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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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  • Cayuse Cailloux Syrah 2009 Front Label
    Cayuse Cailloux Syrah 2009
    Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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    • RP96
    • WE95
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  • Cayuse Bionic Frog Syrah 2009 Front Label
    Cayuse Bionic Frog Syrah 2009
    Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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    • WE95
    • WS94
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  • Cayuse En Cerise Syrah 2009 Front Label
    Cayuse En Cerise Syrah 2009
    Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • RP96
    • WS95
    • WE94
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  • Cayuse Armada Syrah 2009  Front Label
    Cayuse Armada Syrah 2009
    Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • RP97
    • WE97
    • WS93
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  • Charles Smith Wines Royal City Syrah 2009 Front Label
    Charles Smith Wines Royal City Syrah 2009
    Syrah/Shiraz from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS97
    • RP92
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  • Cayuse En Chamberlin Syrah 2009 Front Label
    Cayuse En Chamberlin Syrah 2009
    Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE99
    • RP97
    • WS96
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  • Charles Smith Wines Boom Boom Syrah 2009 Front Label
    Charles Smith Wines Boom Boom Syrah 2009
    Syrah/Shiraz from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    • Sequel Syrah 2009 Front Label
      Sequel Syrah 2009
      Syrah/Shiraz from Columbia Valley, Washington
      • RP93
      • WE92
      • WS92
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    • Betz Family Winery La Cote Patriarche Syrah 2009 Front Label
      Betz Family Winery La Cote Patriarche Syrah 2009
      Syrah/Shiraz from Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
      • RP92
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    • Betz Family Winery La Serenne Syrah 2009 Front Label
      Betz Family Winery La Serenne Syrah 2009
      Syrah/Shiraz from Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
      • RP91
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    • Betz Family Winery La Cote Rousse Syrah 2009 Front Label
      Betz Family Winery La Cote Rousse Syrah 2009
      Syrah/Shiraz from Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
      • RP91
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    • No Girls La Paciencia Vineyard Syrah 2009 Front Label
      No Girls La Paciencia Vineyard Syrah 2009
      Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
      • WS98
      • RP93
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