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Washington

An important winegrowing state increasingly recognized for its high-quality reds and whites...

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An important winegrowing state increasingly recognized for its high-quality reds and whites, Washington ranks second in production in the U.S. after California. Washington wines continue to gain well-deserved popularity as they garner higher and higher praise from critics and consumers alike.

Washington winemakers draw inspiration mainly from Napa Valley, Bordeaux and the Rhône as well as increasingly from other regions like Spain and Italy. Most viticulture takes place on the eastern side of the state—an arid desert in the rain shadow of the Cascade mountains. Irrigation is made possible by the Columbia River. Temperatures are extreme, with hot and dry summers and cold winters, during which frost can be a risk.

Washington’s wine industry was initially built on Merlot, which remains an important variety to this day, despite having been overtaken in acreage planted by Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Bordeaux blends and Rhône blends are common as well as single varietal bottlings. Washington reds tend to express a real purity of concentrated fruit. The best examples have a bold richness, seamless texture, plush or powdery tannins and flavors such as licorice, herb, forest floor, espresso and dark chocolate.

In terms of white wine, Riesling is the state’s major success story, producing crisp, aromatic examples with plenty of stone fruit that range from bone dry to lusciously sweet. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc perform nicely here as well, and Viognier is beginning to pick up steam.

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    Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot 2009
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS88
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    Currently Unavailable $13.99
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    13 99
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    Milbrandt Traditions Merlot 2009
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS89
    3.2 10 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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    15 99
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    Red Diamond Merlot 2009
    Merlot from Washington
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      Currently Unavailable $11.99
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      Columbia Crest H3 Merlot 2009
      Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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      4.0 5 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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      14 99
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      Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot 2009
      Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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      17 99
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      Seven Hills Winery Columbia Valley Merlot 2009
      Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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      Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Merlot 2009
      Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
      • W&S91
      • RP91
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      Currently Unavailable $33.99
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      33 99
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      L'Ecole 41 Columbia Valley Merlot 2009
      Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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        24
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        Waterbrook Reserve Merlot 2009
        Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
        • WS91
        3.4 5 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $27.99
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        Pedestal Merlot 2009
        Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
        • WS95
        • RP91
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        Currently Unavailable $57.99
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        Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Vineyard Merlot 2009
        Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
          4.6 7 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $18.99
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          J. Bookwalter Foreshadow Merlot 2009
          Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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          Currently Unavailable $29.99
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          45
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          Leonetti Merlot 2009
          Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
          • WE94
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          Currently Unavailable $52.99
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          85
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          Three Rivers Columbia Valley Merlot 2009
          Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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          Currently Unavailable $18.29
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          18 28
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          Castle Rock Columbia Valley Merlot 2009
          Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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            15
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            Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2009
            Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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            Currently Unavailable $24.99
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            40
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            Woodward Canyon Columbia Valley Merlot 2009
            Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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              Mercer Estates Merlot 2009
              Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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                Novelty Hill Merlot 2009
                Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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                Barnard Griffin Merlot 2009
                Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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                  Snoqualmie Merlot 2009
                  Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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                    Currently Unavailable $12.00
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                    Scarborough Winery OShea Revelation Merlot 2009
                    Merlot from Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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                      38 99
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                      Basel Cellars Pheasant Run Vineyard Merlot 2009
                      Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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                        Duck Pond Desert Wind Vineyard Merlot 2009
                        Merlot from Wahluke Slope, Columbia Valley, Washington
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                          Currently Unavailable $16.99
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                          16 99
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                          Gordon Estate Winery & Vineyards Brothers Block 3 Merlot 2009
                          Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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                            Currently Unavailable $29.99
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                            29 99
                            29 99
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