1. Gramercy Cellars Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2012 - $85
This is the winery’s first reserve-level cabernet, and it’s more than worthy of the designation. Herb, cherry, spice, and tobacco leaf aromas lead to rich but exquisitely balanced fruit supported by tightly coiled tannins. It should drink well for at least two decades.
2. Corliss Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2010 - $85
A perfect combination of power and grace, it displays rich, jammy raspberry and black cherry notes along with coffee, chocolate, and barrel accents. Though already a full five years old, this wine has a good 15 to 20 years of enjoyment in front of it.
3. Leonetti Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley 2012 - $95
For almost 40 years Leonetti has created some of the state’s finest wines, and this is just another example. It offers a complex assortment of black fruit, herb, earth, and barrel aromas that are followed by tightly wound fruit.
4. Abeja Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2012 - $45
Founding winemaker John Abbott consistently crafts top-shelf cabernet sauvignon. His 2012 vintage wine is a thriller with layered dark fruit that brings a real sense of texture along with a finish that won’t quit.
5. Double Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon Double Canyon Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills 2012 - $65
Located next to famed Champoux Vineyard, this young vineyard site is quickly making a name for itself on the strength of its cabernet. A dazzling bouquet—coffee, cherry, blueberry, herbs—lead to polished tannins and an elegant feel.
6. Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley 2012 - $99
Grace over power has become a hallmark of this collaboration between former NFL quarterback and Walla Walla native Drew Bledsoe and second-generation winemaker Chris Figgins (Leonetti, Figgins). The latest result is a compelling bottle full of luxurious cherry, coffee, and herb aromas and flavors.
7. Fidelitas Cabernet Sauvignon Quintessence Vineyard Red Mountain 2012 - $60
This young vineyard site on Red Mountain has winemakers abuzz, and here winemaker Charlie Hoppes shows what all of the fuss is about. The wine is 100 percent varietal with aromas of cherry, coffee, and chocolate that lead to well-balanced dark fruit and polished tannins.
8. Fielding Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Riverbend Vineyard Wahluke Slope 2012 - $44
Winemaker Mike Wade, a third-generation fruit grower, planted this vineyard in the middle of one of his apple orchards. Here barrel notes of vanilla, cocoa, and spice meld with concentrated dark cherries.
9. Maloney Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Elephant Mountain Vineyard Rattlesnake Hills 2012 - $65
The first release from this winery, which focuses on producing cabernet sauvignon from a single vineyard site that changes each year, is a no-holds-barred offering with rich, full-bodied blackberry and dark chocolate backed by chewy tannins.
10. Passing Time Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills 2012 - $75
A mutual love of wine inspired former teammates and NFL quarterbacks Dan Marino and Damon Huard (a Husky alum) to team with winemaker Chris Peterson (Avennia) on this winery’s inaugural release. It’s a winner with abundant dusty earth, cherry, and coffee notes and fine-grained tannins.