Top Northwest white and pink wines to try

At the recent Great Northwest Wine Competition, wine professionals judged 800 wines from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia. Of these, 267 were white or pink wines, of which 24 won gold medals.

This week, we take a look at some of these top white and rose wines. Our friend, longtime wine scribe and newspaperman Ken Robertson, took on the enviable task of tasting and describing each gold medal winner during the competition, and we appreciate his contributions to this column.

Here is a sampling of the top white (and one pink) wines of the Great Northwest Wine Competition, staged March 16 and 17 at the Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River, Ore.:

Jones of Washington 2012 Riesling, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $12: Victor Palencia oversees this winery with a tasting room in Quincy, Wash. This wine won a unanimous double gold medal, and for good reason. The aromas open like a politician at a fundraiser, promising everything — peaches, oranges, limes and apricots — and pledging the flavors will bring even more riches. In the mouth, it delivers a cornucopia of fruit cocktail, with tropical elements that include guava. This one sets the bar for Riesling. Enjoy it with Asian fare.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2010 Canoe Ridge Estate Chardonnay, Horse Heaven Hills, $22: Washington’s oldest winery continues to deliver greatness, as this Chardonnay attests. Apple, pineapple and a hint of caramel from its oak open this delightful white. Like many wines from the chilly fall of 2010, it holds on to crisp acidity at the end of its bountiful display of apple, pineapple and tropical fruit flavors.

Sparkman Cellars 2010 Apparition Roussanne, Yakima Valley, $32: Chris Sparkman is well known in Seattle circles as a top sommelier. He’s also proven his prowess on the other side of the bottle as he crafts superb wines in Woodinville. Pears and wet slate open this wine’s aromatics. In the mouth, lush and slightly sweet pear flavors and Gravenstein apples arrive, followed by lime acidity at the end.

Ste. Chapelle 2011 Winemaker’s Series Chardonnay, Snake River Valley, $10: Ste. Chapelle is Idaho’s oldest and largest winery, and it’s been re-acquired by the Baty family under Precept Wine in Seattle. Maurine Johnson has been with Ste. Chapelle since 1987 and now leads the charge as head winemaker. Notes of honeysuckle, apple, pear and dried pineapple launch this wine, followed by a surprisingly lush fruit bowl of Fuji apple, pineapple, pear and lime. Crisp acidity clears the fruit off the palate.

Naches Heights Vineyard 2012 Riesling, Naches Heights, $13: Phil Cline is the driving force behind this winery and new growing area near Yakima. He’s quickly proving this area is perfect for Riesling. Sweet citrus aromas and stone fruit open this wine. On the palate, lime, orange and a bit of pink grapefruit lead into white peach and apricot. A crisp close ends with a bit of Granny Smith apple-peel bite.

Barnard Griffin 2012 Rose of Sangiovese, Columbia Valley, $12: Simply put, owner/winemaker Rob Griffin makes some of the best rose in America. This is the eighth consecutive vintage in which his rose of Sangiovese has won gold or best pink in a major competition. Strawberry, rhubarb and pie cherry notes lead to pie cherries and rhubarb on the palate in this bright and brilliant rose.

Treveri Sparkling Wine Cellars NV Laudare, Columbia Valley, $18: Juergen Grieb has worked in the background of the Washington wine industry for decades. Now he is stepping forward and showing his skills as one of our region’s top sparkling wine producers. Lovely, creamy bubbles carry Texas pink grapefruit aromas, plus a hint of minerality. On the palate, the grapefruit combines with lemon and meringue flavors, followed by a crisp bite of acid. A great aperitif wine.

Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman run Great Northwest Wine, a news and information company. For more info, go to www.greatnorthwestwine.com.

More in Life

This beefy ex-cop has a delicate hobby: intricate paper-cut art

You can see Tom Sacco’s creations at the upcoming Everett Art Walk.

Kamiak student Aidan Norris (center) drags Matthew Ninh into a scene as Mitchell Beard (left) reads his lines. (Ian Terry / The Herald)
Joy, disappointment at Kamiak High’s ‘Spamalot’ auditions

More than 80 students try out for 45 roles in the outrageous Monty Python musical comedy.

Arlington eagle fest wants your nature-themed artwork, haiku

Local residents of an artistic bent are invited to submit… Continue reading

What’s new for 2018 for travelers in Scandinavia

Sweden, Norway and Finland have embarked on many urban, cultural and transit projects.

Kia Rio subcompact takes a classy step up in 2018

A new design, roomier cabin, and better fuel economy are among the improvements on the 2018 Kia Rio.

Overcome your fear of death, in a book title at least

Three novels about death worth reading at Everett Public Library.

Dolores O’Riordan was lead singer of Irish band The Cranberries

The police force said the death was being treated as “unexplained.”

‘Trump saying something racist isn’t exactly news anymore:’ ‘SNL’

The week’s news was dominated by reports that Trump disparaged Haiti, El Salvador and all of Africa.

Bald eagle no longer listed as ‘sensitive species’ in the state

A recent study found that eagle numbers are strong throughout Washington.

Most Read