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October 12

Lone Canary Winery 2002 Rosso $19/$17.09

Decades ago, Italy's Piero Antinori helped start a
winemaking revolution with a wine called the "Super Tuscan," a blend of the traditional Tuscan grape Sangiovese and such Bordeaux varieties as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The style has been successfully exported to the New World, where it makes superb wines such as this offering from Spokane's Lone Canary Winery. This blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon unveils aromas of vanilla, cedar and ripe bing cherries that lead to flavors of ripe strawberries and black tea. This is rich, elegant and well structured. Rated " Outstanding" by Wine Press Northwest magazine.

Food matches: A delicious and balanced wine to pair with grilled flank steak or a plate of rich pasta.

September 28

Five Star Cellars Merlot 02 $31/$27.89

Just beautiful, essentioanl Walla Walla fruit, from Seven Hills, Pepper Bridge, and Pheasant Run Vineyards, this wine has the smell of a chilly fall morning in Washington. It leads with an earthy spice, like sun-dried tomatoes and cedar, lining generous fresh cherry compote flavors. This is poised and elegant.

Cedar, roses, and spicy white pepper nose, followed by big black cherry fruit with hints of vanilla cream, strawberry, amd dark berries. Silky, smooth, thick mouth feel. Long long finish. A Yumm Ball.

September 21

Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot gris 03 $17

Bright, fruity, creamy style. Overt and pretty aromas of melon, honey, cream, pear, nutmeg, almond and flower. Soft and rich mouthfeel with generous flavors of pear, mineral, melon, cream and spice interwoven with well balanced acidity. The finish is vivid and long, with lingering cream, mineral and pear flavors.

At right, WVV's founder,
Jim Bernau

September 7

Chateau Ste Michelle
Dry Riesling 03 $10.00

From the winemaker, Bob Bertheau: "This is the wine I drink at home as an aperitif. The Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling is a dry, crisp, refreshing style of Riesling, with an elegant finish. It delivers pure cooler climate Riesling aromas and flavors of honeydew melon, dried apricot and tangerine. "

"At the winery, we call this “baby Eroica,” because we usually take many of the lots for this blend that were in the final running for our Eroica Riesling. It’s a favorite wine of the winemaking staff
and our little quality/value secret."



August 17

Hogue Cellars
Late Harvest White Riesling $13/$11.69

From the winery: "Eastern Washington’s low annual rainfall and cool nights during the growing season make it the perfect area for producing consistently great late harvest wines. Hogue has developed a style with Late Harvest White Riesling that includes a moderate level of sweetness, richness, viscosity and crisp balancing acidity with just a hint of complexity from the noble rot, Botrytis cinerea."

"The 2003 bottling was produced from our best Riesling vineyards, which have the ability to ripen to the required 24+ Brix level. At that level of ripeness the wine develops its trademark tangerine/apricot flavors and being grown in the cooler climate of Washington State it retains its acidity and crispness. The 2003 Late Harvest White Riesling has aromas and flavors of dried apricot, tangerine, orange peel, vanilla, raisin, and powdered sugar. The wine has good sugar to acid balance. Pair it with fruit sorbets, poached pears or hot apple pie."



August 10

Lachini Vineyard
Pinot noir Estate 02 $35

From the winery: "The '02 Lachini Vineyards Willamette Valley Estate Pinot Noir is a blend of 80% Pommard and 20% Dijon clones. It has concentrated aromas of chocolate, ripe cherries and plums, with a touch of earth, coffee and vanilla. The color is deep saturated ruby. Sharply focused on the palate it offers an elegant and graceful silky texture with mouthwatering fullness and layers of blackberries. The wine has good structure and depth, minerals and integrated fine-grained tannins for a lengthy and polished finish."


August 3

Barnard Griffin
Fume Blanc 02 $10
case price $9.00

From the winery: "The 2003 Fumé Blanc has good aromas of fresh flowers and herbs backed with vanilla scents. This vintage shows good acidity and crispness. The flavors are dominated by ripe melon with faintly grassy hints in the finish. This wine has great acidity and fantastic palate impression. The 2003 Fumé Blanc could be the best vintage I have made in years."

Vineyards and Growing Season: "The 2003 vintage year was a hot dry Washington State vintage. That meaning a warm spring followed by a hot and dry summer and a cool but dry fall for longer ripening. The wines from 2003 are incredibly full with both great acidity and sugars at harvest. My winemaking philosophy is that in most cases a blend of different vineyards will produce a wine of greater character and complexity beyond the ‘one vineyard’ wine. The 2003 Fume Blanc is the perfect example of a great vintage and my philosophy of blending many vineyard sites to make a truly exciting wine."


July 27

Snoqualmie Vineyards Riesling $8.99

From the winery: "This is a great example of Washington Riesling - very fruit forward with crisp acidity. An aromatic wine with hints of spice bursting with apricot and peach in the mouth. This wine will pair well with fruit desserts as well as pasta with grilled chicken and scallops with a rich, cream reduction sauce."

July 20

Covey Run Chardonnay 01 $10.00

Winemaker’s Comment: Our 2001 Chardonnay is bursting with flavors of green apple, pear, melon, and spice, along with soft hints of vanilla, cream, and toast.

Food Pairing Suggestions:
Although made to be served with food, this wine is also well-suited as an aperitif. Try serving it with fish, chicken dishes, salad courses, or with any style of lighter foods.

Winemaking: After harvest and pressing, the juice was split between stainless steel tanks and barrels. The tank portion was cool-fermented to conserve fruitiness, while the barrel fermented portion (50% French, 50% American oak) was allowed to remain on the lees with frequent stirring throughout the winter. The higher-acid lots were allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation. These barrel fermented wines take on the vanilla and toasty flavors of the wood as well as develop a creamy texture from the lees. The tank
and barrel portions were blended together before bottling.


July 13

Henry Estate Winery
Chardonnay 2000 Unpqua Valley $14

This big, barrel-fermented Chardonnay from Southern Oregon is loaded with aromas of tropical fruit and creamy flavors of pineapples and pears. The oak is plentiful enough throughout, yet it doesn't get in the way of the balanced fruit, clean acidity and terrific length. A great wine at an even better price. Rated "Outstanding" by Wine Press Northwest magazine.

July 6

Washington Hills Cellars Merlot 02 $11/$9.90

Wine Press NW Best Buy
for week of July 5th

June 29, 2004

High Pass
Pinot noir Rosé 2003 $10/$9.00

Roses are wonderful summer wines because of their delightful color and refreshing aromas and flavors. More Northwest wineries are making "serious" roses, meaning the wines are not just sweet and simple.

A great example is a Pinot Noir
rose from High Pass Winery in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Its vibrant cherry and light raspberry colors are duplicated in the aromas and flavors. Crisp, dry flavors lend themselves to perfect food pairings. A classy, tasty, clean wine that was rated "Outstanding" by Wine Press Northwest magazine.

High Pass is a tiny winery in the South Willamette Valley in Oregon, and most of this vineyard's grapes go to other wineries. The small amounts of wine made under the High Pass label are delicious and very reasonably priced.

June 22, 2004

Washington Hills
Syrah 2001 $10

The winery says: "Spicy berry aromas give this wine its initial appeal then take on added complexity across the palate. Ripe blackberry and blueberry echo across a lengthy finish."

Wine Press NW rating: Outstanding

Shipping July/August 2004

June 15, 2004

Hogue Pinot grigio 03 $9.99

Giving Oregon Pinot gris a run for its money, this is an exceptional value. Washington is beginning to offer lovely Pinot gris at very very good prices. This wine is a classic example of the new trend, with lovely melon and pear notes in a refreshing quaffer with a clean, crisp finish. Just lovely for the price.


From the winery:

"Pinot Grigio continues to gain popularity throughout the U.S. Known as Pinot Gris in France, the grapes are named for their characteristic grayish color, but they actually take on a pink and even purple hue as they ripen. Pinot Grigio is a refreshing white with plenty of fruit character. Our 2003 vintage has up front aromas of pear, orange peel, cedar, apple, and lemon curd. Flavors are similar: rich and soft, with pear, quince and a slight herbalness. Pair this wine with light pasta dishes, pasta salads and trout amandine."


June 8, 2004

Camaraderie Cellars Merlot 01 $26.99
Rated "Outstanding" by Wine Press NW

Brand new release, the grapes are from Chandler Reach, within eyeshot of Red Mountain, and Fred Artz' vineyard on Red Mountain at the far eastern end of the Yakima Valley. Grapes from these vineyards make for structured wines that might be confused with the mouthfeel of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Also recommended by Avalon:

Camaraderie Cellars Cabernet Franc 00 $21.99
Big price reduction from $33 to close out the vintage

From the winery: "Cabernet Franc, speaking "francly", is no weak cousin to Cabernet Sauvignon, at least not in Washington State. If anything, this wine is what often makes a "Cabernet" a better wine in a blend. At its best, Cabernet Franc possesses a liveliness that an honest but more staid Cabernet Sauvignon can only envy.

Our 2000 example is from Fred Artz' and Eve and Ed Shaw's vineyards on Red Mountain. Red Mountain, the newest of the American Viticultural Areas, this wine showcases some of the reasons that both Red Mountain and Cabernet Franc are beginning to turn heads. Neither have to take second places to any wine growing area or wine. Depth of color, flavor, mouth feel; raspberries, not black berries, high palate tones, not plums and cherries Ð these are marks of Cabernet Franc for this vintage.

Wine maker comments include many "wow's" and deep hum's, bordering on hymns of thanks to vineyardists who are as proud of their fruit as the winemaker is of the wine. Technically speaking, the wine was fermented on several yeasts and barreled in mostly reasonably new to neutral oak. Lighlty fined, the wine has just a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to blend. We can't help but think the Bordeaux family of grapes is either smiling or wrinkling their brows over the turnabout. Cabernet Franc is finally able to take center stage, supported by its more well-known cousins. It's about time. Enjoy !!!

Camaraderie Cellars is a craft winery that produces somewhere between 2,000 cases and 3,000 cases, depending on what vintage is being counted and the cogency of the winemaker counting. All of them are much loved and celebrated and meant to be shared.

June 1, 2004

Silver Lake Winery 2002
Reserve late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc $19.99

Rated Outstanding by Wine Press NW

It has long been a tradition in Southern Bordeaux to let the white grapes hang on the vines until they pick up enough sweetness to produce the much sought after Sauternes dessert wines. In 2002, we first decided to leave the Sauvignon Blanc (one of the 2 great white grapes in Bordeaux) on the vines late into the season to see if we could make our own rich, sweet version. The finished product is a beautifully viscous, pear and pineapple flavored delight with subtle tropical hints of banana. The is the perfect evening finisher no matter what the occasion.

May 25

Our shipment of the Barnard Griffin Zinfandel mentioned in Andy's email newsletter this week has been delayed, but we have some of the other wines he mentions available for purchase:

Maryhill Proprietors Reserve Zinfandel 02 $32.99

Maryhill’s first reserve for Zinfandel is a late-harvest style wine retaining almost one percent of its original grape sugars. Aromas of freshly popped walnut shells and eucalyptus exude from this 100% new French oak aged wine. You’ll be reminded of fond Christmas memories as you taste spiced, cooked plums and roasted goose with all the trimmings.

Maryhill Zinfandel 02 $24.99

The past two vintages of Maryhill Zinfandel have amassed an impressive four gold medals and set a new standard for this sun-loving varietal in the Northwest. Affordable, high-quality Zinfandel doesn’t just come from California anymore… Maryhill’s third consecutive vintage is awash with holiday spice, cinnamon and Marion berry flavors. A deep cherry undertone leads to a velvety soft coconut finish.

Zefina Zinfandel 01 $27.99

TASTING NOTES: Intense aromas of ripe cherry, raspberry, and lush jammy fruit with excellent structure. The chocolaty, ripe raspberry fruit flavors give way to a long lingering finish.

VINEYARD: Alder Ridge, Columbia Valley

FERMENTATION: Barrel fermented in 50% new French oak and 50% in 1 year old French oak barrels.

BLEND: 100% Zinfandel


May 18

Canoe Ridge Vineyard 2002 Gewurztraminer

This cool weather varietal is grown 80 miles further west of the Canoe Ridge Vineyard® on the White Salmon River. The vineyard was planted in the early 1980s and is dry farmed. It is likely the coolest site that could consistently grow this varietal to ripeness, which is key to its concentration and style. It is a crisp, dry style Gewürztraminer with a spicy, pink grapefruit and honeysuckle aroma.

The mouthfeel is well structured with a hint of sweetness that gives it the ability to stand up to hot food, such as Thai. It is also perfect before dinner and during the hot summer season. Residual Sugar is less than 1 percent. The wine is barrel fermented in 100 percent neutral French oak.

Wine Press NW says: "This Germanic variety is an underrated food wine, and this dry, Alsatian-style version, from a 20-year-old site along the White Salmon River, provides an outstanding example. A combination of honeysuckle, banana, rosewater, a hint of Orange Muscat with mineral qualities and some characteristics of the 100 percent neutral French oak barreling make up the aromas. Grapefruit with the accompanying tartness - a signature of this variety - and some orange dominate the flavors. The acidity is clean, and there's not the lingering bitterness sometimes associated with this grape. Residual sugar is less than 1 percent. Rated "Outstanding" by Wine Press Northwest magazine.

Food matches: Try with duck, a honey ham or a tart fruit glaze on pork.

Canon de Sol Syrah 02

Best of Show, NW Wine Summit!

Wine Press NW says: "The wine won Best of Show this month at the Northwest Wine Summit, following up the success of the 2000 (which won Best of Show at the Northwest Wine Summit two years ago) and 2001 (which Wine Press Northwest rated the best Northwest Syrah last fall).


May 12

Freja Cellars Pinot noir 2001
$20/$18 by the case

Order Here

Wine Press NW says: "Here is a stunning bottling from the estate boutique winery that winemaker/owner Willy Gianopulos opened just five years ago. The complexity and abundance of fruit is phenomenal, and the array of aromas is astounding with strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, blueberry, tea, tobacco and some light toast. A tilt of the glass ushers in flavors of blueberry, huckleberry and tea with pleasing tannins and terrific acidity. It all makes for a rewarding and easy-drinking Pinot. Rated "Outstanding" by Wine Press Northwest.

From the winery: "Grapes were harvested on October 5th the earliest for the vineyard in a long time. Very healthy dark ripe fruit. Average yield was 1.90 tons/acre. Similar to the 1999 vintage. The WV bottling was done in September 2002 and the reserve was bottled July 2003. The wine is a nice dark garnet colored with soft tannins. It has a very creamy texture almost like a barrel fermented chardonay and has hints of blueberry and cherry. Very long high palette finish."

May 4

Iris Hill
Chardonnay 01 $10.99

Order Here

Refrshing style, crisp, hint of citrus, light on the oak. Have with cheese fondue, chicken dishes, risotto, halibut.

April 27

Five Star Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 02


Gold Medal Tri-Cities Wine Festival, 12/03. This wine surprised the judges, coming out of nowhere to receive the highest ratings in the competition. Big mocha and black cherry fruit, long, big finish. Recommended.

"Five Star Cellars Aims for
Five-Star Quality”

By Christina Kelly
Avalon Editor/Writer

Matt Huse didn’t like wine, and certainly never expected to be in the wine business.

The Walla Walla native graduated from a carpentry program at the local community college and started a career of “pounding nails for a living,” working for a general contractor.

It turned out that the general contractor was building many of the new wineries in the region and Huse, nail by nail, began a transformation on his own. The process of winemaking intrigued him, and while learning about that process, he tried many of the new Walla Walla wines.


April 15, 2004

Jezebel Pinot Blanc 02


Not your typical Pinot Blanc, I compare this wine to Patty Green's or Andrew Rich's superb Sauvignon Blancs.... If you like those wines, this is one to try!

In the tradition of Jezebel herself, this is the richest, most sensuous, full bodied Pinot Blanc from Oregon I've ever tried. The nose is intense, with melon, peach, apricot, and floral notes, then the flavor is thickly fruity, with a viscous quality. Nothing watery or subtle here. You may argue whether this wine is true to the grape, but you won't argue that it is a delicious crowd pleaser.

Wine Press NW Says: "The folks at Sineann Cellars and Daedalus Cellars in Oregon have combined forces on this new brand to put together price-friendly wines. This fantastic Pinot Blanc is one of the first releases. Its lime and mineral aromas give way to clean, exploding flavors of citrus and fresh orchard fruit. It's crisp without any sharp edges. Food matches: Pair this with raw or barbecued oysters."

Rated "Outstanding" by Wine Press Northwest magazine.

April 6 2004

Abacela Malbec 2001
$21.99/19.80 by the case


A big, black delicious chunk of hearty red wine. Earl does it again. Real popular with those who want the biggest red wines.

From the winery: "This wine will grip you with a bold statement of fruit and structure. Big plum and blackberries aromas cascade from the glass followed by touches of tobacco and earth. Subtle vanillins blend well with the smooth tannins for a long full finish. This Malbec while containing the same explosive fruit of past vintages is built to age.

Enjoy now with big steaks, shish kabobs, and lamb shoulder or give it a couple years to enjoy with mushroom risotto or sausage based paellas."

Read more about the winery and its wines here.

Wine Press NW says: "From Southern Oregon comes one of Bordeaux’s lesser-known red varieties. This is dense and dark with aromas of blackberries and black pepper and shows off delicious flavors with lovely balance and terrific length. Rated “Outstanding” by Wine Press Northwest magazine."


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Paley's Place and Dusky Goose Pinot noir- new article
Wine Spectator rates Oregon's 2002 vintage 97 points

New section- under $20 Pinot noirs
New Section- $20-$30 Oregon Pinot noir


Wine Press NW
Best Buys

October 12

Columbia Winery
Cellar Master Riesling



October 4

Covey Run Merlot 01


September 28

Covey Run


September 21

Hogue Cellars
Cabernet Sauvignon 02 $10



Sawtooth Winery
Riesling 03 $10



September 7

St Chapelle
Dry Gewurztraminer 03 $10

From the winery:

"This is one of our pair of Alsatian-styled whites. It has aromas of peaches and apricots and an unusual (at least for this variety) dryness that makes it a beautiful food wine.

food affinities:
This wine’s full body and fruit flavors make it ideal to pair with mildly spicy or smoked foods. It is especially nice served as an aperitif, or as a picnic wine with chilled fresh fruit and smoked cheese

August 3

Maryhill Winery
Sauvignon Blanc

July 27

Silverlake Cab- Merlot 10.99


July 13

Paul Thomas Cabernet Sauvignon 01/02 $9.99

July 6

Henry Estate Chardonnay Umpqua Cuvee 02 $10
From the winery: " This is our ever popular, people- friendlyChardonnay ...smooth and easy to drink. With just a little oak aging the wine expresses full varietal fruit (citrus and grapefruit) in a nice, soft structure. Serve chilled or at temperatures up to 60o F with simpler foods of chicken, fish, and hors d’oeuvres."


June 29

Columbia Crest Merlot-Cab "Two Vine"


Sauvignon Blanc


June 22

Covey Run
Cab Merlot 01 $10/$9

This wine complements many different cuisines aside from the usual recommendation of red meats. Other menu pairings include salmon and pasta with meat sauce. The spicy, juicy berry flavors and smoky aroma of the wine echo similar flavors in these foods.


June 15

Firesteed Cellars
Pinot noir 01 $11.99

A bright, light bottling from Oregon, this Pinot Noir - redolent of ripe strawberries and cherries - is perenially one of the better wine buys around. Chill it for an hour, and it's the perfect wine to take on a picnic.

Chateau Ste Michelle Sauvignon Blanc 02 $12.99


June 1

Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon Two Vines $10

Oak Knoll Winery
Pinot gris 02 $10

The Oak Knoll Pinot Gris displays an amazing purity of fruit flavors, an elegantly balanced texture, and a clean, vibrant finish. The absence of oak allows the subtle floral, mineral, and spice notes to deftly bal
ance the wine’s melon and apple fruitiness. Recommended with salmon, scallops, shellfish, pork, chicken and any smoked items fresh off the grill.


May 18

Silverlake Chardonnay 01/02

From the winery: "Loaded with melon and peach flavors, the rounded fruit characteristics typical of Columbia Valley grapes are integrated beautifully into this rich Chardonnay. Clean and focused layers of fruit are held in place by firm acids. The emphasis in this wine is its complex structure of tropical fruit blending smoothly with the cedar essences imparted by French oak barrels. This Chardonnay has enough body to stand up to, and enhance, flavorful foods."

Covey Run Gewurztraminer 01/02 $10.00/$9.00


May 12 2004

Columbia Crest Two Vines Chardonnay




April 27 2004

Silver Lake
Roza Vineyard 02





April13 2004

Oak Knoll
Pinot noir 00






April 6 2004

Snoqualmie Vineyards
Chenin Blanc 01
$9.99/8.99 by the case



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Wine Press NW