Washington wines get rave reviews for quality and value. A high percentage of Washington wines get scores of 90 and above from major wine media. Washington wines are “ridiculously inexpensive” according to Spago Beverly Hills Wine Director Chris Miller in a recent Santé magazine article concluding that Washington wines have become a must-have item for restaurants nationwide. It’s hard to make a short list but these are 5 of the best Washington wines:
Washington Wines: Chateau Ste Michelle White Riesling Late Harvest Ethos 06
Chateau Ste Michelle is one of the few Washington wineries that have been widely distributed for years and its consultations with André Tchelistcheff were a landmark in establishing the Washington wine industry.
Wine Spectator gives this Washington wine 97 points and suggests drinking it now through 2026. It has a pale green-gold color, an intense aroma of apricot and honey, layers of spice and floral notes and a long finish. (about $42 per bottle)
Washington Wines: Leonetti Cellar Sangiovese 06
Leonetti is a tiny winery that sells most of its wines one weekend each spring to a mailing list of lucky customers while many unlucky fans wait to get on the list.
This Washington wine is a dark ruby red with a fruity aroma. The taste has elements of fruit, charcoal and wood. (about $70 per bottle)
Washington Wines: Gramercy Cellars Lagniappe Syrah 06
Gramercy Cellars Founder Greg Harrington is the youngest American to pass the Master Sommelier exam. Before becoming a winemaker, he worked for several restaurant groups including Wolfgang Puck.
This Washington wine has a purple-black color. It has a vibrant aroma of violets and smoke, and tastes of pure ripe fruit. (about $38 per bottle)
Washington Wines: Abeja Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 06
Abeja occupies a hundred year old farm east of Walla Walla that became a winery and a bed and breakfast in 2000.
This Washington wine has a velvety red color. The scent is a captivating blend of vanilla and berries. It has a distinct berry taste and a long finish. (about $45 per bottle)
Washington Wines: Andrew Will Sorella 06
Andrew Will is a small winery on an island off the Seattle coast that is not open to the public. Over the last few years they reduced their offerings to concentrate on Bordeaux blends.
This Washington wine received 95 points from Wine Spectator advising that it will be best from 2011 through 2018. It has a deep purple color, a smoky aroma of berries, and a complex taste of fruit, spice and espresso. (about $75 per bottle)