Washington Wines are #1

Washington wines and wineries are bringing home the awards, claiming spots on Top 100 lists (Wine & Spirits and Wine Enthusiast) and regional awards (Sunset Magazine). We are still waiting patiently for the Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of the Year list to be released (and crossing our fingers that another Washington wine lands at the top; it’s been two years since the 2005 Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve earned the state’s first number one spot).

Here’s our rundown of the recent award winners :

Sunset Magazine Western Wine Awards (November 2011):

Special Occasion Wine ($41 to $60)Woodward Canyon 2010 Chardonnay

Lifetime Achievement AwardAllen Shoup, managing partner of Long Shadows Vintners and managing partner of The Benches at Wallula Gap

Best New Wine Bars
For the Foodie — The Local Vine
For Super-Local Wines — Urban Enoteca

Wine & Spirits Top 100 Wineries (November 2011; listed in alphabetical order):

Andrew Will
Chateau Ste. Michelle
Columbia Crest
Gramercy Cellars
L’Ecole No 41
Leonetti Cellar
Mark Ryan Winery
Pepper Bridge
Sparkman Cellars

Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Best Buys of 2011 (November 2011):

#1 Best Buy of the Year

#1 — Pacific Rim 2010 Riesling
#10 — Washington Hills 2010 Sauvignon Blanc
#15 — Hogue Cellars 2009 Gewurztraminer
#27 — StoneCap 2009 Merlot
#34 — J. Bookwalter 2010 Anecdote Riesling
#50 — Domaine Ste. Michelle NV Blanc de Blancs
#85 — Barnard Griffin 2009 Fumé Blanc
#96 — Arbor Crest 2009 Bacchus Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

The award winning wines we’re drinking this week (including 8 value wines under priced $15 or less):


Woodward Canyon 2010 Chardonnay – $44
A 100% varietal bottling of Chardonnay from the Walla Walla Valley and Columbia Gorge AVAs. The wine is great now but cellar properly it could go a couple of years in the bottle.

Pacific Rim 2010 Riesling – $10
Bright and crisp with just a hint of sweetness. Would pair perfectly with a rich German meal to celebrate Oktoberfest.

Washington Hills 2010 Sauvignon Blanc – $9
An excellent everyday white wine with notes of passion fruit and mango followed by citrus flavors on the palate.

Hogue Cellars 2009 Gewurztraminer – $11
Spicy notes combine with citrus flavors in the glass to create a rich and balanced wine. Save this wine for spicy Thai takeout.

StoneCap 2009 Merlot – $8
The only red that made Wine Enthusiast’s  Top 100 Best Buys list from Washington, the Stonecap Merlot is a velvety fruit-forward wine. 100% estate fruit, you can’t get a better value than this wine.

J. Bookwalter 2010 Anecdote Riesling – $15
You might have trouble finding this wine as it sold out from the winery, but if you can get your hands on it you are in for a white wine with peach, pear and melons flavors and just a hint of spice and sweetness.

Domaine Ste. Michelle NV Blanc de Blancs – $11
A non-vintage blend from the state’s largest sparkling house, this bubbly wine is on the drier side and would be a great value for celebrations and holidays.

Barnard Griffin 2009 Fumé Blanc – $9
Minerally with citrus and tropical notes. The wines is crisp, balanced and would pair well with Northwest shellfish including oysters, clams and mussles.

Arbor Crest 2009 Bacchus Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc – $8
A Columbia Valley Sauvignon Blanc from a Spokane winery, enjoy this wine with friend or pair it with an herb crusted, goat cheese stuffed chicken breast.