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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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  • Tranche Cellars Slice of Pape Blanc 2010 Front Label
    Tranche Cellars Slice of Pape Blanc 2010
    Rhone White Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
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  • Smasne Cellars Farm Girl Kaitlin Rayann 2010 Front Label
    Smasne Cellars Farm Girl Kaitlin Rayann 2010
    Rhone White Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    • Rotie Cellars Southern White 2010 Front Label
      Rotie Cellars Southern White 2010
      Rhone White Blends from Washington
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      • Columbia Crest Reserve White 2010 Front Label
        Columbia Crest Reserve White 2010
        Rhone White Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
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        • Airfield Estate Lightning 2010 Front Label
          Airfield Estate Lightning 2010
          Rhone White Blends from Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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          • Waters Prelude White 2010 Front Label
            Waters Prelude White 2010
            Rhone White Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
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            • Novelty Hill Stillwater Creek Vineyard Royal Slope 2010  Front Label
              Novelty Hill Stillwater Creek Vineyard Royal Slope 2010
              Rhone White Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
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              • Bergevin Lane Calico White 2010 Front Label
                Bergevin Lane Calico White 2010
                Rhone White Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
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