The best of Northwest wines; here they are
Wine Adviser Paul Gregutt names the very best wines he's tasted from among hundreds of new releases.
Special to the Seattle Times
Pick of the week
Figgins 2009 Estate Red; $85
LEONETTI'S Chris Figgins makes just this single wine, a sophisticated blend of estate-grown Bordeaux varieties. Seamless and long, it can stand alongside top-tier Bordeaux costing four or five times as much. (Distributed by Vehrs)
IN RECENT weeks I've highlighted a wide range of value-oriented wines. Now I'd like to point out some of the very best wines I've tasted from among hundreds of new releases. Most are from Washington, but I'm including some bottles from outside our borders.
Nothing kick-starts a party like a bottle of good bubbly. The NV (non-vintage) Brut styles are generally the most affordable. High on my list of favorites (at favorable prices) are the Champagnes from Nicolas Feuillatte, Henriot and Laurent-Perrier.
Once the party is going, what do you pull next? Chardonnay is back in vogue, and if you want the best from this state, grab a bottle of Abeja, Woodward Canyon or Rulo. From Oregon, a toasty Adelsheim 2010 Caitlin's Reserve is surefire.
A growing number of Washington's best reds are in high demand, and some mailing lists are closed. But bottles can be found at retail shops and in restaurants. Here is the A-list of wines that are among the highest-scoring I've ever reviewed:
Betz Family 2009 Clos de Betz Red Wine; $52. Two-thirds merlot, the rest cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot; this is clearly structured for cellaring. Even better is the Betz Family 2009 Père de Famille Cabernet Sauvignon; $65.
Boudreaux Cellars 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon; $55. It's a true Bordeaux blend that includes small amounts of merlot, petit verdot and cabernet franc. Also recommended is the Boudreaux Cellars 2007 Champoux & Loess Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon; $100. It's made very much in the style of Leonetti cabernets, with the richness you find in the best of Napa Valley.
Leonetti Cellar 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon; $88. This founding Walla Walla winery is at the top of its game, and the cab is the best of a very fine lineup.
Quilceda Creek 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon; $135. This wine has garnered more 100-point Robert Parker scores than any wine in the world. It's a bold, muscular, striking wine with nerves of steel.
Seven Hills 2009 Pentad Red; $50. Pentad is the top wine from Seven Hills. Another Bordeaux-style red, dominated by cabernet, it's a masterpiece of the blender's art.
Tamarack Cellars 2008 DuBrul Vineyard Reserve Red; $50. DuBrul is perhaps the single-most sought-after vineyard in the Yakima Valley, and at this price this is an absolute steal.
J. Bookwalter 2009 Conner Lee Vineyard Conflict Red; $55. The Conflict red is a mashup of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc. It's a crowd-pleaser.
Gramercy Cellars 2009 Lagniappe Syrah; $45. This has astonishing depth of flavor, its dense black fruits marbled with smoked meat, clove, balsamic and other flavors of earth and limb.
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.