepper, and cranberry lead to a flavorful palate and a long finish.