Washington State Wine
A friend asked me to put together a wine list and this is what I did. Enjoy the list and happy searching.
Five Top Red Wine Values under $20 – that are Big and Bold; that Drink 3 to 5 times their Cost – A Special Report by Wine Correspondent Ralph Del Rio
Every now and then I jot down some of my favorites values; especially when they knock your socks off! Here are 5 wines that are ridiculously good. They are big tasty wines. Decant if you like…but not necessary. All of them are delicious on their own or with a hearty meal, stew or grilled meats. Try them today, they won’t disappoint.
The state of Washington is truly becoming a hot spot! The Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and especially the Reisling coming out of this northwest state is to be reckoned with. The Columbia Valley AVA incorporates about 11 million acres of land and you will find the high end wines as well as the value wines. The Columbia Valley is actually recognized for being the foremost area for value oriented sparkling wines too, done in the traditional method; which rival from time to time the expensive bubblies. Yet their reds are the ones to watch.
Nearly 40 percent of Washington’s wines come from grapes grown in the Yakima Valley which is different than the rest of the Columbia River Basin in terroir. It’s different because the soils are much more sandy and the weather is cooler. The water drains rapidly in this area and this leads to brighter acidity in the wines. A lot of the times you find that this acidity makes the wines adapaptable to food…and you thought the Italians were the only ones playing on this field!
The Yakima Valley is bordered by some of the states most admired and respected sub-appellations – Rattlesnake Hills, Horse Heaven and Red Mountain; Makes for Great Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Further, there is also the new Wahluke Slope which is on the east of Yakima on the Columbia River and is the warmest wine region. This smaller area is known for its Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Giant Chateau Ste. Michelle owns a majority of the Columbia Valley vineyard land ; nevertheless, there are over 250 wineries in the “Columbia Valley” appellation. And really great ones too. Wines such as Amavi, Cadence, Cayuse, Le Ecole No.41 and Leonetti are several to search for.
PS…Columbia Crest and Chateau Ste Michelle are wineries that provide a path to taste alot for starters. Good wines, good values…and they also have very sophisticated wines as well if you enjoy their profiles. I also like what winemaker Charles Smith is doing at all price points. His wines usually have funky names like Boom Boom!, Kung Fu Girl, and Steakhouse…you get the point.