Winter 2020

Cascade Cliffs, Reustle-Prayer Rock rank again as ‘Best of the Best’

As always, there were surprises throughout the 21st Platinum Judging, but when it came to the top two wines of this blind tasting — “The Best of the Best” — we should have seen them coming with the Cascade Cliffs & Vineyard 2018 Winemaker’s Select Syrah and a Grüner Veltliner from Stephen Reustle. For the Syrah, Columbia Gorge producer Robert Lorkowski pulled the fruit from Stanton Vineyard, one of several Red Mountain sites owned by Washington Wine Hall of Fame inductees Dick and Wendy Shaw.

“I’m a geek in that I just like trying different sites, and when we first got that fruit, we could see that it was special,” Lorkowski recalls. “Sometimes when you get them right off the vines or get them right off the truck, you kind of just know.”

Such was the case in the fall of 2018.

“We doubled our order for 2019 almost immediately when we saw how special the fruit is,” Lorkowski said. “When you find diamonds, you don’t give them up.”

Remarkably, for the second straight year, the Platinum Judging proved Shaw-owned vines on the western edge of Red Mountain produce gems. A year ago, it was a Cabernet Sauvignon from Shaw 32 Vineyard — a wine made by Château Faire Le Pont in Wenatchee — that was voted as the Platinum Judging’s Best of the Best.

“Just having ‘Red Mountain’ on the label is good for the customers, but the quality of the fruit can’t be denied,” said Lorkowski, who learned about the wine trade in the 1990s while working for Seattle retailers such as Pike & Western and Peter Dow’s Cavatappi Distribution. “Everything that comes off Red Mountain is special.”

Longtime fans of Lorkowski won’t be shocked by news from this year’s Platinum. In 2008, the Cascade Cliffs 2006 Barbera was the top wine of the judging.

Lorkowski, a Penn State grad, purchased the Wishram, Wash., vineyard and winery in 1997 from Ken Adcock, who launched the business as Columbia Cliffs in 1985 and planted 5 acres of vines. Lorkowski had moved to Seattle for a career in finance, but his interest in wine led him to figures such as Dow and winemaker Kay Simon at Chinook. During the past two decades, Lorkowski has grown his vineyard to 23 acres, sources from some of Washington’s top plantings and increased his production to 10,000 cases.

And while Lorkowski has helped lead a crusade for red varieties native to northwestern Italy, Reustle’s work in Southern Oregon with Grüner Veltliner is that of a pioneer — the first in the U.S. to plant, grow and commercially vinify the Austrian white grape in 2005. His introduction and inspiration got kick-started during a motorbike tour through Austria.

“Grüner Veltliner is the world’s most versatile, age-worthy white wine,” Reustle says.

Reustle’s program in the Umpqua Valley quickly garnered acclaim and awards, and the diversity now spans four distinctively different approaches — the Estate Hefeabzug, the Green Lizard, Dolium and a sparkler.

At 2020 Platinum Judging, it was Reustle’s 2018 Estate Selection Hefeabzug Grüner Veltliner that finished as the competition’s top white wine and matched the point total awarded to the Cascade Cliffs 2018 Syrah.

“Our Estate is harvested and vinified to retain a slightly higher level of acidity while still maintaining all the rich characteristics of Grüner Veltliner,” Reustle explains. “Our ‘Green Lizard’ is harvested and vinified using the general parameters applied in Austria’s Wachau region for their Smaragd certification.

 ‘Green Lizard’ is a bit of a spoof on the word smaragd — which we’ve been forbidden to use — which means emerald green and is so named after a native green lizard that roams the Wachau vineyards,” Reustle continued. “The result is a much fuller mouthfeel, deep ethereal flavors and aromas and amazing balance.”

His Dolium project might be the most fascinating.

“Dolium is made in a cement egg, which consistently produces a creamy soft texture on the palate accompanied by a mineral component,” he says.

Reustle has won more career Platinum awards — 43 — than any Oregon winemaker. Grüner accounts for 14 of those. A dozen have been for Syrah.

“Since 2009, our Grüner Veltliner has been awarded 10 best-of-class awards and 32 double golds/platinums in the most prestigious competitions in the USA,” Reustle points out.

And, like Lorkowski, this fall also was the second time an entry by Reustle has gone on to earn “Best of the Best” honors. The first came in 2017, thanks to the 2014 Revelation & Sorek Bloc Estate Grüner Veltliner. That showing provided additional validation for Wine Press Northwest naming Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards as its 2017 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year.

While Reustle constantly seeks out the feedback that wine competitions can provide, Lorkowski historically hasn’t paid much attention to them.

“Winning a gold medal at the Klickitat County Fair doesn’t matter to me,” he said with a smirk. “With my background of working for a distributor after I left banking, pouring for the retail guys is where the rubber meets the road.”

In the case of the 2018 Winemaker’s Select Syrah, Cascade Cliffs general manager, certified sommelier Jared Germain, submitted it to Wine Press Northwest’s Syrah competition last winter. It qualified for the Platinum with an “Outstanding!” rating.

When it came to entering that already special Syrah into this year’s judging of gold medal winners, Lorkowski looked back upon the 2006 Barbera and had his doubts when Germain talked about entering the 2020 Platinum.

“We won’t win it again. That’s almost impossible” was Lorkowski’s response.

So much for never say never.

Lorkowski has been an admirer of fruit from Quintessence Vineyard, which is one of his sources of Cabernet Sauvignon and also is farmed for the Shaws by decorated grower Marshall Edwards, so when Lorkowski learned that some Syrah became available within the Shaw portfolio, he didn’t hesitate. There was much risk, and the rewards go beyond his own brand.

“News about this wine is awesome, and I’m happy for them,” Lorkowski said of Edwards and the Shaws. “Something like this will have people call them for more fruit, which is great. We’re all working together in this business.”

The latest Best of the Best award serves as a testament to Lorkowski’s winemaking talent. He’s used Italian varieties — Barbera in particular — to carve out his niche in the Northwest and account for more than two-thirds of his total production.

“I’m always looking for more,” Lorkowski says.

Especially if the Barbera vines are on Red Mountain.

BEST OF THE BEST

Cascade Cliffs Vineyard & Winery 2018 Winemaker’s Select Syrah, Red Mountain • $50

While Columbia Gorge winemaker Robert Lorkowski has made his mark in the Northwest with Italian varieties such as Barbera, Nebbiolo and Zinfandel, it was Syrah that lifted him to the top of the 21st Platinum Judging. Fruit from Stanton Vineyard on Red Mountain brings classic notes of cured meat, blackberry, plum and black pepper. Chocolaty tannins and blueberry juice keep rolling out for a remarkably long finish. Granted, the listed alcohol by volume (ABV) is rather hedonistic, but it doesn’t poke out within that perfect tannin/acid balance. And the following for his overall program has prompted him to open four tasting rooms — in Wishram within his estate vineyard, across the Columbia River in Hood River, Ore., and two in the greater Seattle area within Georgetown south of Safeco Field and across Lake Washington in Woodinville. (188 cases, 16% alc.) Award: Wine Press Northwest Syrah judging (Outstanding!).

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2018 Estate Selection Hefeabzug Grüner Veltliner, Umpqua Valley • $26

Stephen Reustle earned Wine Press Northwest magazine’s 2017 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year award for his talent with a variety of grapes, including Syrah, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Tempranillo and Sauvignon Blanc, but his work with the Austrian white Grüner Veltliner (GREW-ner VELT-leaner) has been groundbreaking. After all, Reustle was the first in the U.S. to grow and bottle Grüner. He began with the 2005 vintage and earned immediate acclaim. The self-trained winemaker produces several expressions of GV, but the reference to hefeabzug denotes that this was aged on the lees. Beer lovers may recognize “hefe” as the German word for yeast. This bottling offers lime peel, white pepper and tarragon on the nose. Inside, it is perfectly herbaceous and bright as the moderate-plus acidity is paired spot-on with the creamy entry to the palate from the lees aging. There’s a sense of weight to the orange cream, honeyed lavender, shortbread and green tea as high-toned minerality and a sense of limestone add lift and elegance. One judge said, “I could drink this all night long.” (462 cases, 13.9% alc.) Awards: San Diego International (platinum), Great Northwest Invitational (gold).

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DOUBLE PLATINUM

Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2017 Phinny Hill Vineyard Carménère, Washington • $32

It’s rather rare, but this is not the first time for the same wine to win a Platinum in consecutive years. Last year, winemaker Coco Umiker earned a single Platinum for this reflection of the 2017 vintage from the Beightol family’s vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills. That wine has improved, exemplified by this high-ranking unanimous Platinum — a Double Platinum. It’s rich and elegant with wild dark berries, baking spice, sage, a pop of pepper and the variety’s herbal undertones. There’s no real sense for the Umikers to enter their 2017 Carm into a 2021 competition, but if they do, don’t bet against it qualifying for a third straight Platinum Judging next fall. (447 cases, 14.5%) Awards: 2019 San Francisco International (gold).

Hightower Cellars 2017 Murray Red Wine, Columbia Valley • $20

We’ve mentioned this many times, but Tim and Kelly Hightower prompt us to reference it again — they create some of the most wonderfully balanced reds in the Northwest. And yet, that’s not necessarily natural for some when pulling from Red Mountain, often associated with robust reds. However, their Murray tier showcases their ability as blenders, and it’s no surprise to see this 2017 drinking so well considering their 2016 Murray Red was best of class last year at the 2019 Great Northwest Invitational. Expect a wine of beautiful decadence, offering black currant, cassis, toast, violets and raspberry leaf with Craisin, strawberry-rhubarb jam and wet stone combining for a long finish. One judge described it as “a world-class wine” — and that was without knowing the price. (754 cases, 14.2% alc.) Award: Great Northwest Invitational (gold).

Bluebird Hill Cellars 2017 Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley • $49

A rising star along the South Willamette Wine Trail, Bluebird Hill earned its first two Platinums in 2019. This time, Neil and Sue Shay entered one of Oregon’s most decorated examples of Pinot Noir, and it went on to be the top-scoring Pinot Noir of our judging. There’s purity of fruit with its Rainier cherry and pomegranate approach, joined by secondary notes of forest floor, earthiness and anise. Refined tannins and brilliant acidity combine to give it impeccable balance. (50 cases, 13.4% alc.) Awards: San Diego International Wine & Spirits Challenge (gold), Oregon Wine Awards (gold), Savor NW Wine Awards (double gold), Portland Seafood & Wine Festival (gold).

Desert Wind Winery 2016 Sandstorm Series Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Wahluke Slope • $75

A product of the Fries family’s vineyards on the Wahluke Slope, these five barrels of Cab crafted by Greg Fries often don’t make it beyond the Desert Wind club or the inviting tasting room overlooking the Yakima River in Prosser, Wash. This fab Cab finished as the top-scoring wine in its category, thanks to its remarkable fruit profile of black cherry, huckleberry, cassis and blackberry and incredibly long and juicy finish. (120 cases, 14.5% alc.) Award: SavorNW Wine Awards (best of class), Seattle Wine Awards (double gold).

Northwest Cellars 2015 Kiona Vineyards Carménère, Red Mountain • $48

For the second straight year, Bob Delf has earned a Platinum for his Carménère program, but this effort with Williams family grapes merited a unanimous vote by the judges. That’s because it offers nearly everything Carm lovers desire — a theme of plum and ripe berries with underlying notes of green bell pepper and white pepper in an exceptionally balanced structure of tannins and acidity. (138 cases, 14.1% alc.) Awards: Washington State Wine Competition (double gold), Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Callan Cellars 2017 Elephant Mountain Merlot, Yakima Valley • $30

Washington State University product Lisa Callan is on a roll, having picked up four Platinum awards in the past three years, but this marks her first Double Platinum. And this isn’t a huge surprise considering the fruit sources — Joe Hattrup’s Elephant Mountain Vineyard in the Rattlesnake Hills with a big splash of Cabernet Sauvignon from nearby Dineen Vineyard. Its deeply fruited and alluring aromas feature cassis, blueberry and tobacco leaf, all wrapped up in an elegant structure not often associated with Merlot grown in Washington these days. (80 cases, 14.8% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (double gold).

Château Faire Le Pont Winery 2016 Confluence 42% Cabernet Sauvignon 29% Malbec, 17% Petit Verdot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot, Washington State • $54.99

A year ago, Wenatchee, Wash., winemaker Doug Brazil produced the No. 1 wine of the Platinum. This fall, the Double Platinum he earned for his Left Bank Bordeaux approach was one of four Platinums awarded to his winery that overlooks the confluence of the Columbia and Wenatchee rivers. His blend comes together for a wine redolent of dusty black cherry, fig, eucalyptus, fresh herbs and dark roasted coffee. The approach is smooth, yet age-worthy and complex as it picks up cinnamon and vanilla on its way to a tremendous finish of a Hostess berry pie. (250 cases, 15.1% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (double gold).

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Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2017 Malbec, Washington • $28

For the second straight year, Lewis-Clark Valley winemaker Coco Umiker scored a Platinum for Malbec, and this is her blending of Verhey Vineyard and Roosevelt Ridge fruit — both sites owned by the Verhey family. Once again, it’s deep, dark and delicious with plum, cocoa powder, sweet spices and a hint of Jolly Rancher grape candy in the full and round finish that’s brilliantly balanced. (232 cases, 14.8% alc.) Awards: San Francisco Chronicle (double gold), Savor NW Wine Awards (double gold).

Cooper Ridge Vineyard 2018 Grüner Veltliner, Umpqua Valley • $27

Cal-Poly grad Charlie Kidd developed vineyards in Central California, then spent three years growing and making wine in Texas before returning to the West Coast. In 2015, he moved to Oregon to make wine for the Ray family at Cooper Ridge, and this marks their third Platinum in the past two years. Their expression of Grüner is an elegant one, opening with aromas of chamomile, lychee, lime zest and white pepper. They are realized on the palate, along with lemon seed, lime peel and wet stone for a stunning example. (200 cases, 13.1%) Awards: Monterey International Wine Competition (gold), SavorNW Wine Awards (gold).

Coyote Canyon Winery 2017 Coyote Canyon Vineyard Merlot, Horse Heaven Hills • $26

Of the 18 career Platinums for grower/owner Mike Andrews, here’s his first with Merlot, and it ranks among the best in the Northwest. His winemaker, Justin Michaud, presents a deliciously complex and sophisticated style of Merlot, bringing black fruit and cassis, tannins akin to Baker’s chocolate and a delightful mix of herbs such as thyme, tarragon, violets and lavender. (90 cases, 14.6% alc.) Awards: Sunset International Wine Competition (gold), SavorNW Wine Awards (gold), Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Dunham Cellars 2017 Trutina Red Wine, Columbia Valley • $29

Last year, this Walla Walla producer earned a Platinum with a Left Bank Bordeaux approach to the Trutina. This time, Robert Campisi went Right Bank, leading with Merlot (54%) over Cabernet Sauvignon (42%) and turning the 20th anniversary of this blend into a Double Platinum. Stellar sites such as Double Canyon in the Horse Heaven Hills and historic Weinbau on the Wahluke Slope account for rich florals of blackberry and cherry with nutmeg and crushed rock in the background. Inside, there’s tremendous complexity as those same fruit tones are joined by cinnamon, sweet basil, smooth tannins and a savory note of black olive. Wine lovers with a Costco membership should be able to add a few bottles of the Platinum winner to their cellar. (5,531 cases, 13.8% alc.) Award: Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival (gold).

Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery 2019 Signature Riesling Icewine, Golden Mile Bench • $47.99

A decade ago, Walter and Gordon Gehringer used the 2009 vintage of this wine to earn the Platinum Judging’s highest honor as “Best of the Best.” This latest example rivals that. Incredible aromas of orange marmalade, fresh peach, honey and toffee jump out of the glass and on the palate. There’s a remarkable texture and delicate hints at petrol and minerality before the rush of lemon and orange bark in the finish to balance the wealth of sugar (23%). If the brothers stick with their recent trend, they might not make this again until the 2021 vintage. (900 cases, 10% alc.) Awards: All-Canadian Wine Championship (best of class, double gold).

Joseph Christy Vineyards 2017 Gravitas Syrah, Horse Heaven Hills • $32

Denis Hyatt named his estate winery as a memorial to his late father-in-law, a scientist who worked on the Manhattan Project, and the vines aren’t far from the Columbia River critical to the reactors involved. This Syrah, among the 15 acres the Hyatts farm, is a product of their second commercial vintage, and it shows remarkable focus, balance and varietal typicity from start to finish. The theme is one of black cherry and black currant, joined by peppercorns, fresh herbs and a sense of woodsy. It would seem that this first Platinum will lead to others. (35 cases, 14.2% alc.) Awards: Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival (best of show/double gold), 2019 Tri-Cities Wine Festival (gold).

King Estate Winery 2016 Pfeiffer Vineyard Designate Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley • $54

Robin Pfeiffer and his wife, Danuta, farm 70 acres on their solar-powered operation about an hour’s drive north of King Estate, and they sell more than 80% of their grapes to Oregon’s largest Biodynamic winery. Brent Stone has turned this delivery from the King family’s first contracted grower — a relationship that began in 1992 — into one of the Northwest’s best examples of the 2016 vintage. It’s filled with classic Willamette Valley Pinot Noir notes of ripe red fruit, chanterelle mushroom and Indian spice blend. It’s superbly textured with a balanced structure.(501 cases, 13.5% alc.) Award: Wine Press Northwest Pinot Noir judging (Outstanding!).

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Maryhill Winery 2018 McKinley Springs Vineyard Proprietor’s Reserve Roussanne, Horse Heaven Hills • $24

Few folks even work with this rather obscure white Rhône grape, much less produce a reserve tier at such scale. It’s loaded with orchard fruit and comes with that dusty minerality found so often in wines from the Horse Heaven Hills. Clean flavors of apple and pear are joined by a hint of orange and nibble of apple peel on the end, making for a beautifully balanced wine. (380 cases, 14.1% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (double gold).

Maryhill Winery 2017 Northridge Vineyard Syrah, Wahluke Slope • $44

One of the Milbrandt family’s most prized sites ranks as a favorite of Richard Batchelor and the Leutholds. There’s never any concern about Syrah ripening on the Wahluke Slope, and this offers hints of blackberry, black pepper, herbs and scorched earth. Its juiciness also brings along that hint of cured meat found so often in this variety. (284 cases, 15.8% alc.) Awards: Seattle Wine Awards (best of class, double gold).

Mt. Hood Winery 2018 Gunkel Vineyard Grenache, Columbia Valley • $34

The Bickford family in Hood River, Ore., went to the edge of the Columbia Gorge for Grenache from the Gunkel family, which farms around Maryhill Museum. Rich Cushman turned it into Mt. Hood’s fifth Platinum in the past three years. It’s a pretty example of this red Rhône grape, ripe and rich with raspberry, boysenberry, red currant and orange rind, bringing a body structure for a cocktail party or a dinner companion. (96 cases, 13.9% alc.) Award: Cascadia International Wine Competition (gold).

Muret-Gaston Winery 2015 Edythe Mae Vineyard Syrah, Yakima Valley • $45

Prior to the Great Recession, Ste. Michelle alum Kyle Johnson was crafting some of the Northwest’s best examples of Syrah for Olsen Estates in Prosser, Wash. In 2011, the Olsens closed their winery, but they’ve continued to grow stellar Syrah. Johnson works with the Olsens’ Edythe May Vineyard for this sexy example that brings luscious purple fruit, candied violets, baking spice, dusty lavender and managed meatiness. A beautiful tannin structure reminiscent of Baker’s chocolate includes huckleberry juice for well-constructed and balanced Syrah. (200 cases, 14.6% alc.) Award: Wine Press Northwest Syrah tasting (Outstanding!).

Northstar Winery 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley • $40

Ste. Michelle created Northstar with the intent of setting the standard for Merlot in Washington, but David Merfeld makes sure that his Cabernet Sauvignon program gets its due, too. That’s easy to do when afforded access to old vine Cab at venerable Cold Creek Vineyard, an estate planting for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. It’s filled to the brim with inky black and blue fruit, backed by anise and graphite. The lush mouthfeel shows resolved tannins that bring in a nibble of huckleberry for a finish that goes on and on. (400 cases, 14.7% alc.) Award: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (gold).

Orenda Winery 2017 Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley • $47

Wine Press Northwest’s 2019 Washington Winery to Watch used its 2016 Cabernet Franc to earn the honor of Best Red at last year’s Great Northwest Invitational and a Platinum. This year, the Franc from famed Stillwater Creek Vineyard on the Royal Slope went Double Platinum for Samantha Kent, her husband Alexander and their former winemaker, Mark Bosso, now at Westport Winery. It’s a pure example of Cab Franc with cassis, cranberry, raspberry leaf, elements of a spice box and cherry pie on the finish. Elegant and approachable at such a young age, it will cellar beautifully. (100 cases, 14.2% alc.) Awards: Cascadia International Wine Competition (gold), Seattle Wine Awards (double gold).

Siren Song Winery 2016 La Contessa Francesca Siren’s Reserve Syrah, Lake Chelan • $42

High-tech refugee Kevin Brown works with Syrah from his remarkable Siren of the Lake Vineyard near the south shore of Lake Chelan for an example that opens with a surreal nose of roasted meat, cassis, black pepper and toast. Inside, it’s rich, deep and round with dark black fruit, a kiss of oak, a nibble of licorice and a savory finish that’s capped by another pinch of pepper. A first-time Platinum winner, Brown earned three of them this year, an effort led by this Syrah. (200 cases, 14.1% alc.) Awards: Cascadia International Wine Competition (best of class).

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Skagit Crest Vineyard & Winery 2017 Estate Pinot Noir, Puget Sound • $27

Proper site selection, climate change and talented winemaking by Boeing Wine Club product Chuck Jackson come together in the bottle for this first Platinum winner by Skagit Crest. The remarkable amount of hard work that went into this vineyard near Sedro-Woolley, Wash., bears fruit in this bright, Old World example of Pinot Noir that hits on red fruit, rose hips, forest floor and spice rack components, framed by raspberry tea tannins and lemon oil. (148 cases, 13% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2016 Heritage Series Louis Delsol Cabernet Sauvignon, Lewis-Clark Valley • $32

The Umikers enjoy serving as ambassadors for the historic Lewis-Clark Valley and take special pride in blending two vineyards not their own — Arnett and Rock n’ J — into a Cab that wins gold medals. In this case, it won a double Platinum. Their barrel program of 30% new American oak for 22 months develops chai spice notes, but the wood still allows for varietal markers such as green herbs and black cherry. On the palate, it’s fruit-driven and beveled as black cherry picks up and carries along cassis, blackberry and blueberry into a smooth and long finish. It was best of class at the 2019 Idaho Wine Competition, but that’s not how it earned its way into the 2020 Platinum. (211 cases, 14.8% alc.) Award: Dan Berger International Wine Competition, 2019 (gold).

Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2017 Coco’s Reserve Selway, Washington • $45

Like clockwork, Coco Umiker brings back a Platinum every other year for her Selway project, a trend that began in 2016. This time, it went double Platinum. Carménère (45%) leads the blend for the first time in the history of Selway, followed by Petite Sirah (28%) and Malbec (16%) as a trio of Washington vineyards — Phinny Hill, Roosevelt Ridge and Verhey — are brought together in the bottle. Those who can’t get enough Carm will fall for this profile of green peppercorns and blue fruit that’s remarkably deep and completely delicious with a finish of sweet plum, Herbes de Provence and blood orange. (137 cases, 14.4% alc.) Award: Idaho Wine Competition (gold).

Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery 2019 -9 Ehrenfelser Icewine, Golden Mile Bench • $47.99

Minus 9 refers to the warmest temperature in Celsius that grapes can be harvested under in Canada in order to be allowed to label the resulting wine as “icewine.” That’s important because late harvest wines do not command as high of a price as those labeled icewine. This is example using Ehrenfelser is a touch sweeter (31% residual sugar) than Walter Gehringer’s Riesling, and the nectar is decadent. Orange blossom, clove and caramel apple, while apricot jam and white tea supply the tension to balance the sugar deliciously. (170 cases, 9.2% alc.) Awards: All-Canadian Wine Championship (best of class, double gold).

Martinez & Martinez Winery 2018 Tudor Hills Vineyard Viognier, Yakima Valley • $18

Andrew Martinez grew up in a family that’s farmed Cabernet Sauvignon in the Horse Heaven Hills for decades. His wife, Monica (Tudor) Martinez, also has connections to prized grapes in the Yakima Valley. This family affair produced a charming example of Viognier that’s loaded with apricot, honeyed peach and lime gelato while backed by refreshing juiciness. This is their second straight Platinum with Viognier, and this one’s a double. (160 cases, 12.8% alc.) Award: Washington State Wine Competition (gold).

Mellisoni Vineyards 2016 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley • $125

The big “M” on the label denotes the reserve tier for Rob and Donna Mellison, and they make their mark in a major way with this Cabernet Sauvignon from Stillwater Creek Vineyard — the Royal Slope site that’s a breadbasket for more than 40 wineries. It holds a special appeal to lovers of a big Cab with its abundance of red fruit, cola and fig with baking spice, nicely managed oak, pencil shavings and Crayola box. Secondary notes of tomato vine and black olive add a sense of panache to the finish of this medium-bodied Bordeaux. (137 cases, 15.4% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (double gold).

Northstar Winery 2016 Merlot, Columbia Valley • $41

David “Merf” Merfeld will celebrate his 20th anniversary of being in the cellar for Northstar, and 15 years ago he took over as head winemaker. His fourth career Platinum for Merlot is a stately example of Washington Merlot, even though the final blend features a substantial contribution of Cabernet Sauvignon (24%). He stays true to his barrel program of the past decade (56%) new French oak, and the results are quintessential Northstar — a wine redolent of blackberry, dark cherry and black currant with baking spices, age-worthy blueberry-skin tannins and a remarkably long finish that would be ideal with a lamb shank. (548 cases, 14.5% alc.) Awards: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (gold), Seattle Wine Awards (double gold).

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Northwest Cellars 2015 Corvus Vineyard Petite Sirah, Red Mountain • $36

This Kirkland, Wash., vintner used Red Mountain fruit to earn a pair of Platinums this year, boosting Robert Delf’s career total to 14. There’s power and grace in the same glass, offering inky and plummy notes that include boysenberry jam and blueberry. The blend of fruit and spice includes fresh tobacco leaf for complexity amid a cellar-worthy structure. One judge declared, “This is better than any California Petite Sirah other than Inglenook.” (193 cases, 14.1% alc.) Award: Savor NW Wine Awards (gold).

Pudding River Wine Cellars 2016 Estate Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley • $25

Erstwhile mechanical engineer Sean Allen has been the winemaker behind several of the Platinums won by Puffin Wines, yet this signals the first for Allen under his own brand. This is produced with fruit from his own vines, established in 2004 near the Pudding River in the Cascade Foothills, and it’s a rather classic example of Pinot Noir. Bing cherry, boysenberry, light toast and a hint of smoked cedar swirl with a sense of grace that’s kissed by a dollop of strawberry/rhubarb compote. (380 cases, 13.8% alc.) Award: Oregon Wine Awards (double gold).

Saviah Cellars 2018 The Jack Syrah, Columbia Valley • $18

Walla Walla Valley producer Richard Funk has earned 14 Platinums in his career, and three of them have come via his work with Syrah. This screw-capped example is a crowd-pleaser not only for its qualities but also for the price. It starts with a selection from vineyards such as Stillwater Creek on the Royal Slope and Lonesome Spring Ranch in the Yakima Valley as well as Walla Walla Valley sites Pepper Bridge, Watermill and Dugger Creek. It screams Syrah in the nose with cured meat, mint, blackberry and plum. The structure brings plum jam and blackberry with milk chocolaty tannins and a finish that is luscious and long. (2,911 cases, 14.4% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Sleeping Dog Wines 2009 Syrah, Yakima Valley • $36

It’s unusual to see decade-old table wines qualify and enter the Platinum Judging, but 10 years of bottle-aging prior to its release in 2019 helped make this is a stylish effort — and the first Platinum for attorney Larry Oates. The Benton City, Wash., winemaker sourced it from nearby Buoy Vineyard and RiversBend Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope, and it’s simply beautiful, beginning with a color that’s lovely for its age. Plum, huckleberry, sweet herbs, earthiness and lavender aromas lead to impressive flavors of blackberry jam and mint that picks up cocoa powder and fresh raspberry on the back. “It’s remarkably fresh and so bright for its age,” said a judge. The entire panel all agreed. (105 cases, 15.2% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Stangeland Vineyards & Winery 2018 Greenwood Vineyard Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills • $60

The Miller family, which has farmed their Stangeland Vineyard since 1978, acquired Pommard fruit from near Bethel Heights for winemaker Patrick Beall, who turned this ebullient Pinot Noir into the first of the winery’s two Platinums. The remarkably versatile vineyard also factored into a Platinum winner for Tempranillo, and its Greenwood fruit allowed Beall to showcase a Pinot Noir with purple tones of blackberry and plum skins with Douglas fir tips and raspberry leaf. (150 cases, 14% alc.) Award: Oregon Wine Awards (gold).

Tertulia Cellars 2018 Rivière Galets Estate Vineyard Grenache, Walla Walla Valley • $35

Arizona-based hotelier Jim O’Connell’s team at Tertulia picked up its second Platinum in three years for its estate Grenache, which Ryan Driver grows for winemaker Ryan Raber. Bing cherry, raspberry, vanilla cream and spice box make for a racy red profile. Underpinnings of Valencia orange and leather combine to give it a sense of the Rhône Valley, adding to its appeal and lifting it into the ranks of Double Platinum. (200 cases, 14.4% alc.) Award: Walla Walla Valley Wine Competition (gold).

The Bunnell Family Cellar 2013 Painted Hills Vineyard Petit Bec, Columbia Valley • $38

He’s earned a reputation as one of the Northwest’s premier talents with Rhône varieties, but Ron Bunnell uses this cleverly named blend of Petit Verdot (37%) and Malbec (63%) to pick up his 14th Platinum since 2016. Time has been kind to this bottling of fruit from Art denHoed because the dark black fruit still smacks you in the face, followed by cocoa powder. There are spicy, savory and herbal notes mixed in with the velvety, full-bodied texture capped by black olive, bell pepper and white pepper. (199 cases, 13.9% alc.) Award: Cascadia International Wine Competition (gold).

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Tinte Cellars 2019 Viognier, Columbia Valley • $30

In 2018, Tim Gamble and Teresa Spellman Gamble acquired award-winning William Church Winery in Woodinville, Wash., and the success continues thanks to the combination of winemaker Noah Reed Fox and a contract with Gamache Vineyard in the proposed White Bluffs American Viticultural Area north of Pasco. The Viognier program deserves to be in the discussion for the best in the Northwest, having earned a Platinum in consecutive years and the fourth in the history of the winery. Think of ripe banana, white peach, nectarine and apricot with ample acidity and a twist of lime peel to tighten up the finish. (415 cases, 14.3% alc.) Awards: Seattle Wine Awards (gold), Bellingham Northwest wine Festival (gold).

Chris Daniel Winery 2016 Ten 23 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley • $35

Chris Daniel Stewart’s folks live in the Columbia Basin near Quincy, Wash., and while he’s spent much of his young career working in the Napa Valley wine industry, he and his father, Mike, released the first wines for their boutique project in 2017. Ten 23 is a reference to the winemaker’s birthday, Oct. 23, and this is one of three wines made with red Bordeaux varieties that earned Platinum in 2020. Black cherry, dusty herbs and allspice aromas turn into flavors of blackberry and cassis that continue to pulse in behind refined tannins and enjoyable acidity. (35 cases, 15.4% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (double gold), Wenatchee Food and Wine Festival (gold).

Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2019 Crawford Vineyard Albariño, Washington • $22

Of the 25 Platinums now awarded to winemaker Coco Umiker, this is the Idaho vintner’s first for a white wine, and it was a unanimous vote for Platinum. Her vineyard visits to the Crawford family in the Yakima Valley near Prosser paid off with this bright expression of the Spanish grape. While lemons dominate the aromas and the flavor, mixed in also are fresh apricot, lychee and a slice of Key lime pie. It’s brilliantly fruity yet succulent and uplifting. One judge notes, “This is the kind of wine I want to drink a lot of.” (186 cases, 14.5% alc.) Award: Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition (gold).

Eleven Winery 2014 Angelica Pinot Grigio, Washington • $20

Bainbridge Island winemaker Matt Albee takes a historic and delicious look at Pinot Gris by turning it into a fortified wine in the style produced by California’s early Franciscan missionaries. Bartlett pear, a slice of apple pie, toasted pecan and honey are balanced beautifully between the factors of sweetness (11% residual sugar), acid and alcohol. (208 cases, 18% alc.) Award: Wine Press Northwest fortified tasting (Outstanding!).

Mellisoni Vineyards 2017 Forte Rosso Red Wine Blend, Columbia Valley • $125

A 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec from Stillwater Creek Vineyard on the newly established Royal Slope American Viticultural Area, the Mellisons emerged with a remarkable red that’s consumer friendly and a great food wine. Black currant, dark plum and licorice rope come with black olive and a pinch of thyme. A splash of mountain blueberry reminds you of the influence of Malbec, as does the hint of barbecued meat. (15.2% alc.) Awards: Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival (gold), 2019 Tri-Cities Wine Festival (gold).

Melrose Vineyards 2017 Estate Pinot Gris, Umpqua Valley • $20

Second-generation grower/winemaker Cody Parker shows that this white Burgundy grape can shine in Oregon south of the Willamette Valley. It’s still Pinot Gris in the style of Oregon with stone fruit, honeysuckle and facial powder tones, yet there’s some fleshiness of kiwi and papaya to the lovely structure. Even though it’s a 2017, it’s not showing its age yet, and it’s a Pinot Gris that would appeal to someone who appreciates dry Riesling. (300 cases, 14% alc.) Awards: West Coast Wine Competition (gold), Sip McMinnville Wine & Food Festival (gold).

Mercer Estates 2016 Sharp Sisters Red Blend, Horse Heaven Hills • $25

Jessica Munnell’s work with Mercer family fruit led to its selection as Wine Press Northwest’s Washington Winery of the Year in 2016, and this is among the gems she helped start before she stepped aside in 2017. Jeremy Santo, a fellow WSU grad, blended Syrah (42%), Merlot (37%,) Cabernet Sauvignon (11%) and Malbec (10%) into a fascinating red that offers black raspberry, dried cherry, mocha, tarragon and mint for a complete wine that’s capped by cassis, tobacco and blood orange. (548 cases, 14.1% alc.) Award: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (gold).

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Palencia Wine Co. 2019 Albariño, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley • $22

Four times in the past five years, Victor Palencia’s namesake brand has been awarded a Platinum for its work with this Spanish white grape. Three of those have gone Double Platinum, including this beauty. While the nose hints at Bosc pear, lime and honeysuckle, there’s an explosion of flavors as white peach and guava lead to Mandarin orange and lime juice. In the background, there’s the telltale marker of the Ancient Lakes — minerality. (570 cases, 12.6% alc.) Award: Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival (double gold).

Red Lily Vineyards 2014 Thin Line Tempranillo, Applegate Valley • $40

A number of Southern Oregon vintners have followed the lead of Abacela and devoted a portion of their portfolio to Tempranillo. Jacksonville winemaker Rachael Martin has earned a trio of Platinums in the past two years with this Rioja red, and her reserve won her first Double Platinum. Complex aromas of black fig, menthol, raspberry tea and tobacco leaf lead to a Tempranillo that really opens up in the mouth with Montmorency cherry, Craisin and paprika, making it a wine for a wide assortment of tapas. (250 cases, 14.5% alc.) Award: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (gold).

Silvan Ridge Winery 2017 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley • $30

Argentina native Juan Pablo Valot has been at Silvan Ridge Winery since 2005, long enough to work for three generations of the Chambers family. This effort with Pinot Noir ranks among the best in the Northwest, and it’s a delicate yet accessible example. Bing cherry, cinnamon and a wisp of smoke lead to flavors of raspberry pie, Chukar Cherry and pomegranate as elegant tannins and a sprinkle of cinnamon make for a smooth finish. (1,144 cases, 14.2% alc.) Award: Sunset International Wine Competition (gold).

Spangler Vineyards 2016 Cabernet Franc, Southern Oregon • $29

Our 2018 Oregon Winery of the Year wins a fourth Platinum for its work with Cabernet Franc, and Patrick Spangler made this one a double. It carries classic qualities of Franc in the nose with herbs, cherry and light smoke, and follows with cherry and raspberry flavors. There’s a touch of milk chocolate to the smooth tannin structure, and blueberry juice gives the finish length. (199 cases, 14.2% alc.) Awards: Cascadia International Wine Competition (gold), Oregon Wine Awards (double gold).

Spangler Vineyards 2016 Khayam’s Block Dolcetto, Umpqua Valley • $29

This Roseburg, Ore., producer seemingly has Dolcetto dialed in. His work with the 2015 vintage brought him a Platinum. Here, the 2016 went Double Platinum. Both were produced from vines on a portion of his estate that’s named for a popular cheetah at the nearby wildlife safari. Think of chocolate-covered figs and a Christmas fruit cake with spiced orange. Too many Northwest examples of this Italian red come across as astringent, but this is nicely balanced. (249 cases, 15% alc.) Award: Cascadia International Wine Competition (gold).

Tinte Cellars 2017 Malbec, Columbia Valley • $42

In 2014, this cellar used a Malbec from Gamache Vineyard near the Hanford Reach to produce the best wine of the Platinum. This release by Noah Reed Fox, a product of Walla Walla Community College’s winemaking program, goes down as the fourth Platinum for Malbec in the history of the winery. The latest drips with elegance, layered with sweet plum, black cherry and blackberry with dark chocolate and sweet chili pepper in the finish. Enjoy with braised meats. (261 cases, 14.5% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Wit Cellars 2018 Chardonnay, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley • $22

Flint Nelson and Cat Warwick share the winemaking duties at Wit Cellars, which earned its first three Platinums this fall — led by this elegant Chardonnay from the fascinating Ancient Lakes region that surrounds the Columbia Basin town of Quincy. They chose to first ferment in stainless steel before sending the lots into used French oak barrels for several months. That explains the toasted marshmallow, Sprite and starfruit qualities, and yet the limey concrete and minerality terroir remains. (350 cases, 12.5% alc.) Award: Savor NW (gold).

Zerba Cellars 2017 Cockburn Vineyard Estate Malbec, Walla Walla Valley • $45

Any discussion about the Northwest’s leading magicians with Malbec must include Zerba Cellars because this is the third straight year with a Platinum-winning Malbec for Cecil Zerba’s winery on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla Valley. What’s also noteworthy about this example from the 2017 vintage is that it was the first for Brent Roberts as head winemaker, replacing Doug Nierman. A classic marker of Northwest Malbec — blueberry — is present in the aromas and the flavors, joined by blackberry, loganberry and hints of forest floor. There’s some crushed rock mixed in with the well-integrated oak, and the silky tannins make for a remarkably long finish. (187 cases, 15.3% alc.) Award: Oregon Wine Awards (gold).

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PLATINUM

Mellisoni Vineyards 2019 Riesling, Lake Chelan • $35

The steeply sloped Lakeside Estate 45 Degree Vineyard is the source for much of Rob Mellison’s aromatic white program, and this prized Riesling ranks among the Northwest’s elite. Orchard blossoms, stone fruit and a faint whiff of petrol transcend into delicate flavors of ripe apricot and river rock that are finished by Mandarin orange and lime juice. “It’s exactly what a Riesling should be,” voiced one judge. (93 cases, 13.2% alc.) Awards: Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival (gold), 2019 Tri-Cities Wine Festival (gold).

Desert Wind Winery 2016 Estate Petit Verdot, Wahluke Slope • $30

Two years after Greg Fries crushed these grapes, he and his family entered a stage of transition in the wine industry by selling Duck Pond Cellars and their Oregon vineyards to a Colorado company. In 2020, respected Washington growers Tom Merkle and Josh Lawrence purchased Desert Wind Vineyard, the birthplace of this Petit Verdot. Sweet aromas of blackberry and strawberry-rhubarb pie turn into Marionberry pie on the intensely fruity palate that brings a remarkably silky structure for this traditional blending Bordeaux grape. (125 cases, 13.6% alc.) Award: 2019 Tri-Cities Wine Festival (gold).

Hightower Cellars 2017 Merlot, Red Mountain • $30

Judging by their performance in this year’s Platinum, Tim and Kelly Hightower could/should charge more for the remarkable reds they craft on Red Mountain. They’ve mastered the tannin management Washington Merlot requires, and the influences of Petit Verdot (7%) and Cabernet Franc (7%) show up too in the profile of a bramble berry scone, fresh herbs and pipe tobacco that’s capped by a fruity finish of black cherry and boysenberry. (346 cases, 14.3% alc.) Awards: Cascadia International Wine Competition (gold), Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival (gold).

Vino la Monarcha 2018 Malbec, Wahluke Slope • $24

Victor Palencia has produced a Platinum with Malbec for the Jones family, but this is the first time that the winemaker for our reigning Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year has done so under one of his own brands. It’s remarkably complex, starting with earthiness ahead of plum, blackberry and blueberry. The black and blue fruit arrive in a big and round mouthfeel as silky tannins deliver a long and juicy finish. It has found its way onto more than one year-end “best of” lists, and our judging panel would agree. (300 cases, 14.5% alc.) Award: Washington State Wine Competition (best of class, double gold).

Awen Winecraft 2018 Grenache Blanc, Rogue Valley • $30

Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood launched their brand in 2016, and they’ve forged an award-winning relationship with the winemaking team led by Herb Quady and Brian Gruber at Barrel 42 in Medford, Ore. The grapes for their mouth-watering Grenache Blanc didn’t travel far — coming from Fortmiller Vineyard near Talent, a site well-known for Rhône varieties. It’s expressive and engaging from the start, an experience filled with nectarine, honeycomb and lemon/lime, backed by minerality and a juiciness that prompted a judge to remark “Wow!” when describing the balance. (150 cases, 14.1% alc.) Award: Sip McMinnville Wine & Food Festival (best white/gold medal).

Brandborg Vineyard and Winery 2017 Whale Song Blanc de Noir, Elkton Oregon • $50

The Brandborgs established vines below their home near Elkton, Ore., in 2002, and the cool site works quite well for the Pinot Noir in this sparkling wine production. There’s a fun surprise to the hints of honeyed tropical fruit, yet the skilled work to craft the mousse shows a classic style. Integrated acidity gives it a long and elegant finish. (56 cases, 12.2%) Award: Oregon Wine Competition (double gold).

Cardwell Hill Cellars 2015 Estate Dijon Blocks Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley • $45

The purpose of the Platinum is to identify some of Northwest’s best wines and talented producers, and the work by Dan Chapel in Philomath, Ore., continues to show our panels that he deserves more acclaim that he gets in the Willamette Valley. His wines led to a trio of Platinum awards in 2020, giving him seven in the past three years and 12 in his career. His Estate Dijon Blocks program seems extra-special, combining for three Platinums in two years. This is a blend of 115 and 777 clones, and offers a heavy yet supple load of dark loganberry and black cherry with a pinch of horehound and pipe tobacco. (354 cases, 13.83% alc.) Award: McMinnville Wine & Food Classic - Sip! (gold).

Cedar River Cellars 2017 It’s a Long Way Barrel Select Cabernet Franc, Yakima Valley • $40

For the second time in three years, Micah Nasarow has brought a Platinum back to his winery in Renton, Wash. His work with Two Blondes Vineyard, a 20-year-old estate planting for famed Andrew Will Winery, includes this classic Cab Franc with aromas of oregano, Bing cherry, heirloom tomato and spice rack. Inside, the focus is on cherry and plum, with chocolaty-smooth tannins and a delicious dose of acidity. (55 cases, 13.5% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

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Cellardoor Winery 2017 Merlot, American • $24

Maine winemaker Aaron Peet earned his second Platinum for Merlot in as many years. For the 2017 vintage, he pulled from the Yakima Valley and Red Mountain. There’s power and grace to this remarkable presentation of plum and blueberry, which sounds like a glass of award-winning Merlot from Washington. (455 cases, 15% alc.) Award: Cascadia International Wine Competition (gold).

Cellardoor Winery 2016 Artist Series Aurora Red Wine, American • $32

There’s a Left Bank Bordeaux approach to this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (76%), Merlot (19%) and Franc. The Cab came from Shaw Vineyard on Red Mountain which helps explain the incredibly supple and intensely fruited approach with blackberry, black cherry and dusty huckleberry, plus spice box notes, toast, tar, roasted meat and orange peel for a complete and fascinating wine, good for a second straight Platinum. (249 cases, 14.4% alc.) Award: 2019 New Orleans International (gold).

Cellardoor Winery 2016 Sur La Riviere, American • $24

A year ago, this Rhône blend of Grenache (50%) and Syrah (50%) picked up just enough points to earn a Platinum. This fall, it showed even better, narrowly missing a Double Platinum. It’s a laser beam of fruit — black cherry and raspberry with spiced plum cake — with brilliant brightness in its structure. (485 cases, 14.5% alc.) Award: 2019 New Orleans International Wine Awards (best of class, double gold).

Château Faire Le Pont Winery 2015 Commander’s Reserve Dessert Wine, Columbia Valley • $34.99

A tip of the cap to his days serving in the U.S. Navy, helicopter pilot Doug Brazil was the commanding officer of the Navy recruiting district in Seattle before becoming a force in the Washington wine industry. His Port-style wine is constructed with Primitivo and fortified with brandy made with Cabernet Franc. It’s a first-class sweet wine that features blackberry, mint chocolate and baking spice, all swirling in a smooth delivery and long finish of blueberry juice that balances the 14% residual sugar and the remarkably managed alcohol. (300 cases, 18.2% alc.) Awards: Wenatchee Food and Wine Festival (best of class/gold).

Château Faire Le Pont Winery 2016 Malbec, Columbia Valley • $42.99

Of Brazil’s nine career Platinums, six from this University of Georgia product have been for work with red Bordeaux varieties. This is his first for a standalone varietal bottling of Malbec, but it’s unlikely to be his last. It’s layered with dark blue fruit, black pepper, clove and menthol, plus leather, clove and Baker’s chocolate in the farewell. (250 cases, 14.3% alc.) Award: Wenatchee Food and Wine Festival (gold).

Col Solare 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain • $75

This vintage marks the 10th anniversary of Col Solare on Red Mountain, and this bottling by Darel Allwine for Italy’s Antinori family and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates ranks among his best. It’s a blend of the Col Solare Estate Vineyard and nearby Quintessence and Shaw 32 vineyards — both owned by Washington Wine Hall of Famer Dick Shaw. Aromas of black cherry, cola, baking spice and herbs hint at the inclusion of Cabernet Franc (6%) and the 22 months in 100% new French oak barrels. There’s a rich reward to the mix of blackberry and black cherry, which leads to chocolaty tannins and a blueberry finish that makes for a remarkable structure and delicious balance. Enjoy with lamb, game and grilled meats. (5,962 cases, 14.5% alc.) Award: Rodeo Uncorked! Houston Livestock & Rodeo International Wine Competition (gold).

Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery 2019 Ehrenfelser, Okanagan Valley • $14

Best Buy! The Germans developed this cross of Riesling before World War II, and Walter Gehringer learned to make wine in Germany, so his success with Ehrenfelser seems natural. He’s now earned 15 Platinums with this grape, eight with this table wine. Beautiful notes of apricot, kiwi, crushed oyster shell and citrusy fruit sing. At nearly 1.4% residual sugar, there is a bit of sweetness, but the natural brightness of British Columbia wines allows this to finish as clean as a whistle. (2,000 cases, 12.8% alc.) Award: Cascadia International Wine Competition (double gold).

Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery 2019 Late Harvest Riesling, Golden Mile Bench • $20

A common question is what’s the difference between a late harvest Riesling and a Riesling ice wine. Here’s the scoreboard when it comes to sugar. At this winery just south of Oliver, British Columbia, the Riesling Icewine is 23% residual sugar. Its late harvest bottling comes in at 8% RS. That gives it a profile similar to a German auslese with markers of peach pie with baking spices, orange marmalade and caramelized almond. And yet, there’s a wealth of minerality and great lift provided by its bright acidity. (500 cases, 13.1% alc.) Award: All-Canadian Wine Competition.

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Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery 2019 Dry Rock Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, Okanagan Valley • $16

If the Platinum Judging is a worthy barometer, then no one in the Northwest offers a Sauvignon Blanc that’s as consistently delicious. Five years in a row, the Gehringers have been awarded a Platinum for it, and this is their eighth since 2008. There’s no meow detected; instead the nose of cantaloupe, lemon verbena, gooseberry and vanilla cream lead to a palate that opens up with gooseberry pie, kiwi and lemongrass. (600 cases, 13.3% alc.) Award: All-Canadian Wine Competition (gold).

Iris Vineyards 2018 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley • $22

Chalice Estate Vineyard shares a fence line with King Estate Winery, and winemaker Aaron Lieberman turned that fruit into a Platinum for the second straight year. Bright flavors of boysenberry, strawberry and Rainier cherry pick up orange oil and cinnamon for a nicely layered example of Pinot Noir. (5,200 cases, 13.8% alc.) Award: Oregon Wine Competition (gold).

L’Ecole No 41 2019 Seven Hills Vineyard Estate Luminesce Sauvignon Blanc • Sèmillon, Walla Walla Valley • $22

Of the 14 career Platinum awards for Marty Clubb, this is the sixth for his sterling white wine program — and the fourth involving the under-appreciated white Bordeaux, Sèmillon. This is a 50/50 blend bottled by his new winemaker, Marcus Rafanelli, and it’s vibrant and expressive with notes of lemon shortbread, Bosc pear and caramel that are deliciously integrated and balanced with a zesty finish of lime. (1,450 cases, 14% alc.) Award: Walla Walla Valley Wine Competition (gold).

Mellisoni Vineyards 2019 Mellarci White Table Wine, Lake Chelan • $50

Inspired by Alsace, this beautifully fruity yet bone-dry wine blends estate Gewürztraminer (70%) from Lakeside 45 Degree Vineyard with Orange Muscat from nearby Larc Vineyard. Tropical notes of lychee, passionfruit and cardamon pick up rose petal as a twist of lemon and a squirt of pink grapefruit combine for a brilliant finish. (68 cases, 13.3% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (best of class, gold).

Newhouse Family Vineyards 2016 Upland Estates Vineyard Scion Red Blend, Snipes Mountain • $40

For the 10th time, Ron “Rhône Ranger” Bunnell is the winemaker behind a Platinum winner from varieties native to the Rhône Valley. It’s also the second consecutive vintage that this GSM — Grenache (40%), Syrah (40%) Mourvedre (20%) — has gone Platinum for the next generation to farm historic Upland Vineyard. Dark red fruit, a slice of salumi and a dash of white pepper only begin to describe this spicy, silky and juicy beauty. (150 cases, 14.2% alc.) Award: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (double gold).

Vino la Monarcha 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley • $22

Hall of Fame designated hitter Edgar Martinez collaborated with Victor Palencia on a bottling of 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon in commemoration of his recent induction. It’s difficult to imagine that special project could drink any better than this hit. Dusty black fruit gathers up notes of sage and tobacco as chocolaty tannins and age-worthy acidity make for a seamless Cab that’s priced within reach of any fan. (395 cases, 14% alc.) Award: Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival (gold).

Puffin Wines 2019 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley • $22

Looking for the best Pinot Gris program in the Pacific Northwest? The debate could begin on the Oregon Coast at the Wine Shack on Cannon Beach where vintner Steve Sinkler works with winemaker Ray Walsh of Capitello Wines. In 1993, the Kiwi was on the ground floor at King Estate Winery — the largest producer of Pinot Gris in the Northwest. Granny Smith apple, tangerine and wet stone aromas come through for a delectable finish of kumquat, Meyer lemon and Key lime pie. (120 cases, 13.5% alc.) Award: SavorNW Wine Awards (gold).

Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen 2018 Eroica Riesling, Columbia Valley • $20

For the eighth time, this Mosel-influence Riesling went Platinum. Inviting aromas include Mandarin orange, honeysuckle, white peach and a fascinating fleck of minerality, a feature often associated with wines from Evergreen Vineyard in the Ancient Lakes. The bright and juicy structure complements the flavors of nectarine and white peach. A hint of green apple and honeysuckle nectar bring on a long snap to the 1.7% residual sugar. “The whole package” is how one judge described this. (10,000 cases, 12% alc.) Awards: Cascadia International Wine Competition (best of class, double gold), Washington State Wine Competition (best of class, gold).

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Ryan Patrick Wines 2017 Rock Island Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley • $25

Butch Milbrandt’s team reached into three family sites on the Wahluke Slope — Clifton, Sundance and his own Ravenscliff — while working vineyards in the Yakima Valley and historic Conner Lee in the Columbia Basin for this statuesque Cab. Plum, black currant, leather, vanilla and cinnamon make for a complex drink. (800 cases, 13.5% alc.) Award: Savor NW Wine Awards (gold).

StoneRiver Vineyards 2017 Mourvèdre, Rogue Valley • $26

The Lange family owns more than 30 acres of vineyard near Medford, Ore., and what they don’t sell to A to Z Wineworks, Eugene winemaker Jonathan Oberlander works with for StoneRiver. The Mourvèdre is rather remarkable with notes of ripe red fruit, violet and guimauve. Its structure is rather complex and light on its feet, making for fun and balanced wine. (97 cases, 13.9% alc.) Award: Savor NW Wine Awards (gold).

40:31 Wines 2018 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley • $23

A pair of refugees from the world of IT, Bill and Shari Price purchased Ten Peaks Vineyard near McMinnville, Ore., in 2017, and while they sell much of their fruit, they work with acclaimed winemaker Jim Sanders for this Pinot Gris under their winery brand named for a Bible verse about perseverance. It delivers the enjoyable bright acidity of Pinot Gris along stone fruit and slate in the nose, followed by pineapple and Granny Smith apple with spritzy acidity that’s finished by lime zest. (100 cases, 14.1% alc.) Award: McMinnville Wine & Food Classic - Sip! (gold).

Aluel Cellars 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley • $45

The hired gun for Seattle businessmen Alex Oh and Samuel Hilbert is Bart Fawbush, and it’s an arrangement that continues to pay dividends, resulting in five Platinum awards in the past three years — including the “Best of the Best” in 2018 with a Carmenere-based blend. They are back in the win column with the world’s most popular red Bordeaux, and there are a series of pleasant entry points. Montmorency cherry and sweet plum dominate the fruit, while tobacco, thyme and sage add savory elements. Well-managed tannins develop a full mouthfeel. (46 cases, 13.9%) Award: Washington State Wine Awards (gold).

Aluel Cellars 2014 Upland Vineyard Souzão, Snipes Mountain • $24

Souzão, a red Portuguese variety not commonly found in Northwest vineyards, often plays only a contributing role to the famous fortified wines of Portugal. Here, it is the star of the show, as Columbia Gardens winemaker Bart Fawbush once again shows his talent with varieties not typically featured as standalone bottlings, and he does a sweet job of it for this young Seattle brand. It’s bold and generous with black cherry compote, fig and strawberry freezer jam notes, tossing in graphite and smoked meat for good measure. It’s nicely sweet (8.5%), but the tannin structure, juicy approach and integrated alcohol make this deliciously dangerous. (80 cases, 20%) Award: Washington State Wine Awards (gold).

Bitner Vineyards 2016 Reserve Syrah, Snake River Valley, $35

Retired bee biologist Ron Bitner jokingly refers to the skills of winemaker Greg Koenig as his “retirement plan.” Well, what’s left of these five barrels of Syrah should move quickly after news of this Platinum drops, which is the fifth that Koenig has delivered to this Sunnyslope Wine District property in the past three years. Big, juicy and spicy, this savory Syrah packs a punch with ripe blackberry and follows with a drizzle of chocolate for round and structured wine.(113 cases, 14% alc.) Award: Cascadia International Wine Competition.

Callan Cellars 2018 GSM Grenache Syrah Mourvèdre, Yakima Valley • $38

Woodinville winemaker Lisa Callan used a Grenache-heavy blend to earn her second Platinum of the 2020 judging and continue her flair with Rhône varieties. She worked with two of her favorite vineyards — Boushey for the Grenache (60%) and Syrah (26%) and Elephant Mountain for the Mourvèdre — to build a profile of cured meat, blackberry and white pepper, plus a scrape of milk chocolate in the smooth tannin structure and an squirt of pomegranate juice in the long finish. (60 cases, 14.6% alc.) Award: Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival (gold).

Cardwell Hill Cellars 2015 Estate Old Vines Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley • $40

When Dan and Nancy Chapel took over a neglected vineyard in 2000, they ripped out everything but the own-rooted Wädenswil clones, which makes the 1983 planting quite a legacy in the Willamette Valley. It’s a fruit-forward and decadent Pinot with great weight to its dark profile of Marionberry and blueberry, supremely managed tannins, ample acidity and a fun finish of Trappist Abbey Monastery Fruitcake. One judged remarked, “There’s my Pinot!” (250 cases, 13.92% alc.) Award: McMinnville Wine & Food Classic - Sip! (gold).

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Cellardoor Winery 2016 Cabernet Franc, American • $24

The husband-wife winemaking team of Aaron and Christina Peet was part of the Washington wine community while Aaron was going through the Institute for Enology and Viticulture at Walla Walla Community College. They imported grapes from Red Mountain and the Horse Heaven Hills to Bettina Doulton’s winery in Maine, where they’ve released a distinguished example of Cabernet Franc, complete with dark red fruit, roasted red pepper and the dusty graphite that seems to be in the background of almost every wine tied to the HHH. (225 cases, 14% alc.) Award: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (best of class, double gold).

Chris Daniel Winery 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley • $35

Washington wine lovers who are driving Interstate 90 can take Exit 151 at George and — with an appointment — evaluate within two minutes some of the Columbia Valley’s best work of red Bordeaux varieties. Chris Stewart, when he’s not working at Girard Winery in the Napa Valley, is back in the Columbia Basin at the winery he’s opened with his parents. His experience with Cab led to two Platinums in 2020, and this offers a nose of black cherry, blackberry, baking spice and fennel. They carry on through to the complex palate, where smooth tannins and plum juice add up to a long finish. (124 cases, 15.3% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2017 Renaissance Red, Lewis-Clark Valley • $23

Two years in a row, the Umikers have mined a Platinum for the flagship wine they named in tribute to the Lewis-Clark Valley’s return to a thriving industry that the temperance movement annihilated in 1920. Once more, Malbec (28%) from local vineyards leads this blend with Cabernet Franc (27%), Syrah (26%), Cabernet Sauvignon (13%) and Merlot. There’s an Old World sensibility to its profile of blackberry and cassis, which gathers up a hint of herbaceousness and iron shavings on the way out with boysenberry acidity. (695 cases, 14.5% alc.) Awards: Finger Lakes International Wine Competition (gold), SavorNW Wine Awards (gold).

Columbia Crest 2018 Grand Estates Syrah, Columbia Valley • $12

Best Buy! We don’t judge the Platinum by price, which makes it fun to look back and see how many times the Grand Estates program has won a Platinum. This is the third time. The first came in 2001 when the MSRP was $11. This is youthful, supple and yummy with hints of blueberry pie, plum, cinnamon and lavender, capped by black cherry and mint. (20,000 cases, 14.5% alc.) Award: Washington State Wine Competition (gold).

H/H Estates 2016 Coyote Canyon Vineyard Big John Cab Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills • $47

Some of the most famous Cabs in Washington state’s history have come from the expansive Horse Heaven Hills, and the Andrews family continues to add to that legacy with its Big John program under their reserve tier. Four barrels, half of them new French oak, set the stage for a classic drink that’s filled with black cherry, blackberry, allspice, toast and chocolate. Rich tannins and black currant acidity make for a superbly long finish. Here’s another example of the same wine receiving a Platinum in back-to-back judging. (100 cases, 14.9% alc.) Award: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (double gold).

DANCIN Vineyards 2018 Ballerina Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills • $39

Chris Jiron turned this into a Platinum as a product of his first vintage at one of Southern Oregon’s destination wineries. As Dan and Cindy Marca’s new winemaker, he produced a sense of hedonism seldom found in Pinot Noir from the Dundee Hills. Its Bing cherry, ripe strawberry and star anise flavors procude a supple mouthfeel that yields slightly in the wake of red currant brightness. (50 cases, 14% alc.) Award: Sunset International Wine Competition (gold).

Jones of Washington 2015 Estate Vineyards Merlot, Wahluke Slope • $15

Best Buy! Victor Palencia and Jones family fruit increased their career total of 20 Platinums this year, and this is their first with Merlot. Intense blueberry and plum notes include tobacco, and refined tannins allow for that fruit to be fully enjoyed. (1,288 cases, 15% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Jones of Washington 2019 Sauvignon Blanc, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley • $15

Best Buy! Over the years, it’s been Pinot Gris, Riesling and rosé that have brought back Platinums, but the 2012 Washington Winery of the Year achieved new levels of success with some other varieties, including Sauvignon Blanc. It’s full of enticing tones of pink grapefruit, honeydew melon, Key Lime, lemon verbena and wet concrete. The fleshy palate includes a touch of gooseberry pie, and it all adds up to a porch-pounding Sauv Blanc that one judge remarked, “This will be easy to sell.” (536 cases, 13.7% alc.) Award: Washington State Wine Competition (double gold).

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King Estate Winery 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, Oregon • $19

They’ve been dubbed “The Kings of Pinot” but the award-winning program being developed by Brent Stone goes beyond that. His effort with Sauvignon Blanc — King Estate’s first — ranks as one of the most decorated on the national wine competition circuit. It immediately gets your attention with notes of grapefruit, lemon verbena, muskmelon and sweet herbs. A spoonful of gooseberry pie arrives on the midpalate, which turns brisk and limey, prompting one judge to exclaim, “Blimey!” (2,517 cases, 13.5% alc.) Awards: Rodeo Uncorked! Houston Livestock & Rodeo International Wine Competition (gold), San Diego International Wine Competition (gold), Cascadia International Wine Competition (gold), SavorNW Wine Awards (gold).

L’Ecole N° 41 2017 Seven Hills Vineyard Estate Perigee, Walla Walla Valley • $55

The little schoolhouse in Lowden, Wash., uses this Left Bank Bordeaux-inspired red to earn its seventh Platinum all-time from Seven Hills Vineyard. It’s a stunning expression of the historic vineyard on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla Valley with a deep theme of blackberry, cherry and black currant that includes tobacco leaf, anise and earthiness. Power and grace come through in a cellar-worthy wine. (1,280 cases, 14.5% alc.) Awards: Sunset International Wine Competition (gold), Cascadia International Wine Competition (double gold).

Ad Lucem 2015 Red Willow Vineyard Day Star Syrah, Washington • $38

It would be a misnomer to label Ad Lucem as a second label for Lady Hill Winery in the North Willamette Valley. Rather, this tier helps winemaker Dan Duryee to brand the Rhône-inspired and vineyard-designate wines he produces for Owen Roe co-founder Jerry Owen. When it comes to Syrah, no vineyard carries more history in Washington than Mike Sauer’s Red Willow — the site in the western Yakima Valley that the late David Lake helped make famous. There’s remarkable synergy inside this Syrah, which brings perfumy dustiness and black cherry aromas. Black fruit comes together and explodes in the mouth, backed by rich and beautiful chocolaty tannins and an uncommon level of herbal notes to the finish. (420 cases, 15% alc.) Award: SavorNW Wine Awards (double gold).

Martin-Scott Winery 2017 Coyote Canyon Vineyard Grace’s Graciano, Horse Heaven Hills • $36

Wenatchee Valley producer Mike Scott, with nine career Platinums, dotes on small lots and doesn’t often reach beyond his own vineyard. Those times when he does, the results typically are magical, as is this Spanish red that’s a prized blender in the Rioja. Appropriately named after his granddaughter Grace, the wine in these three barrels made from Andrews family fruit offers tones of cherry and cola with violets, a sense of earthiness and gorgeous acidity that makes for a long finish of orange peel. Enjoy with tapas or a plate of cheese and cured meats from Visconti’s at the Bybee Public Market in Wenatchee. (75 cases, 15.8% alc.) Award: Wenatchee Food and Wine Festival (double gold).

Martin-Scott Winery 2017 Needlerock Vineyard Montepulciano, Columbia Valley • $31

Mike Scott established one acre of this Italian red next to the Tempranillo in his vineyard that overlooks the Columbia River near Wenatchee. In Italy, it often is blended with Sangiovese, but this proud Washington State University alum does not here, and the result is his third Platinum for Montepulciano. Its alluring red berry and cherry aromas drive you into the glass, where there’s gorgeous balance and a perfectly elegant cherry finish that awakens you. “In Italy, this should be a fruity wine, and this one is,” one judge said. (70 cases, 14.8% alc.) Award: Wenatchee Food and Wine Festival (double gold).

Maryhill Winery 2018 Otis Vineyard Proprietor’s Reserve Albariño, Columbia Valley • $24

This bottling symbolizes the Leuthold family’s devotion to Albariño as it works with the Tudor clan behind Otis Vineyard to build ambassadors for this Spanish white grape. Its brilliant color and aromas let you know that you are drinking Albariño, and the experience includes lemon chiffon, marzipan and Buddha’s Hand citron, making for layers of complexity and a long, rewarding finish. (2,700 cases, 13.6% alc.) Award: Washington State Wine Competition (gold).

Maryhill Winery 2017 Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley • $28

In sticking with much of the tradition surrounding Maryhill’s “Classic” series, the label doesn’t indicate that this is a single-sourced Cabernet Franc from Tudor Hills Vineyard in the Yakima Valley. There’s also an investment of nine months in a barrel program that’s 50% new French oak, which helps create a silky and approachable wine that hints at sweet cherry, blueberry and dusty herbs, capped by plum skin tannins and brightness. (887 cases, 14.2% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (best of class, double gold).

Maryhill Winery 2016 McKinley Springs Vineyards Cinsaut, Horse Heaven HIlls • $48

Richard Batchelor’s string of success with this fascinating red Rhône variety showcases the versatility of McKinley Springs, one of the Northwest’s largest plantings. Dark red fruit, toasted and smoky oak carry into a structure of smooth tannins and a lengthy finish of blackberry and plum. (184 cases, 15.3% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (double gold).

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Maryhill Winery 2018 Winemaker’s Red, Washington State • $17

Cabernet Sauvignon leads this flagship red wine for Maryhill Winery, and the Platinum awarded to this bottling can serve as another tribute to Richard Batchelor’s production winemaker, Dirk Richardson. One judge described this as “Old World meets New World” with its sense of soft tannins, brilliant acidity and food-friendly earthiness, underscored by dark red fruit, spiciness and skillful use of oak. (9,633 cases, 14.1% alc.) Award: Washington State Wine Competition (gold).

Maryhill Winery 2019 Rosé of Sangiovese, Columbia Valley • $17

Winery owners Craig and Vicki Leuthold have long admired Barnard Griffin’s acclaimed rosé program that’s laser-focused on Sangiovese, and their latest example with the Italian grape picked up another award this fall. It’s delicate, fruity and pleasant as hints of dusty SunGold cherry and plum lead to a flavors of strawberry freezer jam and Rainier cherry, producing a lingering juiciness. (9,312 cases, 12.5% alc.) Awards: Washington State Wine Competition (best of class, double gold).

Mellisoni Vineyards 2019 180 Degrees Rosé, Lake Chelan • $45

The Mellisons expanded their fruit sourcing in 2016 with the establishment of Larc Vineyard to the west of their original Lakeside 45 Degree site, and Pinot Noir from that young planting provides the stage for this charming, slightly pink rosé. Lovely aromatics bring Bing cherry jam, pink grapefruit and Mandarin orange peel. Textures of strawberry compote and Rainier cherry pick up a lick of lychee in the lush finish. If you are having Dungeness crab salad with roasted peppers and sea salt, the Mellisons want you to call them. They will bring a bottle of this. (54 cases, 13.8% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (best of class, double gold).

Mellisoni Vineyards 2019 3 Bastards White Table Wine, Columbia Valley • $35

When Rob Mellison began blending Roussanne with Viognier and Chardonnay in 2015, the fruit came from his friend Ed Kelly at Stillwater Creek Vineyard. It marked the first time in the winery’s history that a white wine was not made with estate fruit — hence, “three bastards.” However, it’s now an off-dry offering of estate grapes that lines up as “medium sweet” on the scale invented by the International Riesling Foundation. It’s loaded with orchard fruit — think of peach, apricot and Bartlett pear — with a bit of richness on the midpalate that receives a spotlight of lemony acidity. (136 cases, 14.2% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Mercer Family Vineyards 2017 Reserve Heritage Blend, Horse Heaven Hills • $24

A pair of Syrah-led blends went Platinum this year for Rob Mercer, the 2020 Honorary Grower for the Auction of Washington Wines. His winemaker, Jeremy Santo, pushed Syrah (53%) just ahead of Merlot (41%), and it’s a wine tailor-made for a prime steak house. Black raspberry, blood orange, spice box and cigar leaf pick up oak toast and cured meat notes in this big red that comes with a full mouthfeel. (1,292 cases, 14.5% alc.) Award: Savor NW Wine Awards (gold).

Milbrandt Vineyards 2017 The Estates Cabernet Sauvignon, Wahluke Slope • $27

This is the fourth time that the Cab from this tier of Milbrandt Vineyard has won a Platinum award, and it came in the first vintage with Kendall Mix in charge of the cellar. There’s a richness to the structure often found in reds from the sultry Wahluke Slope. Black currant and Bing cherry notes include a pinch of mint and a sense of savory, while firm tannins and blueberry juice contribute beautiful brightness in the finish. (1,500 cases, 14.5% alc.) Award: Savor NW Wine Awards (gold).

Mustard Seed Cellars 2017 Windrow Vineyard Moving Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon, Oregon State • $45

Originally the western section of Seven Hills Vineyard, this site in Milton-Freewater, Ore., ranks as the first commercial planting in the Walla Walla Valley. It’s been nurtured since 2007 by Doug Roskelley, who died of a heart attack last spring. Gary Brumfield, a product of Walla Walla Community College’s winemaking program, moved in 2015 to Oregon’s Umpqua Valley, where he’s launched a winery and continues to make Walla Walla Valley fruit a focus. This three-barrel example from his fifth commercial vintage offers jammy red fruit and complex notes of fresh herbs, chocolate and earthiness with marvelous tannin management that makes for a long, enjoyable finish. (76 cases, 14.8% alc.) Award: Oregon Wine Competition (gold).

Palencia Wine Co. 2016 El Viñador Petit Verdot, Wahluke Slope • $40

Not that there’s anything left for him to prove, but among the four Platinums won by Victor Palencia this fall, three were for work with standalone bottlings of red Bordeaux varieties. Here, the proud alum of Walla Walla Community College’s winemaking school bevels the tannic edges of Petit Verdot, allowing for full appreciation of purple fruit, anise, paprika and cherry pipe tobacco. On the midpalate, the fruit shifts to Marionberry and dark cherry for a decadent finish. (130 cases, 14.9% alc.) Award: Washington State Wine Competition (gold).

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Panther Creek Cellars 2019 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley • $20

The delicious example of Oregon Pinot Gris from Tony Rynders hits on white peach, lemongrass and nectarine with delicious citrusy notes. (800 cases, 13.5% alc.) Award: Savor NW Wine Awards (double gold).

Pondera Winery 2017 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Syrah, Columbia Valley • $38

The Alberg family’s estate vineyard on the newly established Royal Slope American Viticultural Area provides about two-thirds of the grapes for Shane Howard’s stellar brand in the Woodinville Warehouse District, so look for “Royal Slope” to appear on most of the bottles that the Howard family releases in the spring 2021. This Platinum winner — the first for Howard — is another example of why this part of the Columbia Basin deserves its own appellation. Here’s a four-barrel lot of Syrah that’s deep, dark and delicious with plum, blackberry and spice box notes from beginning to end. Elegant tannins and ample acidity pick up a complex note of earthiness in the finish, which offers longevity. (90 cases, 14.6% alc.) Award: Washington State Wine Competition (gold).

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2018 Estate Green Lizard Grüner Veltliner, Umpqua Valley • $32

This Southern Oregon producer can no longer use smaragd, the green lizard that lives in rocky vineyards of Austria, so Stephen Reustle now labels his wine as “Green Lizard” as a tribute to those styles produced in the Wachau Valley. Its style is not for the faint of heart because of its minerally profile with green tea and starfruit, but if you are having asparagus, Reustle says this is your wine. (427 cases, 13.9% alc.) Award: Cascadia International Wine Competition (double gold), San Diego Wine Competition (Platinum), Monterey Wine Competition (gold), Critics Challenge (gold).

Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery 2019 Classic Riesling, Okanagan Valley • $14

Best Buy! The Gehringers have now won 17 Platinums for Rieslings that are neither late harvest nor ice wine, and this “Classic” part of their Riesling program is just that. Mouth-watering aromas of apricot, lime and guava transition to nectarine, Granny Smith apple and a nibble of papaya. There’s racy Limeade acidity and a fleck of minerality, providing a super clean and crisp finish. (2,500 cases, 13.3% alc.) Awards: All-Canadian Wine Competition (double gold), Cascadia International Wine Competition (gold).

Season Cellars 2017 Viognier, Southern Oregon • $22

Scott and Jennifer Henry in the Umpqua Valley have notched their fifth career Platinum, all for aromatic white wines. This example of Viognier is delicious in its presentation of peaches and cream with lemon and tarragon. (140 cases, 13.8% alc.) Awards: Savor NW Wine Awards (gold), Oregon Wine Competition (gold).

Sherman Winery 2016 The Tank Red WIne, Horse Heaven Hills • $32

Brad Sherman’s Gecko Wine Co., project in Kirkland, Wash., won its first Platinum for its brand that focuses on French varieties rather than the Spanish and Italian grapes produced for its Michael Florentino Cellars tier. This vintage of the “The Tank” is predominantly a Right Bank Bordeaux expression in its composition of Merlot (60%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (20%) from Destiny Ridge Vineyard with Malbec (15%) from Crawford Vineyard, yet there’s an influence of Mourvèdre from prized Red Heaven Vineyard on Red Mountain. The result is a deeply fruited blend of blueberry and blackberry with a savory elegance from front to back. (112 cases, 14.4% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Sigillo Cellars 2018 GSM, Columbia Valley • $36

The largest producer within the emerging Snoqualmie Valley Wine Experience earns its first Platinum award with one of the most popular types of wines on the West Coast. The Seal and Hussey families changed up the traditional Rhône Valley-inspired formula just a bit — Grenache (40%), Mourvèdre (40%) and Syrah — but the structure remains eminently approachable with the appropriate presence of underlying black pepper. Lovely purple fruit akin to plum, currant and pomegranate is joined by sweet vanilla and a long finish of milk chocolaty tannins. Look for these wines in downtown Snoqualmie and now along the south shore of Lake Chelan. (243 cases, 14.8% alc.) Award: Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival (gold).

Silvara Cellars 2018 Malbec Wahluke Slope • $42

Leavenworth vintner Gary Seidler turns this Malbec into something special, a presentation of blackberry, blueberry and horehound with jasmine. (200 cases, 14.74% alc.) Award: Wenatchee Food and Wine Festival (gold).

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Spangler Vineyards 2016 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Oregon • $45

Of any wine in his portfolio, Patrick Spangler might take the most pride in his Cabernet Sauvignon program, and it’s well-earned, with this being the fourth Platinum for his reserve Cab. Three of those have come in the past five years. It’s focused on fruit from the start, carrying scents of black cherry, blackberry and spice all the way through in a very rich fashion. Smooth tannins, a hint of eucalyptus and blueberry juice make for a lingering finish. (135 cases, 14% alc.) Award: 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition.

Three of Cups 2017 Le Jugement GSM Red Wine, Columbia Valley • $21

Woodinville’s Mike Metheny leads with Mourvèdre (58%) rather than Grenache (28%) for this blend with Syrah that brings a nose full of pepper with pomegranate, boysenberry and graphite for this juicy yet silky drink. (171 cases, 13.1% alc.) Award: Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival (gold).

Water from Wine 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills • $30

Inspired by the New Testament story about the Wedding at Cana, the Tucker family has Charlie Hoppes turn their estate grapes near Sandpiper Drive into award-winning wine. Revenue from the wine sales is turned over to agencies around the world that help provide clean water. As of this fall, Water from Wine had contributed $634,295 to those efforts, and this bottling signals the first Platinum for Pat Tucker’s project. Intense red fruit aromas include classic Cab secondary characteristics of eucalyptus and tobacco leaf for a remarkably jammy structure with seamless tannins and a rewarding finish of pepper and cassis. (1,089 cases, 14.8 % alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Yakima Valley College 2017 Late Registration Petit Verdot, Columbia Valley • $15

Best Buy! It’s been an impressive year on the wine competition circuit for Yakima Valley College’s program, and this classwork with Petit Verdot helped the Grandview campus boost its career Platinum total to eight. It’s silky and strong as blackberry and black cherry come wrapped in spice elements of clove and white pepper with mint and savory notes. (28 cases, 13.6% alc.) Award: Cascadia International Wine Competition (gold).

Zerba Cellars 2017 Winesap Vineyard Estate The Rocks Syrah, The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater • $55

Cecil Zerba ranks fifth all-time in Platinum awards, and three of them have been with Syrah, headlined in 2003 by “The Best of the Best.” Brent Roberts seems poised to keep racking up acclaim. The nose of black pepper, spice and blackberry evolves into jammy black currant and plummy flavors. Chocolaty tannins, boysenberry acidity and a touch of licorice make for a marvelous sendoff. (372 cases, 14.9% alc.) Award: Oregon Wine Awards (gold).

Spring Valley Vineyard 2016 Estate Frederick Red Blend, Walla Walla Valley • $50

Cabernet Sauvignon typically leads this blend named in honor of Frederick Cockrum, and this year it dominates, making up 93% percent. There’s a tremendous balance of oak — all of it French, 40% of the barrels new — and fruit with blackberry and raspberry tones. Classic herbal qualities of Cab are allowed to sift through with green pepper and mint, and they all mix with silky tannins. (3,000 cases, 14.5 alc.%). Award: Seattle Wine Awards (double gold).

Tagaris Winery 2016 Syrah, Wahluke Slope • $34

Frank Roth, who spent years in the cellars of Northwest icons Rob Griffin and the late Harry McWatters, works with a trio of Taggares family vineyards — Arete near Othello, Alice at King Fuji Ranch on the Wahluke Slope and Taggares Vineyard in Prosser — for this bright, peppery and slightly funky Syrah. Its juicy profile of raspberry preserves, Rainier cherry, cassis and pomegranate will serve it well alongside a grilled pork chop, a bacon and bluecheese burger or garlicky pasta at the Richland winery’s on-premise restaurant. (150 cases, 13.5% alc.) Award: Wine Press Northwest Syrah tasting (Outstanding!).

Brian Carter Cellars 2016 Willard Family Vineyard ONE Merlot, Yakima Valley • $65

Soft-spoken Brian Carter has been allowing a single variety from a single vineyard to speak for itself at his Woodinville winery since 2007. The Willards planted their Solstice Vineyard in 1980, and this is a wine for the ages. Loaded with fruit, savory and spice, the notes of cassis and blueberry ring loudly amid the refined tannins. (100 cases, 14.5% alc.) Award: Cascadia International Wine Competition (gold).

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DeLille Cellars 2017 Four Flags Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain • $70

Four standard-bearers of Red Mountain — Upchurch, Ciel du Cheval, Grand Ciel and Klipsun — come together for this 100% expression of Cab. Rich and ripe black cherry and cassis, savory herbs and white pepper lead to a plush structure that’s capped by a plump Craisin. (1,575 cases, 14.6% alc.) Awards: Sunset Magazine International Wine Competition (gold), Seattle Wine Awards (double gold).

LIV - Lopez Island Vineyards nonvintage Raspberry Wine, Puget Sound • $28

Brent Charnley, one of the first winemakers in Washington state to be certified organic, buys raspberries from Broers Organic Berry Farm in Snohomish County. And this framboise approach is far from cloying because the racy natural acidity of raspberries balances the residual sugar (6%). It’s reminiscent of breakfast by first hinting at blood orange marmalade and raspberry freezer jam on toast. A pinch of raspberry leaf brings with it a lick of caramel, cocoa and vanilla bean. (130 cases, 17% alc.) Awards: Wine Press Northwest fortified (“Outstanding!”), Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival (double gold).

Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2017 Destiny Ridge Vineyard Quarry Butte Red Wine, Horse Heaven Hills • $26

Jarrod Boyle likes to describe himself as a “dirt farmer,” but he and Ryan Storm continue to create some of the Northwest’s best wines from the vines that surround their winery near Crow Butte Park. Cabernet Sauvignon (57%) and Merlot (21%) get some help from Syrah, but it’s the Cab that does most of the speaking. Dark cherry, plum, cigar box and baking spices finish with pliable tannins, cranberry sauce and cola, making for “a fun wine,” according to one judge. (1,001 cases, 14.4% alc.) Award: Sunset International Wine Competition (gold).

Apolloni Vineyards 2017 Estate Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley • $34

A collection of seven clones across Alfredo Apolloni’s four vineyard blocks near Forest Grove, Ore. — in the new Tualatin Hills American Viticultural Area — come together for an incredibly inviting expression of Pinot Noir. A pinch of savory herbs gets tucked within the bright red fruit profile that’s easy to enjoy, giving Apolloni his second Platinum in as many years. (410 cases,13.2% alc.) Award: Rodeo Uncorked! Houston Livestock & Rodeo International Wine Competition (gold).

ArborBrook Vineyards 2016 Origin 1866 Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains • $50

Dave and Mary Hansen began to call Calkins Lane their home in 2000 and planted their first vines a year later, but 1866 indicates the year their farm came on the market in Oregon through a federal land grant. Laurent Montalieu has been the winemaking talent behind their brand, and he’s produced elegance with this Pinot Noir. It’s filled with Bing cherry, light toast, clove and cinnamon as smooth tannins and great weight to the palate lead out with food-friendly pomegranate juiciness — a combination that paved the way to this Newberg winery’s first career Platinum. (400 cases, 13.8% alc.) Award: San Francisco International Wine Competition (gold).

Awen Winecraft 2018 Albariño, Applegate Valley • $30

This fall, Southern Oregon vintners Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood are poised to open their first tasting room in historic downtown Jacksonville, and their lineup features a couple of Platinum winners, including this Albariño grown by acclaimed Schmidt Family Vineyards. Extended skin contact, neutral barrel fermentation, surlie aging and stirring of the lees creates a complex example of this Spanish white grape that offers marzipan, honeysuckle, casaba and second-cut pineapple with a close of lemon/lime. According to one judge, “It made my mouth sing!” (120 cases, 14% alc.) Award: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (gold).

Basalt Cellars 2015 Merlot, Columbia Valley • $30

Willard Farms in the Yakima Valley grew Merlot that helped several winemakers earn Platinum awards this fall, including Lewis-Clark Valley pharmacist Rick Wasem. The boss at Basalt pulled the other half of this production from Dwelley in the Walla Walla Valley. Combined, they create a mood of blackberry and mulled blueberry compote that’s intensely jammy while at the same time suave, thanks to nicely managed oak and a finish of licorice. (130 cases, 14.9% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Basalt Cellars 2017 Rick’s Red Red Wine, Columbia Valley • $24

For the third time in five years, Rick Wasem achieved Platinum for a GSM blend, which he’s recently branded. This time, it’s Grenache (54%), Syrah (30%) and Mourvédre from four sources — Willard and Inland Desert in the Yakima Valley, Bacchus near the Hanford Reach and his own planting below his home in Clarkston, Wash. The Mourvédre pops out early with hits of white pepper, joined by tobacco leaf and lavender. A smooth mouthfeel brings along blackberry sauce and pomegranate juice, adding up a winning finish. (225 cases, 14.6% alc.) Awards: Seattle Wine Awards (gold), 2019 Tri-Cities Wine Festival (best of class, gold).

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Beaumont Cellars 2017 Old Vine Cab Cabernet Sauvignon, Wahluke Slope • $42

Columbia Basin winemaker Pete Beaumont continues to burnish his reputation with the state’s most important variety. He presents classic notes of cassis, Bing cherry, Red Vines licorice and cigar box. Its tannins have been totally integrated, making for a beautifully made wine. (180 cases, 14.2% alc.) Award: Wenatchee Food and Wine Festival (gold).

Browne Family Vineyards 2017 Tribute Red Blend, Columbia Valley • $30

One of Washington’s top winemakers, John Freeman of Waterbrook, gets tabbed to spearhead this program for Precept CEO Andrew Browne. This Merlot-led blend hints at blackberry, black currant, cherry and chai spice, and there’s a rich reward on the palate. This is built for the cellar, and while the tannins are substantial, they are not distracting after a washing of blueberry juice. (3,439 cases, 14.1% alc.) Award: Walla Walla Valley Wine Competition (gold).

Cellardoor Winery 2016 Sewell Red Wine, American • $26

Some years, Maine winemaker Aaron Peet blends Petite Sirah with the Tempranillo grapes he contracts for in Washington. This time, it’s Temp (44%), Cabernet Sauvignon (31%) and Grenache (25%) from the Yakima Valley and the Horse Heaven Hills. The balance is spectacular to this rather mind-blowing mix of red raspberry, peppered salami, tobacco and green olive that’s capped by a refreshing burst of pomegranate juice. (854 cases, 13.6% alc.) Award: New Orleans International 2019 (gold).

Chateau Ste Michelle 2016 Artist Series Red Wine, Columbia Valley • $65

It’s not “The Chateau’s” flagship red, but this Meritage-style project ranks among the most important wines Bob Bertheau works on. Here’s the 25th vintage of the Artist Series, and Horse Heaven Hills fruit dominates this blend built on a foundation of Cabernet Sauvignon. The classy theme of black cherry, blackberry, toast and baking spice comes wrapped in silky tannins and lush yet juicy finish. (4,041 cases, 14.5% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Chris Daniel Winery 2016 Malbec, Columbia Valley • $30

Chris Stewart spent a summer teaching English in South America during his years as a winemaking student at Washington State University, so perhaps that experience has influenced his ability to work with Malbec — one of three Platinums he earned in our 2020 judging. There are huge black fruit and forest floor notes framed within a sturdy structure that finishes with a squirt of blueberry for finesse. (104 cases, 15.1% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2018 Phinny Hill Vineyard Carménère, Washington • $32

The Umikers’ remarkable run of Platinum winners began in 2013 with a Carménère from the Horse Heaven Hills. This marks the seventh time they’ve won a Platinum with the “lost Bordeaux” variety, and each has been with Phinny Hill Vineyard, farmed by their longtime friend Dick Beightol and his family. The fandom for this wine is immense, and Carm now trails only the Ren Red for overall production at Clearwater Canyon. Despite its youthfulness, it’s already rich and round with dark and spicy red fruit, and there’s the herbal thumbprint of green peppercorns and bell pepper, backed by a stunning brightness of acidity. The CCC 2017 Carm went Platinum in 2019 and Double Platinum this year, and there’s no reason to believe those won’t be even better a year from now. (510 cases, 14.7% alc.) Award: Cascadia International Wine Competition (Best red), Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition (gold).

Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2018 Roosevelt Ridge Vineyard Coco’s Reserve Petite Sirah, Washington • $38

The Platinum has become a platform for the successful versatility of Coco Umiker’s winemaking, and while she might be best known for her work with Carménère, Cabernet Sauvignon and proprietary blends, this is her third Platinum for the brawny Rhône grape known in the U.S. as Petite Sirah. In the glass, it’s visually striking with its inkiness. Descriptors run the gamut from plum to blueberry to blackberry, yet there are savory aspects with green olive and green bean. The spiciness, density and fruity profile give this product of the Horse Heaven Hills remarkable complexity and an ideal foil for barbecued meats. (142 cases, 15.6% alc.) Award: Idaho Wine Competition (gold).

DeLille Cellars 2017 D2 Red Wine, Columbia Valley • $45

Jason Gorski has taken the baton from founding winemaker Chris Upchurch and helped DeLille Cellars earn its fourth Platinum for D2 - the Woodinville winery’s flagship bottling. The blend is reminiscent of Right Bank Bordeaux as it tilts toward Merlot (66%), and its pedigree is impeccable — Boushey, Ciel du Cheval, DuBrul, Klipsun, Harrison Hill, Red Willow and estate sites Grand Ciel and Upchurch. There’s baked cherry pie, dried blueberry and licorice on the first half, with a smooth sweep of blackberry on the back. (12,650 cases, 14.2% alc.) Awards: Sunset Magazine International Wine Competition (gold), Seattle Wine Awards (double gold).

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Desert Wind Winery 2017 Estate Heritage Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Wahluke Slope • $40

Club members get first crack at the Series lineup, and these wines by Greg Fries are worth waiting for. He earned a trio of Platinum awards in 2020, each for Bordeaux reds, and this is redolent of black cherry, blackberry, Earl Grey tea and chocolate, Pliable tannins and a spoonful of huckleberry add up to a long and pleasant finish. (225 cases, 14.25% alc.) Award: 2019 Tri-Cities Wine Festival (gold).

Farmhand Winery 2017 Index Red Red Wine Blend, Columbia Valley • $34

A childhood mishap cost Steve Sauer the index finger on right hand, and he makes a reference to that missing digit on the label of each bottle — including his Index Red, a two-barrel blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (29%), Syrah (29%), Malbec (21%) and Cabernet Franc. Three small vineyards near a Tri-City housing development called Hansen Park come together for an extracted and fascinating wine of black fruit, black pepper, black olive, garrigue and gaminess. It’s begging for barbecue, and it’s Sauer’s second career Platinum. (48 cases, 13.8% alc.) Award: Sunset International Wine Competition (gold).

Fujishin Family Cellars 2018 Late Harvest Riesling, Snake River Valley • $19.95

Martin Fujishin grew up on the Oregon side of the Snake River Valley, but he’s become one of Idaho’s top winemakers, evidenced by Wine Press Northwest’s Idaho Winery of the Year for 2018 — an announcement made about six months before this off-dry Riesling was harvested. There’s purity to the fruit, leading to a wine that’s elegant, ethereal and lovely with its profile of peaches and cream, Gala apple and minerality. Its 5% residual sugar is skillfully balanced by juicy acidity. This is yet another example of Fujishin’s touch with Riesling, the grape that he turned into best of show at the 2018 Idaho Wine Competition. (214 cases, 12.7% alc.) Award: Cascadia International Wine Competition (gold).

Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery 2019 Private Reserve Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley • $13.99

Best Buy! Walter Gehringer successfully chases a Pinot Grigio style that’s zingy and persistent with aromas and flavors of white peach, pink grapefruit and Key lime. The residual sugar (0.7%) is barely perceptible. (3,000 cases, 12.5% alc.) Award: Cascadia International Wine Competition (double gold).

Guzzo Family Vineyard 2017 Syrah, Rogue Valley • $24

Paula and Tony Guzzo launched their Southern Oregon winery in 2012, and they work in small lots with barrels that Paula paints beautiful murals across upon the retirement of the casks. They are on display in their Applegate Valley tasting room, where this stunning Syrah opens with aromas of cured meat, baking spice and blackberry. There’s a delicious balance between the smooth tannin structure and juiciness among the notes of blackberry, plum, red currant and pomegranate. (40 cases, 14.89% alc.) Awards: San Francisco Chronicle (gold), Oregon Wine Experience (gold).

Kludt Family Winery 2017 Lot 2 Vineyard Reserve Malbec, Lake Chelan • $60

Two decades ago, Johnny Kludt’s folks help spark the transition from Red Delicious apples to wine grapes in the Lake Chelan Valley, and the Wapato Point Cellars winemaker works with fruit from one of the first vineyards for this red Bordeaux — and the first Platinum for this sister label of Lake Chelan Winery. Black cherry and Italian plum pick up hints of Porcini mushroom, forest floor and spice rack in this layered and suave drink that serves as another example of this young wine region’s versatility. (123 cases, 13.9% alc.) Award: Sunset International Wine Competition (gold).

Kriselle Cellars 2016 Tempranillo, Rogue Valley • $36

As Tempranillo takes off in the Northwest, the number of gold medals the wines win throughout the country continues to grow. Eight turned Platinum this year, with half of them coming from the Rogue Valley. Scott Steingraber’s was among those. Aromatics feature cherry, ripe tomato, tobacco and coffee, which funnel into flavors of cherry, boysenberry and black pepper. The tannins are sandy and nicely in check. (523 cases, 15.3%) Award: Oregon Wine Awards (gold).

Latah Creek Wine Cellars 2018 Familigia Vineyards Malbec, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley • $16

Best Buy! The family at Cave B Winery planted Familigia Vineyards in 1980, and they helped launch the Gorge Amphitheater. Spokane winemaker Mike Conway has been working with this fruit for decades, and his daughter, Natalie Conway-Barnes, follows in his footsteps for this lovely Malbec that’s a remarkable bargain. Blackberry, forest floor and spice aromas come to life on the palate, where tannins akin to black currant skins create a nice mouthfeel and an appealing finish. (700 cases, 13% alc.) Award: Savor NW Wine Awards (gold).

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Locus Wines 2018 Modo White Wine, Columbia Valley • $15

Best Buy! Armed with a winemaking certificate from Washington State University, Rich Burton has blended a beautiful example of a white Bordeaux from the 2018 vintage that has now won a Platinum in consecutive years. The Semillon (60%) is from Dineen Vineyard in the Rattlesnake Hills, while Phil Cline at Naches Heights Vineyard farmed the Sauvignon Blanc. There’s inviting ripeness akin to a fruit cocktail but grassiness, too, backed by a slice of pineapple in the lush midpalate, which gives way to yellow grapefruit in the finish. Enjoy with a green salad or sushi. (192 cases, 12.9% alc.) Award: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (gold).

Malaga Springs Winery 2019 Sauvignon Blanc, Washington State • $20

Wenatchee Valley producer Allen Mathews went “Blanc to Blanc” in the 2020 judging, earning Platinums for both Chenin Blanc and this Sauvignon Blanc. There’s no “meow” to mess with your whiskers but plenty of honeydew melon and green fruit aromas. It’s beautifully zingy on the palate, where Granny Smith apple and lime juice provide a burst of flavor without face-rippling acidity. As a result, it can serve as a patio pleaser, and one judge remarked, “This is my kind of Sauvignon Blanc.” (150 cases, 14.1% alc.) Award: Wenatchee Food and Wine Festival (gold).

Maryhill Winery 2017 Proprietor’s Reserve Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley • $40

This is a Cab lover’s example of Franc as savory herbs are tucked behind other descriptors such as Red Vines licorice, boysenberry, cocoa and pencil shavings. It’s big and lush with the fruit and tannins nicely resolved. (234 cases, 14.8% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Maryhill Winery 2018 Gunkel Vineyards Muscat Canelli, Columbia Valley • $17

Vines overlooking the Columbia River near the Leutholds’ winery near Goldendale earn the spotlight in this floral and fun off-dry example of the grape that’s known as Moscato di Canelli in Italy and Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains in France. It brings aromas and flavors of sweet orange, honey, lemon and dried apricot. (1,277 cases, 13.5% alc.) Award: 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition (gold).

Maryhill Winery 2016 Syrah, Columbia Valley • $28

Entries from Maryhill’s “Classic” tier finished near the top in a number of categories during this year’s Platinum, and this Syrah serves as another example of the versatility of Gunkel Vineyards. The nose of blackberry, plum, mint and Earl Grey tea carry onto the palate with a full mouthfeel that’s got extension and comes with a pinch of black pepper. (1,307 cases, 14.1% alc.) Award: 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition (gold).

Maryhill Winery 2017 Art den Hoed Vineyard Painted Hills Tempranillo, Columbia Valley • $40

Twice the Washington State Grape Society has honored Art den Hoed, in 2006 as Grower of the Year and in 2016 as its Walter J. Clore Award recipient. Painted Hills is his remarkable site in a pocket between the Horse Heaven Hills and the Yakima Valley, and it has no problem with this early-ripening Spanish red grape. This work by Richard Batchelor is perfumy with cherry, chai spice and herbs. Inside, blueberry and cherry make for a bold, rich and long drink inside a great structure of well-handled tannins. (247 cases, 14.5% alc.) Awards: Seattle Wine Awards (best of class, double gold).

Mellisoni Vineyards 2017 Merlot, Columbia Valley • $55

Of the Mellisons’ eight Platinums earned this year, three are for work with red Bordeaux varieties at Stillwater Creek Vineyard, including their Merlot. This is smooth and loaded with dark purple fruit akin to blackberry, Bing cherry and blueberry, backed with elegant notes of nutmeg, allspice and rose petal that’s finished with a lick of vanilla bean for a long finish. (112 cases, 15.2% alc.) Award: Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival (gold).

Naches Heights Vineyard and Winery 2016 Carmen Tempranillo, Walla Walla Valley • $23

Acclaimed viticulturist Phil Cline is a third-generation farmer in the Naches Heights west of Yakima and has plantings in the Yakima Valley, but he works with winemaker Debbie Hanson and some of her Cougar Crest fruit in the Walla Walla Valley for this charmer that dances with a Spanish flair across the palate. Red currant, raspberry jam, plus pepper, clove and some dusty minerality lead to a delightful finish of orange peel. “This is what I would buy,” noted one judge. It marks the first Platinum for Cline, and the ninth career Platinum made by Hanson. (108 cases, 14.4% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Award (gold).

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Nodland Cellars 2017 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley • $45

Spokane attorney Tim Nodland scored a Platinum with his Cab program for the second straight year, and this two-barrel lot for his wine club came from famed Pepper Bridge Vineyard. Toasted barrel notes marry nicely with dark berries, led by black currant, for a full midpalate and wonderful balance that’s capped by a pinch of allspice. (43 cases, 14.6% alc.) Awards: Cascadia International Wine Competition (gold), Washington State Wine Competition (gold).

Oliver Twist Estate Winery 2016 Syrah, Okanagan Valley • $38

Climate change is benefiting some grape varieties grown in British Columbia, and Syrah is among them. Gina Fernandes Harfman, a product of Okanagan College’s winemaking program, worked two harvests at Oliver Twist prior to buying the winery in 2012. This Syrah is her second Platinum since taking over, and both have been for reds from 2016. There’s elegance throughout, starting with a nose of plum, blackberry, violets and barrel toast. Refined tannins and a lingering finish bring it all home. (125 cases, 14% alc.) Award: Savor NW Wine Awards (double gold).

Page Cellars 2016 Lick My Lips Merlot, Red Mountain • $50

It’s been two decades as a Washington winemaker for corporate pilot Jim Page, and he produces 2,500 cases in Woodinville. Much of his fruit is grown on Red Mountain, and he’s made a profitable investment with this current release. The nose of blackberry, vanilla, nutmeg and violets leads to smooth flavors of blackberry, blueberry and cocoa powder. A lick of caramel and smooth tannins make for a long finish. (270 cases, 14.4% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (double gold).

Red Lily Vineyards 2015 Life of Riley Tempranillo, Applegate Valley • $30

The winemaker’s son was a junior on the South Medford High basketball team when these grapes came into the cellar, and Rachael Martin added Cabernet Sauvignon (22%) to make this Tempranillo super easy to drink. It seems more youthful than its vintage might indicate, and it’s very cherry from end to end, picking up classic notes of cigar box, saddle leather and raspberry leaf. Chai spice and blood orange also come into play in the finish. (500 cases, 14.3% alc.) Award: Oregon Wine Competition (gold).

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2018 Estate Selection Malbec, Umpqua Valley • $31

Stephen Reustle isn’t known for his work with red Bordeaux varieties, but this young Malbec becomes the third time that Reustle received a Platinum for Malbec. It’s quite inky with its dark blue fruit of blackberry, blueberry and pomegranate, and that juicy profile results in a long finish rather than a puckery one. (225 cases, 13.8% alc.) Award: San Diego International Wine Competition (gold).

Schmidt Family Vineyards 2019 Reserve Albariño, Applegate Valley • $26

As Earl Jones at Abacela predicted, Tempranillo isn’t the only Spanish variety to thrive in Southern Oregon, and three generations of the Schmidt family near historic Jacksonville are adding delicious evidence as they grow gold-medal winning Albariño for others and bottle some of the best for themselves. Thoughts of nectarine, melon and almond pick up flecks of minerality and sea salt that get stirred up in the racy finish. (109 cases, 13.7% alc.) Award: Denver International Wine Competition (gold).

Seven Bridges Winery 2016 Kolibri Vineyard Reserve Malbec, Columbia Valley • $38

Portland winemaker Bob Switzer worked with this family-owned site not far from Washington’s historic Cold Creek Vineyard for his second Platinum with Malbec. Complex aromas of blackberry, herbs, sandalwood and light smoke evolve into a steady stream of sweet cherry, black plum and blueberry. It’s an incredibly pleasant, almost delicate, expression of this Bordeaux gem. (100 cases, 15% alc.) Award: Sunset International Wine Competition (gold).

Siren Song Winery 2016 Ancient Stones Vineyard Grand Cru Estate Collection Cabernet Franc, Walla Walla Valley • $54

Kevin and Holly Brown have estate vines only a stone’s throw from their showpiece Lake Chelan winery, but they also share ownership of Ancient Stones Vineyard in The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater, Ore., with Woodinville icon Betz Family Winery. Cabernet Franc is one of a handful of varieties planted across their 12-acre site, and the returns here are stunning. The nose of dark cherry, chai spice and a whiff of smoke evolve into rich red fruit flavors, a blend of Bing cherry, cassis and pomegranate as the early arrival of tannins lead out with richness and a sense of savoriness often found in reds from The Rocks. (150 cases, 14.2% alc.) Award: Cascadia International Wine Competition (gold).

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Siren Song Winery 2016 Ancient Stones Vineyard Grand Cru Estate Collection Syrah, Walla Walla Valley • $54

Two renowned clones of Syrah — Phelps and Tablas Creek — dominate these plantings in the fascinating Rocks District site established in 2007, and it is managed by Dana Dibble for these Lake Chelan vintners and the winery founded by their friend, Bob Betz, a Master of Wine. There’s a classic elegance to the aromatics of blackberry, baking spice and cured meat, which are mirrored on the jammy, yet complex palate that also brings in plum and blackcurrant. An injection of red currant juice adds length to the satisfying finish. (300 cases, 14.2% alc.) Awards: Washington State Wine Competition (best of class/double gold).

Spoiled Dog Winery 2019 Rosé of Estate Pinot Noir, Puget Sound • $25

Whidbey Island grower/winemaker Karen Krug continues her string of excellence as the erstwhile international attorney now has eight Platinum awards in the past four years. Half of them involve Pinot Noir, and two of those are for rosé, so this is no surprise. This brings a gorgeous pink color to the party, and the mood covers a broad spectrum of fruitiness, including raspberry, pie cherries, red currant and nectarine as it leads out with a nibble of pink strawberry. (98 cases, 13.6% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Stangeland Vineyards & Winery 2019 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills • $20

The Martin family acquired its Pinot Noir clone Wädenswil material in 1982 from the late David “Papa Pinot” Lett of The Eyrie Vineyard fame, and winemaker Patrick Beall — a product of Chemeketa Community College’s Northwest Wine Studies Center — used it to create one of Pacific Northwest’s top examples of rosé. Inviting florals of cherry, raspberry and honeysuckle lead to a crisp structure led by Rainier cherry and long finish reminiscent of raspberry freezer jam. (135 cases, 11.4% alc.) Award: Oregon Wine Awards (double gold).

StoneRiver Vineyards 2016 Amaranthine Tempranillo, Rogue Valley • $25

For the second straight year, Eugene winemaker Jonathan Oberlander has turned Lange family Tempranillo into a Platinum. Fans of Cab can appreciate its rolout of cherry, dark chocolate, mint and tobacco across a plane of sweet tannins for a medium structure and long finish. (221 cases, 14.7% alc.) Award: West Coast Wine Competition (gold).

Three of Cups 2017 L’Astre Syrah, Walla Walla Valley • $30

Mike Metheny struck gold in Texas with Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers via his work with Les Collines and Rivière Galets vines south of Walla Walla. There’s grilled meat and white peppercorns involved, but no funk. Instead, it’s plummy and berry-filled with silky tannins and a proper presence of boysenberry in the finish. (159 cases, 14.2% alc.) Awards: TEXSOM International Wine Awards (gold), Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Vine 46 2017 Tempranillo, Washington • $27

Winemakers in the Lewis-Clark Valley work quite closely with growers in Washington state, and that’s the case for Jeff Ebel and Mike Yates, the winemaking team in Lewiston, Idaho — the city each grew up in. They brought in fruit from the warm Wahluke Slope, where this early-ripening Spanish red never has a problem. Classic aromas of cherry, Herbes de Provence, fresh mint and oak toast lead to a rich and full-bodied wine of black cherry and blackberry. Beveled tannins might be the most remarkable feature to this Temp, which comes with a long finish. That this merited a best-of-class award in two international competitions four months apart shows how special this wine is. (46 cases, 14.8% alc.) Awards: Cascadia International Wine Competition (best of class/double gold), Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition (best of class/gold).

Warr-King Wines 2016 Syrah, Columbia Valley • $36

Lisa Warr-King Packer reaches into Stillwater Creek Vineyard on the Royal Slope for two-thirds of this Syrah, blending in Gamache Vineyard from the proposed White Bluffs American Viticultural Area. Charming aromas of Italian plum, rose petal, cardamom and clove swirl into a smooth play of Marionberry pie and elderberry with matcha in the finish. (146 cases, 14.8% alc) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Water from Wine 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills • $30

Communities in Bangladesh, India, Ethiopia and Honduras that struggle with the availability of clean water have benefited from the 501(c)3 nonprofit funded by the Water from Wine brand near Paterson, Wash. Last year, the Tucker family created row sponsorships throughout its 6-acre vineyard, which led to $54,000 in donations beyond the bottle sales, which are available at its tasting rooms in Paterson and Leavenworth. Charlie Hoppes of Fidelitas fame provides the winemaking talent behind this beauty — one of two Platinum winners from the 2020 judging. Elegant oak shows in the nose of black cherry, blackberry and baking spice. Dusty black currant, black cherry and blackberry flavors flourish in a big and lengthy way. (1,289 cases, 14.9% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (double gold).

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Wit Cellars 2019 Unleashed Rosé Sparkling Wine, Columbia Valley • $28

One of the Northwest’s most decorated sparkling wines was not made with classic Champagne varieties but rather entirely of Syrah that was farmed specifically for a rosé and harvested at 23 Brix. It’s more salmon than pink in its color, but there’s rose petal, pink strawberry and golden raspberry to the nose. Flavors conjure up thoughts of pie cherry, strawberry-rhubarb compote and orange zest as the beautiful mousse brings an enduring finish of minerality and a nip of spice. One judge noted, “This makes me really happy!” (250 cases, 12.5% alc.) Awards: Cascadia International Wine Competition (best sparkling/gold), Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Kennedy Shah 2019 Picnic Blend White Wine, Yakima Valley • $20

Alsatian-born winemaker Jean-Claude Beck enters his third decade at The Woodhouse Wine Estates in Woodinville, and his flair for aromatic whites is astounding. Muscat Ottonel (92%) dominates this blend with Riesling, and the juice is beautifully put together as fruity yet crisp. Orange blossom, lychee and clove pick up plenty of citrus on the lengthy back end that blends Meyer lemon with Mandarin orange. Here is a sophisticated quaffer. (215 cases, 12.5% alc.) Awards: Sunset International Wine Competition (gold), Seattle Wine Awards (double gold).

Camaraderie Cellars 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley • $30

Don Corson’s flagship bottling is a blend involving longtime growers in the Newhouse family on Snipes Mountain and the Sagemoor team at Dionysus. As a result, it’s a stately Cab that brings together Bing cherry, dark raspberry and sweet herbs within a solid structure and a rewarding finish. (799 cases, 14.4% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Cellardoor Winery 2017 Chenin Blanc, Columbia Valley • $18

Reed Vineyard, a 100-acre site north of Pasco, Wash., is about an hour west of Aaron Peet’s winemaking alma mater — Walla Walla Community College. The Maine winery has made Chenin Blanc an important piece to its 12,000-case production, and Peet uses a yeast from South Africa specially for his Loire Valley white. Sweet tropical fruit and lemon curd aromas and flavors are joined by ample acidity to balance the residual sugar (1.5%) and make for a clean finish. (888 cases, 12.5% alc.) Award: 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition (gold).

Ferraro Cellar 2018 Gunkel Vineyards Barbera, Columbia Valley • $32

Dick Ferraro’s four barrels of Barbera from near the Maryhill Museum along the edge of the Columbia Gorge returned the first career Platinum for this Willamette Valley producer who learned winemaking from his Italian forefathers in Walla Walla. Success with the famed grape of Piedmont is not surprising, and Ferraro’s work yields bright tones of Chukar Cherry and cranberry cocktail, backed by plum skin tannins and a scrape of anise. (97 cases, 14.1% alc.). Award: SavorNW Wine Awards (gold).

Malaga Springs Winery 2019 Chenin Blanc, Columbia Valley • $20

A former commercial fisherman in Alaska, Allen Mathews fashions his Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley style with mouthwatering applications for seafood and shellfish. Notes of lemon meringue pie, Granny Smith apple, lime zest and minerality serve as qualities that should be presented in Northwest Chenin. (50 cases, 13.4% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Mellisoni Vineyards 2019 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley • $50

While they grow some on their Lake Chelan estate, the Mellisons have found success with their approach to Chardonnay by using fruit from the Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley. And this is their second straight year of earning a Platinum with Chardonnay. Classic accents of ripe Bosc pear, butterscotch, Golden Delicious apple and light toast show skilled winemaking and proper oak management. (187 cases, 13.8% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (double gold).

Mercer Estates 2017 Malbec, Horse Heaven Hills • $25

The first vintage for Jeremy Santo making wine in his hometown of Prosser, Wash., for the Mercer family resulted in a string of gold medals, and this Malbec has returned a Platinum. In typical form for the Horse Heaven Hills, this bottling shows a pure example of the variety as dark berries and plum pick up some forest floor notes for complexity. Beautifully integrated tannins and perfect acidity allow for a savory and long finish. (234 cases, 14.8% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (double gold).

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Ryan Patrick Wines 2016 Rock Island Red, Columbia Valley • $20

The work of Wahluke Wine Co., has led to Butch Milbrandt’s 2016 Rock Island Red rocking both the 2019 Platinum and the 2020 Platinum, and the even blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah is drinking similarly one year apart. Dark purple fruit similar to blackberry and boysenberry includes spicy herbs, which lead to a rewarding structure of beautifully managed tannins and a persistent finish of black cherry. (3,000 cases, 14.5% alc.) Award: Savor NW Wine Awards (gold).

Schmidt Family Vineyards 2015 Tempus Dessert Wine, Applegate Valley • $25

Tempranillo grown in warm Southern Oregon makes an ideal foundation for any fortified program, and the Schmidts have a classic approach that devotees of tawny Ports should appreciate. Toasted nuts, chocolate, some earthiness and dark cherry play nicely with the tannin structure, light amount of residual sugar (3%) and integrated alcohol that reveals itself as Cinnamon Bear candy rather than a jab of heat. (89 cases, 18% alc.) Award: Wine Press Northwest fortified tasting (Outstanding!).

Spangler Vineyards 2014 Nebbiolo, Oregon • $59

University of Toledo grad Patrick Spangler finds the strike zone at Platinum with Nebbiolo for the first time, but his penchant for Italian varieties has led to four other Platinums — two each for Dolcetto and Zinfandel. Little more than three barrels of this were made, and the time in the bottle has been a benefit. Cherry cola, rose petal, cardamom and tar lead to sweet and round tannins with Marionberry hanging on in the finish. (81 cases, 13.9% alc.) Award: Oregon Wine Awards (gold).

Zerba Cellars 2017 Estate Merlot, Walla Walla Valley • $36

It would seem that everything Cecil Zerba grows across his three vineyards turns out well. And now that Brent Roberts has stepped in as head winemaker after stints at Seven Hills, The Hogue Cellars and Gramercy, he turned out this remarkable Merlot in nis first vintage, though it’s the fifth time that variety has brought back a Platinum to Zerba. Refined tannins, black cherry and ripe brambleberries set the mood for this balanced expression of a grape that’s too often overlooked these days. (177 cases, 15% alc.)

Ancestry Cellars 2019 Grandma Lila’s Rosé, Columbia Valley • $22

With Jason Morin’s tasting room in Manson, the Woodinville winemaker can more closely monitor progress of Sangiovese planted at Ribbon Cliff Vineyard across the Columbia River from Daroga State Park. He’s turned the rosé he made from it into a Platinum that’s nicely floral with hints of pink grapefruit, Rainier cherry and red raspberry. Adding to the complexity are touches of minerality and nectarine that linger beyond the crisp and clean finish. (121 cases, 13.4% alc.) Award: Wenatchee Wine & Food Festival Wine Competition (best of class, double gold).

Battle Creek Cellars 2016 Yamhela Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton • $64

It’s a high-brow neighborhood that Yamhela plays in with Shea Vineyard and WillaKenzie Estates nearby, and the 2016 vintage signals Sarah Cabot’s third vintage of steering the Willamette Valley cellar for Seattle-based Precept. The 105-acre vineyard that Cabot has likened to Audrey Hepburn introduces itself with aromatics of cherry cola, pink grapefruit and white pepper. On the palate, it’s fruit-driven with boysenberry, cranberry and Bing cherry flavors in a solid structure capped by sage, pepper and pomegranate juice. (845 cases, 13.7% alc.) Award: Wine Press Northwest Pinot Noir judging (Outstanding!).

Bitner Vineyards 2019 Reserve Chardonnay, Snake River Valley • $24

When Ron Bitner first entered the Idaho wine industry in the early 1980s, legend has it that he didn’t even know Chardonnay was a grape. Thanks in part to Greg Koenig — the dean of Idaho winemakers — this Caldwell, Idaho, winery is pouring some of the Northwest’s best. While there’s significant oak to the rich profile, its more along the lines of pineapple upsidedown cake and flan rather than toast. There’s a discreet note of jasmine, and a slice of Buddha’s Hand citrus adds delicious acidity and makes this incredibly well-balanced. (116 cases, 13.2% alc.) Award: Idaho Wine Competition (gold).

Camaraderie Cellars 2017 Grâce Red Wine, Columbia Valley • $40

Olympic Peninsula producer Don Corson, who earned a Platinum in 2004 with his 2001 vintage of Grâce hasn’t lost his touch with his blend that features the five principal Bordeaux varieties. It’s a Right Bank approach, and it’s full of finesse, focusing on strawberry preserves, cassis and orange oil. Everything is in balance. A judge described it as “the most complex of the flight, and I would drink it every day.” (260 cases, 14.4% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

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Fly Rod Cellars 2016 Stimulator Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley • $27

For the second time in three years, the Convergence Zone cellar tandem of Troy Mandeville — son-in-law of Scott Greenberg — and John Richardson have seen their solo bottling under their own brand turn Platinum. A quick look at the vineyard sources begins to tell the story: The care given to fruit from Gamache and Phinny Hill produced a script of blackberry, black cherry and sweet herbs, then a tannin structure akin to dark chocolate shavings is joined by Marionberry acidity for an elegant and long finish. (98 cases, 13.7% alc.) Award: Savor NW Wine Awards (gold).

Coyote Canyon Winery 2016 Coyote Canyon Vineyard Tres Cruces Syrah 40% | Grenache 40% | Mourvedre 20%, Horse Heaven Hills • $28

Mike Andrews and his GSM might be Coyote Canyon’s most consistently delicious wine year after year. His first Platinum with Tres Cruces — which in Spanish translates to “three crosses” — came with the 2011 vintage when John Gabriel was his winemaker. Justin Michaud deserves the credit for developing the 2013 and this one. There’s finesse from start to finish as raspberry, blueberry and black licorice come in layers, achieving balance along the way. (14.8% alc.) Awards: Cascadia International Wine Competition (gold), International Women’s Wine Competition (best of class), Critics Challenge (gold).

Errant Cellars 2017 Merlot, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley • $24

Megan Couture-Bates graduated from college in Montana, spent a year on the East Coast providing volunteer work, then returned home to work in the Columbia Basin’s potato industry. Along the way, she learned winemaking from Quincy’s Pete Beaumont, and two of her gold medals turned into Platinum. This three-barrel effort of Merlot carries a theme of black cherry, raspberry leaf, clove and orange oil with a structure that’s enjoyable and age-worthy. (74 cases, 13.8% alc.) Award: North Central Washington Wine Awards (gold).

Errant Cellars 2019 Patio White, Columbia Valley • $18

A rising talent in the Columbia Basin, Megan Couture-Bates goes “double Blanc” with this brilliant crisp blend of Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc. Perfumy notes of Bosc pear, lemon zest and sandalwood lead to a continuation of orchard fruit on the palate as Golden Delicious apple and more pear are capped by a touch of lime. (111 cases, 12.5% alc.) Awards: North Central Washington Wine Awards (best of class/double gold medal).

Hightower Cellars 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain • $40

For the second straight year, the Hightowers have earned a Platinum with another stately expression of Cabernet Sauvignon. Their use of Petit Verdot (13%) and Malbec (6%) adds up to a red with wonderful red and black fruit, notes of cedar, menthol and orange zest. Fine-grained tannins are beautifully resolved already, making for a wonderful mouthfeel that often is revealed in wines from Red Mountain. (387 cases, 14.6% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (double gold).

King Estate 2018 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley • $20

The Northwest’s leader with Pinot Gris shows its might with its flagship wine that represents Oregon across the country. And most of the fruit Brent Stone pulls for this Pinot Gris comes from the Biodynamically farmed vines surrounding his winery. This is not a nerdy expression of the variety; it leads with stone fruit but includes papaya and honeysuckle. Its overall balance is impressive, and its finish of citrus peel is enjoyable while not overly tart. (86,322 cases, 13.5% alc.) Awards: Rodeo Uncorked! Houston Livestock & Rodeo International Wine Competition (gold), San Diego International Wine Competition (gold), Critics Challenge (gold).

Rocky Pond Estate Winery 2017 11 Dams Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley • $39

Wine Press Northwest’s 2019 Washington Winery to Watch ended that year with a gold medal from the San Francisco International, where British wine expert Steven Spurrier — the man behind the Judgment of Paris — serves as chief judge. The Dufenhorst family’s Double D Vineyard produced this Cab from fourth-leaf fruit, and it’s a big fruit bomb featuring Chukar Cherry, black currant, sarsaparilla and vanilla Coke sensations. If the federal government approves the petition, this wine will one day carry the Rocky Reach American Viticultural Area on the label. (650 cases, 14.1% alc.) Award: 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition (gold).

Saviah Cellars 2019 The Jack Red Wine, Columbia Valley • $18

While it was no surprise to see Richard Funk’s Jack program pick up a Platinum, it was deliciously amazing to see a Merlot-led blend from the the 2019 vintage earn its way into the judging with a gold medal in a competition staged the spring after the fruit was harvested. Contributing vineyards included Bacchus, McClellan Estate, Pepper Bridge and Seven Hills, and the juice is a compote of blackberry, plum and black currant. Dustings of allspice and nutmeg include cinnamon bark. The smooth and lingering berry finish makes it easy to keep coming back to. (6,600 alc. 14.5% alc.) Awards: Washington State Wine Competition (gold), Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

WPNW Nov2020 platinum groups 26

Spoiled Dog Winery 2017 Malbec, Yakima Valley • $26

Karen Krug made some beautiful estate wines with cool-climate varieties on her Whidbey Island sanctuary, but she also achieves success with the Malbec she’s ferried over from the cradle of the Washington wine industry. Sweet pie cherry, boysenberry and fruit punch overtones lead to a fascinating finish and burst of blackberry in the finish. (74 cases, 14.3% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Yakima Valley College 2016 Lemberger, Red Mountain • $15

Best Buy! The Williams family at Kiona Vineyards show their support for the next generation of winemakers by making some of its prized Lemberger available to Yakima Valley College students to work with. Let’s hope instructors Trent Ball and Brad Smith gave this group an “A.” They’ve presented lovely high-toned red fruit with orange oil, cedar shavings and fresh dill in a structure of enjoyable tannins that make this highly drinkable and quite food-friendly. Enjoy with poultry or fish dishes. (40 cases, 13.8% alc.) Award: 2019 Tri-Cities Wine Festival (gold).

2Hawk Vineyard & Winery 2018 Viognier, Rogue Valley • $26

Two years in a row, Southern Oregon winemaker Kiley Evans has won a Platinum with his Viognier program for owners Ross and Jen Allen. Classic aromas of orange Creamsicle, banana chips and lemon/lime are realized as flavors, which come together with pleasing midpalate fullness and get a cleansing finish of bright acidity. (169 cases, 13.6% alc.) Award: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (gold).

Brian Carter Cellars 2015 Tuttorosso Red Wine Blend, Yakima Valley • $35

This Super-Tuscan blend of Sangiovese (68%) Cabernet Sauvignon (17%) and Syrah (15%) is named for the Italian phrase that translates to “all red,” which is an apt description of the profile. It’s elegant and bright with red currant, Montmorency cherry and pomegranate, a hint of coffee and dried herbs, backed by a suave tannin structure. (512 cases, 14.3% alc.) Award: Cascadia International Wine Competition (gold).

Convergence Zone Cellars 2016 Storm Front, Columbia Valley • $29

The move from Woodinville to North Bend has gotten winemaker Scott Greenberg closer to his vineyards, and the three that factor most heavily into this Merlot-led blend are E&E Shaw on Red Mountain, Gamache near the Columbia River and Phinny Hill in the Horse Heaven Hills. It’s a deeply fruited Right Bank Bordeaux blend with plum, black currant and blueberry, perfectly integrated oak with vanilla nuances, and delicate touches of Earl Grey tea and violets. (115 cases, 14.5% alc.) Awards: Seattle Wine Awards (gold), 2019 Tri-Cities Wine Festival (gold).

Jones of Washington 2016 Estate Vineyards Carménère, Wahluke Slope • $30

Unit 20 Vineyard on the Jones family map is their sweet spot for Carménère and the winemaking of Victor Palencia makes that a winning combination. Blackberry, loganberry and sweet bell pepper include roasted coffee and pine needles for this balanced red with a long finish. (894 cases, 13.7% alc.) Award: Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival (gold).

King Estate Winery 2019 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley • $20

One of Oregon’s largest examples of Pinot Noir rosé traveled across the country this year picking up hardware, and this fall, Brent Stone’s pink went Platinum. Its fetching wardrobe of light strawberry sets the table for aromas and flavors of strawberry-rhubarb compote, raspberry, blood orange and just a pinch of crushed herbs for complexity. (4,000 cases, 13.5% alc.) Awards: Sunset International Wine Competition (gold), San Diego International Wine Competition (gold), Drink Pink International Rosé Competition (gold), Savor NW Wine Awards (gold), Critics Challenge (gold).

Maryhill Winery 2017 Elephant Mountain Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Rattlesnake Hills • $50

While grower Joe Hattrup works with many of Washington’s top boutique producers, he’s long been at the heart of some of Maryhill’s top wines. Richard Batchelor’s expression of Cab is beautifully extracted with hints of black raspberry, huckleberry and orange oil. Classic notes of menthol and crushed leaf add complexity, and the charming integration of oak makes for an exceedingly interesting and well-balanced Cab that goes beyond cherries and chocolate. (169 cases, 15.5% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (double gold).

WPNW Nov2020 platinum groups 27

Merry Cellars 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley • $48

Stillwater Creek Vineyard on the Royal Slope long has been the primary source for Palouse winemaker Patrick Merry, and while this is labeled as Cab, he also blends a significant amount of Mourvèdre (14%) for lively results. Red plum, raspberry and currant include cigar box notes and bramble for a sturdy, yet fruity expression of Cab. (158 cases, 15.4% alc.) Award: Washington State Wine Competition (gold).

Ross Andrew Winery 2018 Glaze Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley • $14.99

Best Buy! Ross Andrew Mickel, whose work history includes Seattle’s iconic restaurant Canlis and who received inspiration from Bob Betz along the way, is back in the game with this remarkable and youthful example of Cab that includes a boost from famed Quintessence Vineyard on Red Mountain. There’s a lusciousness to the profile of red and black fruit, along with complex notes of pencil lead, moist earth and Asian spices. It’s amazingly well stitched for a 2018, and priced for anyone to invest in a case for now and later. (4,700 cases, 13.5% alc.) Award: Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition (gold).

Silvara Cellars NV Blanc de Noir Sparkling Wine, American • $38

This fabulous example of methode Champenoise in the U.S., is a collaboration between Gary Seidler in Leavenworth, Wash., and Precept Wine’s renowned sparkling wine house — Gruet in New Mexico. Washington fruit factors into this bottling of Pinot Noir (75%), Chardonnay (22%) and Pinot Meunier. Classic markers of fresh-baked brioche, Asian pear and Gala apple. The beautiful mousse casts out hints of stone fruit, lovely acidity and minerality. (300 cases, 12% alc.) Award: Wenatchee Food and Wine Festival (gold).

Sleeping Dog Wines 2015 Buoy Vineyards Carménère, Yakima Valley • $34

There were 15 examples of Carménère entered in this year’s judging, and Larry Oates’s is one of two from the 2015 vintage that went onto Platinum. Visitors to his Benton City, Wash., winery, which offers view of the Yakima River, drive past this vineyard, so Oates charted the progress of the clusters during this historically hot vintage. The result is a red Bordeaux that brings super-ripe red fruit with savory notes and classic hints of roasted green pepper. Nicely managed tannins and currant juice combine for a long finish. (92 cases, 14.1% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

South Hill Vineyards 2019 Pétale de Rose Rosé, Washington • $25

The Jones family earned its first Platinum last year with a Sauvignon Blanc from their high-elevation vineyard near White Salmon, Wash. Spencer Jones is back with this lively rosé built on the shoulders of Pinot Noir. The nose of orchard blossom, raspberry and Herbes de Provence is mirrored on the palate, which also picks up strawberry-rhubarb compote. The residual sugar (0.5%) is hardly perceptible. (350 cases, 12.5% alc.) Award: Sunset International Wine Competition (gold).

Westport Winery 2017 Elephant Mountain Endeavor Cabernet Sauvignon, Rattlesnake Hills • $49

Last year, the Roberts family released a single barrel of Cab that was a blend of Klipsun Vineyard on Red Mountain and Elephant Mountain Vineyard atop the Rattlesnake Hills. Critics praised the effort. For this release, they devoted a single barrel to Joe Hattrup’s Elephant Mountain. The results are equally impressive. Here’s a theme of black cherry, blackberry and baking spice. Chocolaty tannins round out a finish that you won’t soon forget. (24 cases, 15% alc.) Award: 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition (gold).

Wit Cellars 2016 Petit Verdot, Yakima Valley • $50

Second-generation Olsen Brothers Vineyard is a short drive from Flint Nelson, Cat Warwick and Gina Royer, the trio who share in the work and the ownership at “Whatever It Takes” — WIT — Cellars. It’s 100% PV and aged in 100% French oak, with 30% of those barrels new. In the glass, it’s smooth and opulent with black fruit, baking spices and a finish that stretches on with luxury. Fortunately, it’s one of the Northwest’s larger productions of Petit Verdot. (340 cases, 14.6% alc.) Awards: Savor NW Wine Awards (best of class), Seattle Wine Awards (double gold), Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival (gold).

Drink Washington State 2016 Carménère, Wahluke Slope • $29

Empire State native Brad Binko has a handful of Platinum awards under his vineyard-designate Eternal Wines project, but he pulled Carm from the Wahluke Slope and developed it into the first Platinum for his Drink Washington State brand — both poured at his tasting room in the incubator near the Walla Walla airport. Ripe and dusty berries leave enough room for the underlying telltale green bell pepper that’s expected in this Bordeaux variety. There’s complexity and silky tannins to the structure that’s capped by a nibble of candied red pepper. Enjoy this with barbecued ribs or other grilled meats. (225 cases, 14.5% alc.) Award: Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival (gold).

WPNW Nov2020 platinum groups 28

Brian Carter Cellars 2016 Solesce Red Wine, Columbia Valley • $50

A decade ago, master blender Brian Carter earned his first Platinum — and it was for his 2005 Solesce, his Left Bank Bordeaux-inspired blend that leads with Cabernet Sauvignon (56%) and Merlot (19%), followed by significant contributions of Petit Verdot (10%), Cabernet Franc (10%) and Malbec (5%). It’s a Meritage-style wine down to its core, focused on dark purple fruit akin to dark cherry, plum and blackberry, with fresh tobacco, dried Italian herbs and a savory finish that finds a soft landing. (400 cases, 14.3% alc.) Award: Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival (gold).

Château Faire Le Pont Winery 2016 Provence 44% Syrah, 28% Grenache, 28% Mourvèdre, Washington State • $42.99

Cascade Valley winemaker Doug Brazil earned the first Platinum of his career in 2013 with a stand-alone bottling of Mourvèdre from the Wahluke Slope, so it’s not a shock to see him go beyond gold with this GSM-inspired blend of Rhône varieties. This speaks to more high-toned fruit than many of its style, hinting at Bing cherry and boysenberry with spice box notes. A supple structure that’s very approachable is capped with a slice of sweet roasted red bell pepper. (260 cases, 15% alc.) Awards: Wenatchee Food and Wine Festival (best of class, gold).

Château NoElle Vineyards & Winery 2017 Gamache Vineyard Numinous Claret Red Blend, Columbia Valley • $36

Tom Wilson grows a few acres of cool-climate varieties at his woodsy mountain retreat near Snoqualmie Ridge, but the demand for his wines has him expanding his portfolio. He goes Right Bank Bordeaux with this blend of Cabernet Franc (28%) and Merlot (28.5%) that also includes Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and some Carménère. Black cherry cobbler, black raspberry and pomegranate provide enjoyable brightness, and the combination of Cab Franc and Carm add attractive raspberry leaf notes. (90 cases, 14.25% alc) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (double gold).

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2019 Limited Release Le Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley • $25

While the market for Cabernet Sauvignon isn’t soaring, the demand for rosé continues to climb, and skilled winemakers are producing delicious results. Lacey Steffey, who spent three harvests teaching winemaking at Yakima Valley College, produced this special rosé that offers nice florals that include honeysuckle and jasmine and bring in peach and apricot flavors for a long clean finish. (13% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (double gold).

Coyote Canyon Winery 2019 Coyote Canyon Vineyard Concrete-Fermented Albariño, Horse Heaven Hills • $28

In 2009, the Andrews family pioneered this Spanish white in Washington state. A decade later, Justin Michaud used some special winemaking to turn this into Coyote Canyon’s fourth career Platinum with Albariño. Tropical aromas don’t disappoint as passionfruit, white peach, orange and lime make for a fruity and bright drink that also offers the sense of minerality that’s an indicator of Horse Heaven Hills grapes. The concrete fermentation adds a layer to the midpalate, and a wealth of acidity makes for a long and crisp finish. (180 cases, 13.8% alc.) Awards: Savor NW Wine Awards (gold), Denver International Wine Competition (gold), Seattle Wine Awards (gold).

Holesinsky Winery and Vineyard 2018 100% Pinot Noir, Snake River Valley • $25

James and Caitlin Holesinsky scored the first career Platinum for their Southern Idaho winery that celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2021, and their organically farmed vineyard near the Oregon Trail produced this Pinot Noir. The 14 months in oak contribute notes of toast and a pinch of spice to the cherry and forest floor. Inside, a theme of dark cherry and dark chocolate across a foundation of tannins still leaves space for underlying notes of the vineyard’s crushed volcanic rock and caramel. (40 cases, 12.5% alc.) Award: Savor NW (double gold), Idaho Wine Awards (gold).

Ancestry Cellars 2016 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain • $49

Woodinville winemaker Jason Morin gave special attention to these six barrels off Redpath Vineyard near the southern end of Sunset Road. It’s loaded with beautiful red fruit, a pinch of mint and rub of sagebrush, but the hallmark is the well-integrated tannins. (164 cases, 14.9% alc.) Award: 2019 Tri-Cities Wine Festival (gold).

Cardwell Hill Cellars 2015 Monet Blocks Estate Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley • $45

This 50/50 blend of Pommard with Dijon 777 clone is just the second time Dan Chapel has released such a blend. The results should prompt him to make it a staple part of the portfolio at his 8,000-case winery in Philomath. It’s a more delicate approach taken here than with his other two Platinum winners in 2020, conjuring up thoughts of boysenberry, red currant and cherry candy with baking spices and dusty herbs. (366 cases, 13.9% alc.) Awards: McMinnville Wine & Food Classic - Sip! (best of class, gold).

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DANCIN Vineyards 2018 Mélange Chardonnay, Rogue Valley • $32

Southern Oregon meets Burgundy on the outskirts of historic Jacksonville, and Chris Jiron — formerly of God King Slave and Folin Cellars — picks up the third Platinum in four years for the Chardonnay program at DANCIN. He reached into Gold Vineyard, planted in 1983, on Sept. 27. The sixth months in French oak make for a charming, round and balanced offering of Bosc pear and Golden Delicious apple. (150 cases, 13.3%)

Milbrandt Vineyards 2017 Clifton Hill Vineyard Single Vineyard Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Wahluke Slope • $42

The Milbrandt brothers began their rise in the Washington wine industry in 1997 when they established their first vineyards. Two decades later, they are key figures, and the prescience of their investments in the Wahluke Slope is on display in vineyard-designate bottles such as this from Clifton Hiil, which first must make its way beyond the Milbrandt Vineyards club members. There’s jamminess to the intense qualities of black currant, black cherry and cassis, which come with fresh tobacco, baking spice and toasted oak.Iit’s well-structured, thanks to lively acidity. (115 cases, 14% alc.) Award: Savor NW Wine Awards (gold).

Yakima Valley College 2016 Austin Sharpe Vineyard Dean’s List Merlot, Columbia Valley • $22

Students and faculty rub elbows on making the wine for Yakima Valley Vintners, the instructional program in Grandview. Fruit for these three barrels came from Calvin Mercer, a cattle rancher who left that way of life to join his father and famous cousin Rob as grape growers. This bottle is proof that these YVC students are learning about tannin management because this Merlot drinks like a Washington Cab, conjuring up thoughts of Bing cherry, blueberry taffy and cinnamon and pomegranate. (63 cases, 13.9% alc.) Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold), 2019 Tri-Cities Wine Festival.

H/H Estates 2017 Coyote Canyon Vineyard Big John Cab Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills • $47

For a fourth time, the Andrews family saw the Cabernet Sauvignon named for a historic bull go from a gold medal to Platinum. This is still quite youthful, yet the structure is remarkable and all about plum, black currant and pomegranate with caramel, barrel spice and shoe leather. (100 cases, 14.6% alc.) Awards: Sunset International Wine Competition (gold), Denver International Wine Competition (gold).

Tipsy Canyon Winery 2019 Chardonnay, Lake Chelan • $24

Mark and Tami Garvin have turned 8 acres of grass into one of the Lake Chelan Valley’s most promising young wineries, and they worked with Rocky Pond fruit from Clos CheValle Vineyard across the lake for this perfumy, alluring and unoaked example of Chardonnay. There’s elegance to its layers of lemon chiffon pie and white peach, and it finishes with Bosc pear and Key lime. (77 cases, 13.8% alc.) Awards: Seattle Wine Awards (gold), Wenatchee Food and Wine Festival (gold).

Double Gold 

Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2019 Shepherds Mark, Horse Heaven Hills

Brian Carter Cellars 2015 Opulento Dessert Wine

Coyote Canyon Winery 2019 Albariño

Desert Wind Winery 2017 Merlot

Martinez & Martinez Winery 2016 Carménère, Horse Heaven Hills

Pudding River Wine Cellars 2018 Stainless Steel Fermented Chardonnay, Willamette Valley

Williamson Orchards & Vineyards 2018 Syrah, Snake River Valley

Chateau Faire Le Pont Winery 2016 Carménère, Yakima Valley

Aluel Cellars 2016 Malbec, Columbia Valley

Armstrong Family Winery 2017 Fronk, Columbia Valley

Brian Carter Cellars 2014 Opulento

Brian Carter Cellars 2015 Abracadabra Red Blend

Camaraderie Cellars 2016 Syrah, Red Mountain

Cascade Cliffs Vineyard & Winery 2018 Reserve Blood Red Barbera, Columbia Valley

Cedergreen Cellars 2017 Gamay Noir, Columbia Valley

Coventina Vineyards, LLC 2015 Tempranillo, Rogue Valley

Coyote Canyon Winery 2016 Michael Andrews Spanish Red

D’Anu 2015 Tempranillo, Willamette Valley

DAMA Wines 2015 Collage, Walla Walla Valley

Eternal Wines 2016 Eternal Discovery, Horse Heaven Hills

Eternal Wines 2016 Eternal Echo Syrah, Walla Walla Valley

Five Star Cellars 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley

Holesinsky Winery and Vineyard 2019 Domaine Holesinsky Buhljolais Rosé, Snake River Valley

Kriselle Cellars 2016 Di’tani, Rogue Valley

Lady Hill Winery LLC 2016 Lady Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley

Lagana Cellars 2017 Eritage Vineyard Cabernet Franc, Walla Walla Valley

LIV- Lopez Island Vineyards 2018 Fireside, Yakima Valley

Maryhill Winery 2016 Proprietor’s Reserve Cabernet Franc

Maryhill Winery 2016 Merlot

Maryhill Winery 2017 Mourvèdre McKinley Springs

Maryhill Winery 2017 Syrah

Merry Cellars 2016 Mourvèdre-Syrah, Columbia Valley

Milbrandt Vineyards 2018 Family Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

Milbrandt Vineyards 2017 Brothers’ Blend Red Wine

Milbrandt Vineyards 2017 The Estates Mosaic

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2018 Estate Selection Grenache

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2018 Estate Selection Sauvignon Blanc

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2016 Syrah

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2018 Estate Grown Winemaker’s Reserve Syrah

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2016 Tempranillo

Sandhill 2017 Sandhill Single Vineyard Syrah Sandhill Estate Vineyard, Okanagan Valley

Saviah Cellars 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley

Schmidt Family Vineyards 2017 Reserve Syrah

Schmidt Family Vineyards 2017 Reserve Tempranillo

Schmidt Family Vineyards 2018 Reserve Viognier

Sigillo Cellars 2017 Malbec, Wahluke Slope

Sigillo Cellars 2018 Tempranillo, Wahluke Slope

Silvara Cellars 2016 Woodland Goddess Red Blend, Columbia Valley

SMAK Wines 2019 Spring Rosé, Walla Walla Valley

SMAK Wines 2019 Summer Rosé, Columbia Valley

Spoiled Dog Winery 2017 Deception, Yakima Valley

Tertulia Cellars 2017 Ryans’ Reserve Estate Red, Walla Walla Valley

The Bunnell Family Cellar 2017 Wine O’Clock Tempranillo, Snipes Mountain

Tsillan Cellars 2017 Estate Reserve Syrah

Chris Daniel 2016 Petit Verdot, Columbia Valley

Maryhill Winery 2017 Proprietor’s Reserve Zinfandel

Rocky Pond Estate Winery 2016 Double D Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley

Ancestry Cellars 2016 Provocant, Columbia Valley

Armstrong Family Winery 2017 Four Birds, Columbia Valley

Armstrong Family Winery 2017 Bogie’s Blend, Columbia Valley

Augustino Estate & Vineyard 2017 Tempranillo, Applegate Valley

Barons Winery 2016 Petit Barone, Columbia Valley

Bayernmoor Cellars 2019 Rosé, Horse Heaven Hills

Beaumont Cellars 2017 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain

Brian Carter Cellars 2015 Paul Thomas

Callan Cellars 2019 Boushey Vineyard Picpoul, Yakima Valley

Cardwell Hill Cellars 2015 Pommard Block Estate Pinot Noir

Cardwell Hill Cellars 2016 Estate Dijon Blocks Pinot Noir

Cave B Estate Winery 2019 Viognier, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley

Cellardoor Winery 2015 Aurora, American

Chateau Faire Le Pont Winery 2016 Tre Amori, Columbia Valley

Claar Cellars NV Fouled Anchor Port, Columbia Valley

Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2018 Umiker Vineyard Estate Syrah

Columbia Crest 2016 H3 Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills

Columbia Crest 2016 H3 Les Chevaux Red Blend, Horse Heaven Hills

Coventina Vineyards, LLC 2015 Tempranillo Reserve, Rogue Valley

DeLille Cellars 2019 Chaleur Blanc, Columbia Valley

Dunham Cellars 2016 Dunham Cellars Syrah, Columbia Valley

Finn Hill Winery 2016 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Merveille Merlot, Columbia Valley

Fortuity Cellars 2017 The Fifty Fifty, Yakima Valley

Hamilton Cellars 2015 Malbec, Red Mountain

King Estate 2018 Domaine Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley

Kriselle Cellars 2018 Viognier, Rogue Valley

Longship Cellars 2017 Lady Wolf Malbec, Wahluke Slope

Malaga Springs Winery 2019 Muscat Canelli, Columbia Valley

Martinez & Martinez Winery 2019 Albariño, Yakima Valley

Martinez & Martinez Winery 2018 Roussanne, Yakima Valley

Maryhill Winery 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon

Maryhill Winery 2018 Sémillon

Maryhill Winery 2016 Proprietor’s Reserve Rosso Granto Red 

Maryhill Winery 2017 Proprietor’s Reserve Tavolo Rosso

Mellisoni Vineyards 2019 Riesling

Mellisoni Vineyards 2017 Sangiovese

MelRosé Vineyards 2015 Baco Noir, Umpqua Valley

MERF 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon

Michael Florentino Cellars 2013 Tempranillo, Columbia Valley

Nodland Cellars 2017 Syrah, Walla Walla Valley

Orenda Winery 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley

Palencia Wine Company 2018 El Viñador Syrah, Red Mountain

Panther Creek Cellars 2017 Kalita Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton

Pomeroy Cellars 2016 PPR Ranch Hands Red, Yakima Valley

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2017 Estate Selection Hefeabzug Grüner Veltliner

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2018 Pinot Gris

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2017 Winemaker’s Reserve Pinot Noir

Rocky Pond Estate Winery 2017 Stratastone, Columbia Valley

Schooler Nolan Winery 2016 Red Wine, Horse Heaven Hills

Season Cellars 2014 Phoenix, Southern Oregon

Seven Hills Winery 2016 Seven Hills Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley

Spangler Vineyards 2016 Petit Verdot, Oregon

StoneRiver Vineyards 2018 Albariño, Rogue Valley

Tertulia Cellars 2017 Phinny Hill Vineyard Carménère, Horse Heaven Hills

The Bunnell Family Cellar 2016 Upland Vineyard Lia, Snipes Mountain

The Bunnell Family Cellar 2010 Syrah, Red Mountain

Three of Cups 2016 Heart of the Hills Vineyard Le Bateleur Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain

Tsillan Cellars 2017 Estate Bellissima Rossa

Yakima Valley College 2017 Dean’s List Tempranillo, Yakima Valley

Zimmel Code Cellars 2016 Malbec, Columbia Valley

Adrice Wines 2017 Syrah, Wahluke Slope

Anam Cara Cellars 2016 Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains

ArborBrook Vineyards 2016 Estate Heritage Cuvée Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains

ArborBrook Vineyards 2015 Sydney Semillon, Red Mountain

Awen Winecraft 2019 Inspiration Blend, Rogue Valley

Basalt Cellars 2016 Malbec, Columbia Valley

Battle Creek Cellars 2017 Reserve Pinot Noir

Benson Vineyards Estate Winery 2019 Chardonnay, Lake Chelan

Borne of Fire 2018 The Burn Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley

Brian Carter Cellars 2018 Abracadabra Rosé

Brian Carter Cellars 2018 Oriana

Cardwell Hill Cellars 2017 Estate Barrel Select Pinot Noir

Cascade Cliffs Vineyard & Winery 2018 Winemaker’s Select Sangiovese, Columbia Valley

Cellardoor Winery 2015 Prince Valiant, American

Cellardoor Winery 2017 The Tower, Yakima Valley

Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2017 Merlot

Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2018 Merlot

Dineen Vineyards 2016 Dineen Vineyards Heritage Red Blend, Yakima Valley

Elephant Seven 2018 Yellow Bird Vineyard Grenache, Walla Walla Valley

Horan Estates Winery 2016 Merlot, Columbia Valley

Jones of Washington 2016 Cabernet Franc

Jones of Washington 2019 Rosé of Syrah

Kontos Cellars 2016 Tate Syrah, Walla Walla Valley

Maryhill Winery 2017 McKinley Springs Cabernet Sauvignon

Maryhill Winery 2019 Proprietor’s Reserve Rosé

Mazzacano Cellars 2017 Cabernet Franc, Yakima Valley

Milbrandt Vineyards 2018 The Estates Chardonnay

Page Cellars 2015 So Saxy Red Wine, Red Mountain

Puffin Wines NV Scarlet Red Wine, Columbia Valley

Puffin Wines 2019 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2017 Winemaker’s Reserve Estate Syrah

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2017 Tempranillo

Rocky Pond Estate Winery 2017 Double D Vineyard Syrah, Columbia Valley

Saviah Cellars 2018 The Jack Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley

Schmidt Family Vineyards 2019 Reserve Chardonnay

Schmidt Family Vineyards 2019 Reserve Pinot Gris

Schmidt Family Vineyards 2019 Pink Rosé of Pinot Noir

Skagit Crest Vineyard & Winery 2017 Chardonnay, Puget Sound

Terra Blanca Winery & Estate Vineyard 2016 Arch Terrace Merlot, Red Mountain

The Bunnell Family Cellar 2012 Syrah

Tsillan Cellars 2017 Estate Grenache Syrah

Tsillan Cellars 2017 Estate Piccolo Rosso Red Wine

Tsillan Cellars 2017 Estate Syrah

Two Bad Labs Vineyard 2019 Sémillon, Lewis-Clark Valley

Two Bad Labs Vineyard 2019 Fumé Blanc, Lewis-Clark Valley

Two Bad Labs Vineyard 2019 Sauvignon Blanc, Lewis-Clark Valley

VanArnam Vineyards 2018 reserve Tempranillo, Rattlesnake Hills

2Hawk Vineyard & Winery 2018 Grenache Rosé, Rogue Valley

Adrice Wines 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain

Airlie Winery 2015 Dunn Forest Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

Aluel Cellars 2016 Regalia, Columbia Valley

Brian Carter Cellars 2010 Opulento Dessert Wine

Camaraderie Cellars 2017 Tempranillo, Yakima Valley

Cellardoor Winery 2015 Iron Gate, American

Cellardoor Winery 2015 Syrah, American

Convergence Zone Cellars 2016 Squall Line Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills

Coyote Canyon Winery 2016 HH Estates G W Smith Malbec

Daven Lore Winery 2018 Brix, Yakima Valley

DeLille Cellars 2017 Minuit, Yakima Valley

Desert Wind Winery 2017 Malbec

Elevation Cellars 2016 Black Peak Tempranillo, Wahluke Slope

Eleven Winery 2019 Roussanne, Yakima Valley

Errant 2015 Cabernet Franc, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley

Eternal Wines 2019 Eternal Lust Albariño, Columbia Valley

Eye of the Needle NV Enlightened, Columbia Valley

Eye of the Needle 2016 Sangiovese, Columbia Valley

Finn Hill Winery 2019 Rosébud Vineyard En Fleur Late Harvest Sémillon, Wahluke Slope

Holesinsky Winery and Vineyard 2018 100% CH Syrah Holesinsky, Snake River Valley

Hood Crest Winery 2017 Mourvèdre, Columbia Valley

Jones of Washington 2018 Rosé of Syrah

Kriselle Cellars 2016 Cabernet Franc, Rogue Valley

L’Ecole No 41 2019 Chenin Blanc Old Vines, Yakima Valley

L’Ecole No 41 2017 Apogee, Pepper Bridge Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley

Lady Hill Winery 2018 Pinot Noir, Columbia Valley

Martin-Scott Winery 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, Horse Heaven Hills

Maryhill Winery 2017 Kiona Cabernet Sauvignon

Maryhill Winery 2017 Proprietor’s Reserve Grenache

Maryhill Winery 2017 Merlot Kiona

Maryhill Winery 2017 Proprietor’s Reserve Merlot

Maryhill Winery 2017 Zinfandel

Maryhill Winery 2018 Pinot Gris

Maryhill Winery 2016 Marvell GSM

Maryhill Winery 2017 Syrah McKinley Springs

Mellisoni Vineyards 2016 Harbor Micro Cuvée Red Wine Blend, Wahluke Slope

Mellisoni Vineyards 2017 60°

Mercer Estates 2016 Small Lot Merlot

Milbrandt Vineyards 2019 Family Grown Pinot Grigio

Mt Hood Winery 2016 Mt Hood Winery Reserve Merlot, Columbia Valley

Northwest Cellars 2015 Oscuro, Columbia Valley

Pomeroy Cellars 2016 Pinot Noir, Washington State

Pondera Winery 2017 Stillwater Creek Vineyard GSM

Puffin Wines 2016 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

Puffin Wines 2019 Puffin Sauvignon Blanc, Willamette Valley

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2017 Tempranillo Winemaker’s Reserve

Schooler Nolan Winery 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills

Snake River Winery 2014 Late Harvest Riesling, Snake River Valley

StoneRiver Vineyards 2017 Petite Sirah, Rogue Valley

Three of Cups 2017 L’ermite Grenache, Columbia Valley

Tipsy Canyon Winery 2019 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Columbia Valley

Tsillan Cellars 2017 Estate Reserve Malbec

Tsillan Cellars 2017 Estate Merlot

Warr-King Wines 2017 Lisa Packer, Washington State

Woodhouse Wine Estates 2017 Dussek Malbec, Columbia Valley

Yakima Valley College 2017 Primitivo, Columbia Valley

Yamhill Valley Vineyards 2016 Pinot Noir Estate, McMinnville

Zerba Cellars 2018 Chardonnay, Walla Walla Valley

Barons Winery 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley

Black Hills Estate Winery 2018 Black Hills Estate Winery Carménère, Okanagan Valley

Bluebird Hill Cellars 2017 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

Borne of Fire 2017 The Burn Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley

Brian Carter Cellars 2014 Byzance

Brian Carter Cellars 2015 Solesce

Camaraderie Cellars 2017 Cabernet Franc, Yakima Valley

Cellardoor Winery 2015 Ned Said Red, American

Cellardoor Winery 2017 Theron Rosè, American

Cellardoor Winery 2018 Theron Rosè, American

Chris Daniel 2016 Dakota Red, Columbia Valley

Convergence Zone Cellars 2019 Three Forks Rosé of Pinot Gris, Columbia Valley

Cooper Ridge Vineyard 2018 Riesling, Umpqua Valley

DAMA Wines 2016 Cabernet Franc, Walla Walla Valley

Desert Wind Winery 2016 Sandstorm Series Merlot

Dusty Cellars Winery 2018 Leonidas Syrah, Columbia Valley

Eleven Winery 2018 Syrah - Elephant Mountain Vineyard, Yakima Valley

Eye of the Needle NV Bellissimo Diavolo, Walla Walla Valley

Iris Vineyards 2016 Chalice Estate Chardonnay, Willamette Valley

Jones of Washington 2018 Pinot Gris 

King Estate 2016 Stone’s Throw 375 Clone of Pinot Noir 

Kriselle Cellars 2019 Albariño, Rogue Valley

Latah Creek Wine Cellars 2018 Pinot Gris, Yakima Valley

Latah Creek Wine Cellars 2019 A Toast to Best Friends, Columbia Valley

LIV- Lopez Island Vineyards 2017 Raven’s Caw Red, Columbia Valley

Malaga Springs Winery 2018 WBZ Whiskey Barrel Zinfandel, Columbia Valley

Maryhill Winery 2017 Dolcetto Painted Hills 

Maryhill Winery 2018 Riesling 

Mercer Estates 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon 

Mercer Estates 2019 Rosé 

Milbrandt Vineyards 2017 The Estates Merlot 

Mt Hood Winery 2019 Mt Hood Winery Estate Gewürztraminer, Columbia Gorge

Mt Hood Winery 2018 Mt Hood Winery Estate Pinot Noir, Columbia Gorge

Mustard Seed Cellars 2017 Malbec, Oregon

Nodland Cellars 2016 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley

Nodland Cellars 2017 Avant-garde Carménère, Walla Walla Valley

Northwest Cellars 2015 Syrah, Yakima Valley

Orenda Winery 2017 Merlot, Columbia Valley

Page Cellars 2017 Red Wine, Columbia Valley

Panther Creek Cellars 2016 Carter Vineyard Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills

Pomeroy Cellars 2016 Farm Hands Red, Yakima Valley

Pondera Winery 2019 Chardonnay 

Pondera Winery 2016 LTD, Livin’ the Dream 

Rellik Winery 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Rogue Valley

Rellik Winery 2016 Three Eyed Raven, Rogue Valley

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2017 Pinot Noir 

Ryan Patrick Wines 2018 Rock Island Chardonnay 

Schooler Nolan Winery 2016 Reserve Syrah, Red Mountain

Seven Bridges Winery 2016 Echo Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Columbia Valley

Sigillo Cellars 2017 Confluence, Columbia Valley

Siren Song Winery 2016 Raving Beauty 

Spoiled Dog Winery 2018 Escape Blanc, Washington State

Terra Blanca Winery & Estate Vineyard 2016 ONYX, Red Mountain

Terra Blanca Winery & Estate Vineyard 2016 Arch Terrace Syrah, Red Mountain

Tertulia Cellars 2017 Elevation Vineyard Tierra Labrada Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley

The Bunnell Family Cellar 2015 Syrah, Red Mountain

Trium Wines 2016 Anthony Corallo, Rogue Valley

Two Mountain 2017 Reserve Cabernet Franc 

Two Mountain 2017 Syrah 

Warr-King Wines 2016 Lisa Packer, Red Mountain

Adrice Wines 2017 Petit Verdot, Wahluke Slope

Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2017 A2 Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills

C.C. Jentsch Cellars 2016 Syrah, Okanagan Valley

Cellardoor Winery 2016 Ned Said Red, American

Cellardoor Winery 2016 Monti al Mare, American

Chateau Ste Michelle 2018 Canoe Ridge Estate Chardonnay 

Chateau Ste Michelle 2017 Harvest Select Sweet Riesling 

Desert Wind Winery 2019 Dry Rosé of Tempranillo 

Desert Wind Winery 2019 Dry Rosé of Touriga National 

Eye of the Needle NV Harvest White, Columbia Valley

Farmhand 2017 Go 4 Red, Columbia Valley

Finn Hill Winery 2019 Le Fantôme Blanc Pinot Gris, Columbia Valley

Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery 2019 Old Vines Auxerrois, Golden Mile Bench

Hood Crest Winery NV Brooklyn Rosé, Columbia Gorge

Jones of Washington 2014 Malbec 

King Estate 2016 Freedom Hill Pinot Noir 

Lagana Cellars 2017 Nox Eternelle Carménère, Walla Walla Valley

Maryhill Winery 2017 Malbec 

Maryhill Winery 2017 Cinsault McKinley Springs 

Mercer Estates 2018 Mercer Bros. Chardonnay 

Mt Hood Winery 2017 Mt Hood Winery Barbera, Columbia Valley

Oliver Twist Estate Winery 2019 Viognier, Okanagan Valley

Pudding River Wine Cellars 2014 Pinot Noir Reserve, Willamette Valley

Red Rooster Winery 2017 Red Rooster Rare Bird Series Malbec, Okanagan Valley

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2015 Rojo Dulce Dessert Wine Lot 2 

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2016 Winemaker’s Reserve Syrah 

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2016 Tempranillo Winemaker’s Reserve 

Schmidt Family Vineyards 2019 Reserve Riesling 

Skagit Crest Vineyard & Winery 2018 Pinot Blanc, Puget Sound

Spangler Vineyards 2016 Merlot, Oregon

Spangler Vineyards 2015 Petit Verdot, Oregon

Spring Valley Vineyard 2016 Uriah Red Blend 

Terra Blanca Winery & Estate Vineyard 2015 Signature Series Titan, Red Mountain

The Bunnell Family Cellar 2015 Painted Hills Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley

Tsillan Cellars 2017 Estate Dolcetto 

Tsillan Cellars 2019 Estate Pinot Grigio 

Tsillan Cellars 2017 Estate Sangiovese 

Veer Wine Project 2017 Avignon, Red Mountain

Wit Cellars 2017 Painted Hills Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley

Wit Cellars 2017 Syrah, Yakima Valley

2Hawk Vineyard & Winery 2017 Darow Series Chardonnay, Rogue Valley

Archery Summit 2018 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 

Bluebird Hill Cellars 2018 Birdhouse Dessert Wine, Willamette Valley

Chateau Faire Le Pont Winery 2016 Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain

Eternal Wines 2016 Eternal Wines, Columbia Valley

Holesinsky Winery and Vineyard 2019 Unicorn Pail Fizz, Snake River Valley

Jones of Washington 2019 Chardonnay 

King Estate 2016 Domaine Pinot Noir 

Maryhill Winery 2018 Chardonnay 

Michael Florentino 2017 Albariño 

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2017 Grenache 

Schooler Nolan 2016 Reserve Malbec, Red Mountain

South Hill 2016 South Hill Meritage, Washington

The Bunnell Family Cellar 2018 Wine ‘O Clock Semillon, Yakima Valley

Tinte Cellars 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley

Water from Wine 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills

Mellisoni Vineyards 2017 Malbec

2Hawk Vineyard & Winery 2016 Darow Series Tempranillo, Rogue Valley

Gold 

2Hawk Vineyard & Winery 2017 Grenache, Rogue Valley

Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2017 The Wine Project

Cooper Ridge Vineyard 2015 Merlot, Umpqua Valley

SMAK Wines 2019 Fall/Winter Rosé, Columbia Valley

Zimmel Code Cellars 2016 Syrah, Red Mountain

Bitner Vineyards 2016 Cabernet Franc, Snake River Valley

Bayernmoor Cellars 2018 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley

Bluebird Hill Cellars 2018 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley

Camaraderie Cellars 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley

Chateau NoElle Vineyards & Winery 2018 Devorah Creek Vineyard Revelation Pinot Noir, Puget Sound

Chateau Ste Michelle 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon

Elevation Cellars 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley

Finn Hill Winery 2016 Rosébud Vineyard Vivant Malbec, Wahluke Slope

Iris Vineyards 2018 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley

King Estate 2017 Pinot Noir

LIV- Lopez Island Vineyards 2019 Siegerrebe, Puget Sound

LIV- Lopez Island Vineyards 2018 Sangiovese, Rattlesnake Hills

Martin-Scott Winery 2014 Malbec, Red Mountain

Martinez & Martinez Winery 2018 Pinot Grigio, Yakima Valley

MelRosé Vineyards NV Solstice Solera, Umpqua Valley

Native Flora 2017 Scott Flora, Dundee Hills

Northwest Cellars 2015 Malbec, Yakima Valley

Panther Creek Cellars 2019 Winemakers Cuvee Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

Seven Hills Winery 2019 Seven Hills Winery Sauvignong Blanc, Columbia Valley

Spangler Vineyards 2015 Tempranillo, Umpqua Valley

Vino la Monarcha 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley

Williamson Orchards & Vineyards 2016 Reserve Syrah, Snake River Valley

Wit Cellars 2018 Unleashed Pinot Grigio Sparkling Wine, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley

Yakima Valley College 2019 Easy A Chardonnay, Columbia Valley

2Hawk Vineyard & Winery 2017 Darow Series Malbec, Rogue Valley

ArborBrook Vineyards 2016 Estate 777 Block Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains

Bayer Family Estate 2017 Zinfandel, Rogue Valley

Cardwell Hill Cellars 2019 Rosé from Pinot Noir 

Cellardoor Winery 2016 Aurora American

Clubhouse Cellars NV Tickle Me Pink Rosé, Columbia Valley

College Cellars of Walla Walla 2018 Scholarship Red Red Wine, Walla Walla Valley

Coyote Canyon Winery 2017 Sangiovese

Eleven Winery 2010 The Ambages, Washington

Jones of Washington 2015 Estate Vineyards Syrah 

Maryhill Winery 2016 Cabernet Franc

Maryhill Winery 2017 Proprietor’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Mellisoni Vineyards 2019 Pinot Griogio

Milbrandt Vineyards 2018 Chardonnay

Naches Heights Vineyard & Winery 2018 Pinot Gris, Naches Heights

Palencia Wine Company 2017 El Viñador Tempranillo, Wahluke Slope

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2017 Estate Selection Malbec

Rezabek Vineyards 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Clark County

Spangler Vineyards 2016 Claret, Oregon

Tagaris Winery NV Eliseo Silva Chardonnay, Columbia Valley

Two Bad Labs Vineyard NV Summer White, Lewis-Clark Valley

Westport Winery 2018 Kraken, Yakima Valley

Finn Hill Winery 2019 Par Excellence, Columbia Valley

Maryhill Winery 2016 Petit Verdot

Maryhill Winery 2016 Proprietor’s Reserve Serendipity Red Blend

Siren Song Winery 2016 Beijo - Siren’s Reserve

Latah Creek Wine Cellars 2019 Orange Moscato, Yakima Valley

Airlie Winery 2015 BeckenRidge Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

Bayernmoor Cellars 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain

Bayernmoor Cellars 2017 Bayernmoor Vineyard Pinot Noir, Puget Sound

Beaumont Cellars 2018 Syrah, Wahluke Slope

Benson Vineyards Estate Winery 2019 Pinot Gris, Lake Chelan

Bluebird Hill Cellars 2017 Barrel Select Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

Bluebird Hill Cellars 2017 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

C.C. Jentsch Cellars 2016 Small Lot Cabernet Franc, Golden Mile Bench

Canoe Ridge Vineyard 2017 The Explorer Merlot, Horse Heaven Hills

Cellardoor Winery 2018 Unoaked Chardonnay, Columbia Valley

DANCIN Vineyards 2018 DANCIN’EN CROIX’ CHARDONNAY, Rogue Valley

Dusty Cellars Winery 2017 Malbec, Rattlesnake Hills

Fortuity Cellars 2017 Malbec, Yakima Valley

Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery 2019 Dry Rock Unoaked Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley

Hamilton Cellars 2017 Lowell Lee Tribute Red, Columbia Valley

Hood Crest Winery 2015 Sangiovese, Columbia Valley

Mercer Estates NV ICAN Rosé

Northwest Cellars 2018 Chardonnay, Yakima Valley

Oliver Twist Estate Winery 2017 Meritage Proprietor’s Reserve, Okanagan Valley

Skagit Crest Vineyard & Winery 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills

Spangler Vineyards 2016 Carménère, Southern Oregon

Three of Cups 2019 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Le Voeu Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley

Tipsy Canyon Winery 2017 Merlot, Lake Chelan

Ancestry Cellars 2019 Le Cortège Chenin Blanc, Columbia Valley

Archery Summit 2017 Arcus Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills

Coyote Canyon Winery 2016 Primitivo

StoneRiver Vineyards 2018 Viognier, Rogue Valley

Desert Wind Winery 2019 Chenin Blanc

Awen Winecraft 2019 Grenache Blanc, Rogue Valley

Beaumont Cellars 2018 Carménère, Columbia Valley

C R Sandidge Wines 2012 Cardinal, Lake Chelan

Chateau Faire Le Pont Winery 2016 Cabernet Franc, Wahluke Slope

Chateau Faire Le Pont Winery 2016 Merlot, Columbia Valley

Chateau Ste Michelle 2018 Eroica Riesling

Desert Wind Winery 2017 Ruah

Ducleaux Cellars 2019 Jordyn, Walla Walla Valley

King Estate 2018 Chardonnay

Malaga Springs Winery 2019 Syrah Rosé, Columbia Valley

Malaga Springs Winery 2016 Syrah, Columbia Valley

Maryhill Winery 2017 Carménère, Elephant Mountain 

Rellik Winery 2017 Chardonnay, Rogue Valley

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2017 Estate Selection Merlot

Schooler Nolan 2016 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain

Skagit Crest Vineyard & Winery 2018 Chuckanut White, Puget Sound

South Hill 2018 South Hill Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, Columbia Gorge

ArborBrook Vineyards 2016 Celebrer la Vie Sparkling Wine, Willamette Valley

Archery Summit 2017 Chardonnay

Brandborg Vineyard and Winery 2019 All Hands Petillant Naturel Sparkling Wine Elkton, Oregon

Cave B Estate Winery 2017 Malbec, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley

Cellardoor Winery 2018 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley

Jones of Washington 2014 Jones Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Maryhill Winery 2015 Proprietor’s Reserve Vintage Port

Maryhill Winery 2017 Merlot McKinley Springs

Maryhill Winery 2017 Art denHoed Vineyard Painted Hills Primitivo, Columbia Valley

Mellisoni Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon

Skagit Crest Vineyard & Winery 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Puget Sound

Terra Blanca Winery & Estate Vineyard 2015 Signature Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain

Tsillan Cellars 2019 Estate Nudo Chardonnay

Pomeroy Cellars 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley

Augustino Estate & Vineyard 2015 “Caramella” Pinot Noir Dessert Wine, Southern Oregon

Chateau Ste Michelle 2018 Dry Riesling

Cooper Ridge Vineyard 2018 Viognier, Umpqua Valley

Edward Lynne Cellars 2019 Viognier, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley

Errant Cellars 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Wahluke Slope

Pudding River Wine Cellars 2014 Syrah Dessert Wine, Walla Walla Valley

Rocky Pond Estate Winery 2017 Clos CheValle Vineyard, Lake Chelan

Silvara Cellars 2019 Vintner’s Reserve White, Columbia Valley

Siren Song Winery 2019 Belle Tavel

The Bunnell Family Cellar 2014 McClelland Family Vineyard Malbec, Walla Walla Valley

Tipsy Canyon Winery 2019 Viognier, Columbia Valley

Tsillan Cellars 2019 Estate Bocciolo di Rosa Rosé

Delfino Winery 2017 Dolcetto, Umpqua Valley

Tinte Cellars 2019 Rosé of Counoise, Rattlesnake Hills

Eternal Wines 2019 Eternal Perspective Grenache Blanc, Columbia Valley

Schmidt Family Vineyards 2017 Reserve Merlot

ERIC DEGERMAN operates Great Northwest Wine, an award-winning media company. Learn more about wine at GreatNorthwestWine.com. 

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HOW THE PLATINUM IS CONDUCTED

Wine Press Northwest created the Platinum Judging in the fall of 2000 as a way to determine some of the best Pacific Northwest wines.

To accomplish this, we chart more than 50 professionally judged wine competitions worldwide to track the gold medals won by fruit from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic several competitions were canceled in 2020 or postponed to 2021 but Northwest wineries still were awarded more than 1,700 gold medals at professional judgings.

These wines are categorized and judged blind during three days by three panels of experts, who awarded wines with Double Platinum, Platinum, Double Gold and Best Buy. A wine receives a medal based on how a majority of the judges voted. In the case when all the judges on a panel deem the wine a Platinum, that wine is awarded a unanimous Double Platinum.

Based on each judge’s score, we are able to determine which wine or wines end up at the top, the best of the best.

The 21st annual Platinum Judging was staged Oct. 28-30 at Clover Island Inn in Kennewick, Wash.

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PLATINUM JUDGING ALL-TIME LEADERBOARD

With seven Platinum awards at the 21st annual judging, Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery south of Oliver, British Columbia, continues to proudly wear the crown as “King of the Platinum.”

However, Maryhill Winery closed the gap once again after receiving 12 Platinums this year, while Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyard remained in third place.

Clearwater Canyon Cellars, the 2020 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year and led by Coco “Queen of the Platinum” Umiker, moved into a tie for seventh after earning eight Platinums this fall.

Below is the list of wineries that have won 10 or more Platinums during the competition’s 21 years. Newcomers include Cellardoor Winery, Cardwell Cellars, Mellisoni Vineyards, Dunham Cellars and Schmidt Family Cellars.

Editor’s note: Cellardoor Winery is based in the state of Maine, but all of its Platinum winners have been produced with grapes from the Pacific Northwest.

Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery, Oliver, British Columbia — 92

Maryhill Winery, Goldendale, Wash. — 88

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards, Roseburg, Ore — 43

Château Ste. Michelle, Woodinville, Wash. — 40

Zerba Cellars, Milton-Freewater, Ore. — 38

Thurston Wolfe, Prosser, Wash. — 27

Clearwater Canyon Cellars, Lewiston, Idaho — 25

Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate, Oliver, British Columbia — 25

Westport Winery Garden Resort, Aberdeen, Wash. — 24

Barnard Griffin Winery, Richland, Wash. — 23

La Frenz Winery, Penticton, British Columbia — 23

Palencia Wine Co./Vino la Monarcha, Kennewick, Wash. — 23

Tsillan Cellars, Chelan, Wash. — 23

H/H Estates/Coyote Canyon Winery, Prosser, Wash. — 22

Brian Carter Cellars, Woodinville, Wash. — 20

Jones of Washington, Quincy, Wash. — 20

Kiona Vineyards and Winery, Benton City, Wash. — 20

Spangler Vineyards, Roseburg, Ore. — 20

Wild Goose Vineyards, Okanagan Falls, British Columbia — 19

Walla Walla Vintners, Walla Walla, Wash. — 18

Smasne Cellars, Kennewick, Wash. — 17

Alexandria Nicole Cellars, Paterson, Wash. — 16

Cave B Estate Winery, Quincy, Wash. — 16

Abacela, Roseburg, Ore. — 15

Basalt Cellars, Clarkston, Wash. — 15

The Bunnell Family Cellar, Prosser, Wash. — 15

Milbrandt Vineyards, Prosser, Wash. — 15

Northwest Cellars, Kirkland, Wash. — 14

Saviah Cellars, Walla Walla, Wash. — 14

Brandborg Vineyard & Winery, Elkton, Ore. — 13

* Cellardoor Winery, Lincolnville, Maine — 13

Domaine Ste. Michelle, Paterson, Wash. — 13

Dusted Valley Vintners, Walla Walla, Wash. — 13

L’Ecole No. 41, Lowden, Wash. — 13

Watermill Winery, Milton-Freewater, Ore. — 13

14 Hands Winery, Prosser, Wash. — 12

*Cardwell Cellars, Philomath, Ore. — 12

*Mellisoni Vineyards, Chelan, Wash. — 11

Reininger/Helix by Reininger, Walla Walla, Wash. — 11

*Dunham Cellars, Walla Walla, Wash. — 10

*Schmidt Family Cellars, Grants Pass, Ore. — 10

* — denotes new to the leaderboard

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QUALIFYING COMPETITIONS

The annual Platinum Judging is an invitation-only competition. Only wines that have earned a gold medal or better at one of these regional, national or international competitions are invited to compete.

All Canadian Wine Championships, American Fine Wine Competition, Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival, British Columbia Best of Varietal, Cascadia Wine Competition, Chardonnay du Monde, Dan Berger International, Decanter World Wine Awards, Denver International Wine Competition, Drink Pink International Rose Competition, East Meets West, Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, Florida State Fair, Great Northwest Invitational, Harvest Challenge, Hilton Head International Wine Competition, Idaho Wine Awards, Idaho Wine Competition, Indy International Wine Competition, International Women's Wine Competition, IWSC International Wine and Spirits, Jefferson Cup, Jerry D. Mead's New World International, Los Angeles International Wine Competition, Lt. Governor BC Wine Awards, McMinnville Classic, Mondial des Pinots, Monterey International Wine Competition, National Wine Awards of Canada, New Orleans International, Newport Seafood & Wine Festival, Old Ebbit Grill International Wines for Oysters, Oregon Wine Awards, Oregon Wine Competition, Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, Portland Seafood & Wine Festival, Rodeo Uncorked, San Diego International Wine & Spirits Competition, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, San Francisco International, Savor NW Wine Awards , Seattle Wine Awards, Six Nations Wine Challenge, Sunset International, Tasters’ Guild International Wine Competition, TEXSOM, Tri-Cities Wine Festival, Walla Walla Valley Wine Competition, Washington State Wine Competition, Wenatchee Wine and Food Festival, Wine Press Northwest Peer Judgings.

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