By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue
Your Seattle Seahawks are on top of the sports world, vanquishing the AFC champion Denver Broncos. What better way for the 12th Man to celebrate than with 12 great Washington wines?
We have selected a dozen wines that have earned our top “Outstanding” rating during January, when the Super Bowl champs were making their run through the postseason.
Ask for them at your favorite wine merchant or contact the wineries directly to find them.
Apex Cellars 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $33: This big Cab from a Prosser, Wash., winery dominates the line of scrimmage with aromas and flavors of black cherry, spice, milk chocolate and sweet herbs. Enjoy with roasted meats.
Westport Winery 2011 Jetty Cat Red, Columbia Valley, $27: Opposing receivers don’t want to try any crossing routes on this rough-and-tumble blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Tempranillo and Syrah from a Washington coast producer. It lowers the boom with flavors of plum jam and Whoppers and will pair perfectly with spaghetti and meatballs.
Ross Andrew Winery 2011 Meadow Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $20: This Woodinville winery provides a sleek red that can slip through the grasp of anything trying to drag it down, delivering flavors of dusty cherry, violet, cocoa and black truffles. This suave wine will work beautifully with roast beef.
Beast 2012 Wallula Vineyard Sphinx Riesling, Horse Heaven Hills, $25: This gorgeous Riesling brings the beast with flavors of tropical fruit, jasmine and Granny Smith apple. It’s bone dry, but try pairing it with Skittles anyway.
Milbrandt Vineyards 2012 Traditions Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $13: Like the Seahawks’ receiving corps, this Chardonnay plays above its pay grade and delivers in the clutch with aromas of clarified butter and artichoke hearts and flavors of lemon yogurt and baked pear. Enjoy with oysters, salmon or baked chicken.
Cougar Crest Estate Winery 2012 Estate Viognier, Walla Walla Valley, $22: Just like a certain football team, this stunning white found victory last month against some of the best in California at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Notes of melon, white peach, apple and honey deliver in the end. Beautiful with halibut topped with mango salsa.
Swiftwater Cellars 2012 No. 9 Riesling, Columbia Valley, $18: This upscale winery at Suncadia has found its franchise quarterback in California escapee Linda Trotta, who scores with this gorgeous dry Riesling that is loaded with aromas and flavors of pineapple, pear and apple. Try with curries.
Angel Vine 2011 Zinfandel, Columbia Valley, $19: Oregon winemaker Ed Fus comes through with a sure-handed Zin using Washington grapes; it’s loaded with flavors of raspberry, pie cherry and strawberry. Pair this rich wine with pork loin.
Barnard Griffin Winery 2012 Fume Blanc, Columbia Valley, $9: The acidity on this Sauvignon Blanc is sleeker than Percy Harvin on a kickoff return, and it’s backed with amazing tropical fruit, lime and lavender aromas and flavors. Enjoy this with seared scallops.
Northwest Cellars 2010 Intrigue, Yakima Valley, $28: Seattle-area vintner Bob Delf made a name for his winery with a best-selling 12th Man label during the Hawks’ playoff run, and this blend that leads with Cabernet Sauvignon delivers bold satisfaction for fans. A gourmet pizza works beautifully with this.
Columbia Crest 2011 H3 Les Chevaux Red Blend, Horse Heaven Hills, $15: Scrambling for a delicious wine for any night of the week? This blend of Syrah and Merlot is smooth and pretty with notes of plum, cherry and chocolate. This is a great wine to pair with meatloaf.
Farm Girl 2012 Summertime, Yakima Valley, $14: Nothing tastes sweeter than victory, and this yummy, off-dry white blend from Yakima Valley winemaker Robert Smasne is a celebratory wine with flavors of lychee, guava and rosewater. Try with fried chicken or an egg salad sandwich.
Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue run Great Northwest Wine, a news and information company. Learn more about wine at www.greatnorthwestwine.com.