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Saturday, June 9, 2012 - Page updated at 11:30 a.m.
As summer looms, Jones of Washington is here to serve
By Paul Gregutt
Special to the Seattle Times
I'M NOT usually all that gung-ho on the news that some winery has won another medal or two for its wines, but when the gold, double gold and platinum medals start cascading for a fairly young, fairly obscure producer, I take notice.
Jones of Washington is a family-owned winery headquartered in the town of Quincy, about 10 miles from the famous Gorge at George music venue. Since appointing the talented Victor Palencia as winemaker in 2008, Jones has been on a quality roll. Principally growers, who manage 1,400 acres of vines in the Wahluke Slope and Ancient Lakes regions, they now produce about 8,000 cases annually, offering a generous mix of whites and reds, with an outstanding rosé as well.
In just the past couple of years they've won double gold medals for their riesling, pinot gris and rosé, along with numerous platinum, gold and silver awards for their chardonnay, merlot, sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon. Wine Press magazine recently crowned them Washington Winery of the Year for 2012.
All the accolades are well-deserved. The current wines — both white and red — are not only exceptionally well-made, they are priced at affordable levels that only grape growers can offer.
"I've selected what we consider the hearts of the vineyards," says Palencia. "I say this because every vineyard source has that one spot, those special vines that do exceptionally well, and I'm proud to present those to you in the form of a bottle."
If I had to choose favorites, I might suggest you start with the white wines, especially now that summer is around the corner. But any Jones of Washington wine is a discovery you will be pleased to make.
Jones of Washington 2011 Sauvignon Blanc; $15. A pure sauvignon blanc that is zesty, lightly grassy, spicy and slightly sweet.
Jones of Washington 2011 Viognier; $15. Candy citrus flavors mark this fresh, bracing, barrel-fermented viognier from the estate vineyards.
Jones of Washington 2011 Chardonnay; $15. Fruit flavors of apples and dried apricot, enhanced with notes of toasted walnuts and sweet grain, highlight this well-crafted, estate-grown chardonnay.
Jones of Washington 2011 Pinot Gris; $12. This is the best pinot gris yet from Jones. Leesy and creamy, it seduces with a layer of rich cream wrapped around bright orange and semitropical fruit flavors.
Jones of Washington 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon; $15. Estate-grown, tart raspberry fruit fades into a light finish with streaks of tobacco and vanilla, bolstered with generous natural acidity.
If you are thinking of visiting the winery, here is info you will need:
The Jones of Washington tasting room is at 2101 F Street S.W., Quincy. The phone number is 509-787-3537; the website www.jonesofwashington.com. A handy "Where To Find Our Wines" link is also posted online. I wish more wineries would do the same.
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