Best Washington State Wines of 2011: Directory & Methodology

A cheat sheet of our favorite Washington Wines.
Posted March 18, 2011

STORIES FROM OUR BEST WASHINGTON STATE WINES 2011 FEATURE

Personalities, Places and Trends

Best Red Wines

Best White Wines

 

Specified city denotes site of tasting room

WINE OF THE YEAR
DeLille Cellars 2006 Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain, $135
Woodinville; 425.877.9472; delillecellars.com

RED WINES
MERLOT $20 AND UNDER

Wines of Substance 2008 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $20
No tasting room;
winesofsubstance.com

MERLOT OVER $20—TIE!

Abeja 2007 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $38
Walla Walla; 509.526.7400; abeja.net;
tasting room open seasonally only to mailing-list members

Fidelitas 2008 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $25
Seattle; 206.467.9463; urbanenoteca.com

SYRAH $20 AND UNDER

Olsen Estates 2007 Syrah, Yakima Valley, $20

SYRAH OVER $20
Waters Winery 2007 Syrah, Forgotten Hills Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley, $45
Walla Walla; 509.525.1590; waterswinery.com

CABERNET FRANC—TIE!
Barrage Cellars 2007 Outcast, Boushey Vineyard, Yakima Valley, $35
Woodinville; 425.381.9675; barragecellars.com

Walla Walla Vintners 2008 Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley, $28
Walla Walla; 509.525.4724; wallawallavintners.com

CABERNET SAUVIGNON $20 AND UNDER—TIE!
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2008 Indian Wells, Columbia Valley, $18
Woodinville; 425.415.3633;
ste-michelle.com

Wines of Substance 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $20
Walla Walla; winesofsubstance.com

CABERNET SAUVIGNON OVER $20
Woodward Canyon 2007 Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington State, $79
Lowden; 509.525.4129; woodwardcanyon.com

RED BORDEAUX-STYLE BLEND $20 AND UNDER
Dumas Station 2007 Cow Catcher Red, Walla Walla Valley, $19
Dayton; 509.382.8933; dumasstation.com

RED BORDEAUX-STYLE BLEND OVER $20
Guardian Cellars 2007 Gun Metal, Conner Lee Vineyard, Columbia Valley, $37
Woodinville; 206.661.6733; guardiancellars.com

RED RHÔNE-STYLE BLEND $20 AND UNDER
Syncline Wine Cellars 2009 Subduction Red, Columbia Valley, $18
Lyle; 509.365.4361; synclinewine.com

RED RHÔNE-STYLE BLEND OVER $20
Brian Carter Cellars 2007 Byzance, Columbia Valley, $30
Woodinville; 425.806.9463; briancartercellars.com

RED PROPIETARY BLEND $20 AND UNDER
Brian Carter Cellars 2007 Abracadabra, Columbia Valley, $15
Woodinville; 425.806.9463; briancartercellars.com

RED PROPRIETARY BLEND OVER $20
Col Solare 2006 Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $75
Benton City; 509.588.6806; colsolare.com
Tastings by private appointment only

GRENACHE
Betz Family Winery 2008 Bésoleil, Alder Ridge Vineyard, Columbia Valley, $46
Redmond; 425.861.9823; betzfamilywinery.com; semi-annual tastings open only to mailing-list members

Milbrandt Vineyards 2008 The Estates Grenache, Clifton Vineyard, Wahluke Slope, $25
Prosser; 509.788.0030; milbrandtvineyards.com

Almquist Family Vintners 2008 Grenache, Northridge Vineyard, Wahluke Slope, $25
Seattle; 206.859.9400; almquistfamilyvintners.com

Dusted Valley 2008 Grenache, Stone Tree and Lonesome Spring Ranch Vineyards, Columbia Valley, $28
Walla Walla; 509.525.1337; dustedvalley.com

Darby 2008 Grenache, Stillwater Creek Vineyard, Columbia Valley, $45
Woodinville; 206.954.4700; darbywinery.com

 

WHITE WINES
CHARDONNAY $20 AND UNDER

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2008 Indian Wells Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $17.99
Woodinville; 425.415.3633;
ste-michelle.com

CHARDONNAY OVER $20

Côte Bonneville 2008 Chardonnay, DuBrul Vineyard, Yakima Valley, $50

Seattle; 206.467.9463; urbanenoteca.com

RIESLING
Trust 2009 Riesling, Columbia Valley, $16
Walla Walla; 509.529.4511; trustcellars.com

VIOGNIER
Alexandria Nicole 2009 Viognier, Crawford Vineyard, Columbia Valley, $20
Woodinville; 425.487.9463; alexandrianicolecellars.com

SAUVIGNON BLANC
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, Horse Heaven Vineyard, Horse Heaven Hills, $16
Woodinville; 425.415.3633;
ste-michelle.com

WHITE RHÔNE-STYLE BLEND
McCrea Cellars 2008 Scirocco Blanc, Boushey Vineyard, Yakima Valley, $25
Seattle; 206.467.9463; urbanenoteca.com

WHITE BORDEAUX-STYLE BLEND—TIE!
Buty 2009 Semillon, Sauvignon and Muscadelle, Columbia Valley, $25
Walla Walla; 509.527.0901; butywinery.com; tasting room open by appointment only December–March, walk-in April–December

DeLille Cellars 2009 Chaleur Estate Blanc, Columbia Valley, $34
Woodinville; 425.877.9472; delillecellars.com

WHITE PROPRIETARY BLEND
Thurston Wolfe 2009 PGV, Washington State, $16
Prosser; 509.786.3313;
thurstonwolfe.com

SWEET WINES
SWEET WINE UNDER $25/375ML

Dunham Cellars 2008 Late Harvest Riesling, Lewis Estate Vineyard, Columbia Valley, $19
Walla Walla; 509.529.4685; dunhamcellars.com

SWEET WINE OVER $25/375ML
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2007 Ethos Late Harvest White Riesling, Columbia Valley, $35
Woodinville; 425.415.3633; ste-michelle.com

METHODOLOGY

Because it is impossible to taste every wine in the state, nominations for this year’s Washington Wine Awards were solicited from a panel of Washington wine and food professionals. Those wines receiving the most votes in the varietal categories qualified for a blind tasting on November 1, 2010, conducted by a panel of 21 industry professionals, and were scored using a 10-point system. Information in the tasting notes was taken from the tasters’ descriptions of the wines. Tasting panelists who are winemakers were excluded from voting in categories in which their wines were finalists. Finalists for Wine of the Year were wines in each category that received the most votes; the winner was the wine given the highest score at our blind tasting. Grenache winners were selected at a blind tasting on November 15, 2010, from an open submission of wines. Seattle magazine’s Washington Wine Awards program is led by producer Anne Nisbet and Seattle magazine wine writer Shannon Borg.

Special thanks to all Seattle magazine’s Best Washington Wine Award panelists: