Since the first syrah vines went into the ground at Red Willow Vineyard in 1986, we’ve known varieties native to France’s Rhône Valley can excel in Washington. But lately, white grapes from the Rhône have been making waves.
While varieties like viognier have long been grown in Washington, others—such as grenache blanc, roussanne, clairette blanche, and even the seldom seen picardan—have only been explored more recently. These wines offer a fresh, exciting take on what white wines in Washington can be.
Avennia La Perle White Wine Columbia Valley 2018 $40
On the Nose: almond, stone fruit, spice.
On the Palate: a rich texture and lively acidity.
Why It's Special: It’s quite simply the best Rhone-style blend I’ve ever had from Washington.
Rotie Cellars Southern White Walla Walla Valley 2019 $32
On the Nose: pear, nectarine, seashell.
On the Palate: sleek and tart.
Why It's Special: This is a standout marsanne-roussanne blend.
Latta Roussanne Lawrence Vineyard Columbia Valley 2016 $30
On the Nose: beeswax, pineapple, melon.
On the Palate: outrageous feel and depth of flavor.
Why It's Special: The vineyard is on the rise, and so is this variety.
Syncline Picpoul Boushey Vineyard Yakima Valley 2019 $25
On the Nose: lemon zest, white flower, crushed rock.
On the Palate: puckering, lemony acidity.
Why It's Special: Washington hasn’t been known for its high acid white wines. This might change some opinions.
Mark Ryan Viognier Yakima Valley $40
On the Nose: honeysuckle, pear, peach.
On the Palate: tension, depth, and intensity.
Why It's Special: Viognier can sometimes get over-weighted (too rich, sweet, viscous). This one shows great balance.