According to the Washington State Wine Commission, Washington is the second-largest premium wine producer in the United States, with over 900 wineries making nearly 70 grape varieties, about 64 percent of them red. We tend to think of Washington as cool and rainy – and indeed Seattle fits this description. But while some wine is made in the area around Puget Sound, most is produced in the high desert regions east of the Cascade Mountains. These mountains, running roughly parallel to the coast, protect the vineyards from cool, moist oceanic air. With long summer days and dry heat, Eastern Washington can produce full-bodied, robust wines unusual for such a northern region. Here is a selection available in Ohio.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc, 2016 (Columbia Valley); $10.99
Lemony aroma with notes of grass and minerals; tart with racy acidity and bright lemon zest and Granny Smith apple flavor.
Revelry Vintners Chardonnay, 2016 (Columbia Valley); $15.99
Vivid aroma of tangerine and Mandarin orange with rich vanilla notes; spicy apple flavor with lush body and lingering finish.
L’Ecole No.41 Merlot, 2014 (Columbia Valley); $27.99
Aroma of ripe black fruit with generous notes of dark chocolate and spice; round and flavorful with beautiful fruit and a lingering finish.
CMS Red Wine, 2014 (Columbia Valley); $13.99
Complex aroma of black licorice, black tea, earth, violets and cassis; luscious and silky with rich fruit and a touch of spice.
Intrinsic Red Blend, 2016 (Columbia Valley); $19.99
Seductive chocolate, mocha aroma with rich dark fruit; powerful flavor with notes of Mission fig and Black Forest cake.
Seven Falls Cellars Rapids Red, 2015 (Wahluke Slope); $15.99
Deep, rich color and sumptuous aroma of cinnamon, vanilla and cassis; silky, luscious and elegant with concentrated ripe fruit.
Borne of Fire Cabernet Sauvignon, 2016 (Columbia Valley); $19.99
Aromas of clove, coffee bean and black cherry; medium bodied with notes of juicy black fruit, tart cherries and smoke.
L’Ecole No.41 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 (Columbia Valley); $32.99
Opaque purple color with aromas of cherry tobacco and mocha; rich and opulent with firm tannins and concentrated fruit.
Revelry Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 (Columbia Valley); $17.99
Aromas of saddle leather, eucalyptus, ripe plum and black cherries; medium bodied and well balanced with rich fruit and a hint of roasted coffee bean on the finish.
Seven Falls Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 (Wahluke Slope); $19.99
Deep magenta color and brambly aroma of currants and dark chocolate; juicy and deep, with good body, integrated tannins and dense fruit.
Prices may vary.