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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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  • Waterbrook Chardonnay 2006 Front Label
    Waterbrook Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS89
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  • Januik Winery Elerding Vineyard Chardonnay 2006 Front Label
    Januik Winery Elerding Vineyard Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    • WS90
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  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Ethos Chardonnay 2006 Front Label
    Chateau Ste. Michelle Ethos Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    • RP91
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  • Three Rivers Columbia Valley Chardonnay 2006 Front Label
    Three Rivers Columbia Valley Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS91
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  • Dunham Cellars Shirley Mays Chardonnay 2006 Front Label
    Dunham Cellars Shirley Mays Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS90
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  • Columbia Crest Grand Estates Chardonnay 2006 Front Label
    Columbia Crest Grand Estates Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS90
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  • Columbia Crest H3 Chardonnay 2006 Front Label
    Columbia Crest H3 Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS91
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  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard Chardonnay 2006 Front Label
    Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS90
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