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Washington Wine

Learn about Washington wine, common tasting notes, where the region is and more ...

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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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  • Leonetti Seven Hills Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1996 Front Label
    Leonetti Seven Hills Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1996
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS91
    • RP90
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    Currently Unavailable $129.99
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    129 99
    129 99
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  • Columbia Crest Estate Series Merlot 1996
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS87
    • WE87
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    19 49
    17 54
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  • Col Solare  1996 Front Label
    Col Solare 1996
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS92
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    80 59
    68 49
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  • Matthews Winery Yakima Valley Red 1996 Front Label
    Matthews Winery Yakima Valley Red 1996
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS88
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    34 49
    31 99
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  • Columbia Winery Otis Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1996 Front Label
    Columbia Winery Otis Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1996
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS87
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    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    39 99
    39 99
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  • St. Clement Washington Merlot 1996 Front Label
    St. Clement Washington Merlot 1996
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS89
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    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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    26 99
    24 99
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  • Columbia Winery Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon 1996 Front Label
    Columbia Winery Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon 1996
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS88
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    Currently Unavailable $17.09
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    18 99
    17 09
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  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Artist Series Meritage 1996
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS87
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    Currently Unavailable $142.99
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    142 99
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