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Originally published Wednesday, December 27, 2006 at 12:00 AM

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Wine Adviser

Year's best Washington wine? Here's my top 100

Two of the most eagerly-awaited "Best of" lists are the year's top 100 wines as profiled in the Wine Spectator and the Wine Enthusiast. Thousands of wines from around...

Special to the Seattle Times

Two of the most eagerly-awaited "Best of" lists are the year's top 100 wines as profiled in the Wine Spectator and the Wine Enthusiast. Thousands of wines from around the globe are reviewed by these publications each year, so to place any wines at all on these lists is a coup. Washington does quite well, especially considering how truly small our wine industry is. But it occurs to me, why not do a top 100 Washington wine list?

In 2006 I tasted more new releases than ever. I was intent on experiencing the full range of what this state has to offer, from the Olympic Peninsula to the Columbia Gorge, from Walla Walla to Spokane and all points within that vast circle. Many of the wines on this list may have been made in very limited quantities, and quite a few are now sold out. Some wineries sell only to mailing-list customers. However, the more widely-available, less expensive wines listed here are just as important, because these are the everyday, affordable wines that best promote the quality of Washington vineyards and vintners.

With one or two exceptions, I have elected to list just one wine per winery, although many producers named here have delivered a full lineup of outstanding wines. The wine listed is the one that I felt was the best.

This ranking is not done strictly by the numbers, although these are all wines that score very well on the 100-point scale. However, I firmly believe that both quality and cost are factors in overall excellence. If a winery charges $80 or $100 for a wine, it darn well better be good! But if the wine costs $8 or $10 and delivers quality flavor, it is every bit as valuable as the pricey juice.

Congratulations to everyone whose work is recognized below. I very much look forward to chronicling your continued success in 2007.

Paul Gregutt's Best of Washington State Wine 2006

1. Quilceda Creek 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon ($95)

2. Cayuse 2003 Armada Syrah ($65)

3. Fielding Hills 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon ($30)

4. Betz Family Winery 2003 Père de Famille Cabernet Sauvignon ($45)

5. Cadence 2004 Camerata Red Wine ($50)

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6. Andrew Will 2002 Annie Camarda Syrah ($58)

7. Mark Ryan 2004 Dead Horse Ciel du Cheval Vineyard ($42)

8. Columbia 2005 Gewurztraminer ($12)

9. Stephenson Cellars 2003 Syrah ($28)

10. Chateau Ste. Michelle 2003 Ethos Syrah ($29)

11. Soos Creek 2003 Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($30)

12. Chaleur Estate 2005 Blanc ($33)

13. Abeja 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon ($35)

14. McCrea 2003 Boushey Grande Côte Syrah ($42)

15. Gorman 2004 The Evil Twin ($50)

16. Matthews 2004 Hedges Vineyard Syrah ($50)

17. Dunham 2004 Lewis Vineyard Syrah ($75)

18. Leonetti Cellar 2003 Reserve ($100)

19. Boudreaux Cellars 2003 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($80)

20. J Bookwalter 2005 Riesling ($16)

21. Syncline 2004 Milbrandt Vineyards Syrah ($22)

22. Owen Roe 2005 Sinister Hand Red ($24)

23. Buty 2005 Conner Lee Vineyard Chardonnay ($30)

24. Januik 2003 Syrah ($30)

25. Syncline 2004 Cuvée Elena Grenache-Mourvèdre-Syrah ($35)

26. Kestrel 2003 Co-fermented Syrah ($37.50)

27. Spring Valley Vineyard 2004 Uriah ($40)

28. Basel Cellars 2004 Syrah ($42)

29. Pedestal 2003 Merlot ($45)

30. Robert Karl 2003 Inspiration Reserve Red ($45)

31. Bergevin Lane 2003 Jaden's Reserve Syrah ($55)

32. Woodward Canyon 2003 Old Vines Dedication Series #23 ($75)

33. Rulo 2004 Syrah ($19)

34. Morrison Lane 2003 Syrah ($29)

35. Chandler Reach 2003 Monte Regalo ($22)

36. Seia 2004 Clifton Hill Vineyard Syrah ($23)

37. McCrea 2004 Ciel du Cheval Mourvèdre ($28)

38. Latitude 46{+o} N 2004 Syrah ($28)

39. Hightower 2003 Merlot ($28)

40. Baer 2003 Ursa ($29)

41. Novelty Hill 2003 Syrah ($29)

42. Sineann 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon ($30)

43. Alder Ridge 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon ($30)

44. James Leigh 2003 Spofford Station Merlot ($32)

45. Isenhower 2004 River Beauty Syrah ($32)

46. Bunnell Family Cellar 2004 Boushey-McPherson Vineyard Syrah ($33)

47. Stevens 2003 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($35)

48. L'Ecole No 41 2004 Ferguson Commemorative Reserve Red ($45)

49. Walla Walla Vintners 2003 Vineyard Select Cabernet Sauvignon ($45)

50. K Vintners 2003 The Creator ($55)

51. Townshend 2004 Viognier ($10)

52. Canoe Ridge 2004 Oak Ridge Vineyard Gewurztraminer ($13)

53. Sagelands 2003 Merlot ($13)

54. Three Rivers 2005 Meritage White ($19)

55. Wineglass Cellars 2002 Boushey Vineyard Syrah ($23)

56. Seven Hills 2003 Syrah ($25)

57. Waters 2004 Interlude Red ($25)

58. :Nota Bene 2003 Miscela Red ($26)

59. Beresan 2004 Syrah ($29)

60. O• S Winery 2004 Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Franc ($30)

61. Saviah Cellars 2004 Une Vallée Red ($30)

62. Doyenne 2005 Roussanne ($31)

63. Woodinville Wine Cellars 2004 Ausonius ($35)

64. Sheridan 2003 Syrah ($38)

65. Walter Dacon 2004 C'est Syrah Magnifique ($38)

66. Northstar 2003 Syrah ($40)

67. Forgeron 2004 Boushey Vineyard Merlot ($46)

68. Fidélitas 2003 Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($55)

69. Bonair 2005 Dry Gewurztraminer ($9)

70. Columbia Crest Grand Estates 2002 Shiraz ($11)

71. Arbor Crest 2003 Merlot ($15)

72. Alexandria Nicole 2005 Viognier ($16)

73. Chinook 2004 Semillon ($17)

74. Cedergreen Cellars 2005 Sauvignon Blanc ($18)

75. Chatter Creek 2005 Viognier ($18)

76. San Juan Vineyards 2004 Celilo Vineyard Chardonnay ($19)

77. Andrew Rich 2004 Cabernet Franc ($20)

78. Helix by Reininger 2004 Syrah ($22)

79. Brian Carter Cellars 2004 Oriana White ($24)

80. Couvillion Winery 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon ($25)

81. Animale 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon ($26)

82. Harlequin 2003 Cuvée Alexander ($29)

83. Maryhill 2003 Proprietor's Reserve Cabernet Franc ($32)

84. C.R. Sandidge 2004 Stone Tree Red ($34)

85. Gamache Vintners 2003 GV Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($40)

86. Barons V 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon ($48)

87. Pepper Bridge 2003 Merlot ($50)

88 . Barnard Griffin 2005 Rosé of Sangiovese ($8)

89 . Balboa 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon ($16)

90. Willow Crest 2003 Syrah ($16)

91. JM Cellars 2005 Viognier ($20)

92. Vin du Lac 2005 LEHM Dry Riesling ($21)

93. Zerba Cellars 2004 Merlot ($28)

94. Maghee Cellars 2002 Merlot ($28)

95. Col Solare 2003 ($70)

96. Hedges 2005 CMS White ($11)

97. Apex II 2005 Sauvignon Blanc ($11)

98. Covey Run 2003 Merlot ($9)

99. Columbia Crest Two Vines 2003 Chardonnay ($8)

100. Snoqualmie Vineyards 2003 Syrah ($11)

Paul Gregutt is the author of "Northwest Wines." His column appears weekly in the Wine section. He can be reached by e-mail at wine@seattletimes.com.

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About Wine Adviser

My column is all about sharing the joy of exploring all the world of wine. I want to guide people to make inspired choices, and encourage them to try as many different styles of wine as they can. I will always seek out the best wines at the best prices. Wine Adviser runs on Sunday in Pacific Northwest Magazine.
paulgwine@me.com

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