8 whites that took gold at Great Northwest competition

  • By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue, Great Northwest Wine
  • Friday, April 18, 2014 12:07pm
  • LifeHops and Sips

Wine lovers are just beginning to see white wines show up from 2013, and we’re still enjoying those from the superb 2012 vintage.

We got a good dose of both at the second annual Great Northwest Wine Competition, held in early April at the Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River, Ore.

The featured wines below earned gold medals at the competition. Check for them at your favorite wine merchant or contact the wineries directly.

Hogue Cellars 2012 Late Harvest Riesling, Columbia Valley, $11: Hogue Cellars has been crafting this inexpensive off-dry wine for ages, and it’s always refreshing and delicious. Aromas of baked apple, fresh pear and clove lead to flavors of apricot, apple and golden raisin.

Kyra Wines 2013 Chenin Blanc, Columbia Valley, $15: Winemaker Kyra Baerlocher is a one-woman revival show for noble Chenin Blanc. Every year, she consistently crafts one of the finest anywhere, and this young wine is no exception. It opens with aromas of intriguing minerality, melon, sweet herbs and Asian pear, followed by luscious flavors of pear, Granny Smith apple and honeydew.

Indian Creek Winery 2013 Muscat Canelli, Snake River Valley, $15: The Stowe family opened its winery in Idaho’s Snake River Valley in 1982, making it one of the oldest producers in the Gem State. This luscious Muscat opens with aromas of orange water, lychee and a hint of clove. On the palate, it reveals delicate flavors of rosewater, orange and grapefruit.

L’Ecole No. 41 2012 Semillon, Columbia Valley, $15: L’Ecole No. 41 has earned its reputation as arguably the Pacific Northwest’s top producer of Semillon, and this vintage might be its best effort. There’s a beautiful nose of dusty apple, pineapple, poached pear, fresh fig and a touch of oak. Inside comes a rich and buttery structure that also offers fig and pear flavors, along with a spoonful of lemon yogurt, a cut of grassiness and a kiss of oak in the finish.

Martinez &Martinez Winery 2013 Tudor Hills Vineyard, Pinot Grigio Yakima Valley, $16: This two-generation winemaking family in Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills also has family ties to this vineyard in the Yakima Valley. Aromas of starfruit, Bosc pear, lime peel and alyssum lead to flavors that scream of fresh-cut Golden Delicious apple, more pear and key lime pie. While the residual sugar is reported at 1.5 percent, it finishes dry with no perception of alcohol.

Mount Baker Vineyards 2012 Madeleine Angevine, Puget Sound, $17: Madeleine Angevine is a rare grape in the New World (and Old, for that matter). It’s traditionally grown in the Loire Valley but is rarely found in the United States outside the cool Puget Sound region of Washington. This example comes from Mount Baker Vineyards, a winery in the Nooksack Valley that is so close to the Canadian border, it wouldn’t hurt to know the metric system. Aromas of fresh-cut hay, melon and minerality lead to flavors of bright flavors of honeydew, lemongrass and flinty acidity. This is a perfect wine to pair with oysters (raw or baked).

Smasne Cellars 2013 Otis Vineyard Pinot Gris, Yakima Valley, $12: Yakima Valley winemaker Robert Smasne is starting to get his hands more deeply into one of Washington’s most historic vineyards, and this Pinot Gris is a sign of more great things to come. It’s focused on minerality, Asian pear, starfruit and lemon peel — both in the aromatics and the palate. The entry is akin to a bite into juicy Bartlett pear before the focus swings into a bone-dry approach with persistent acidity.

Tsillan Cellars 2012 Estate Nudo Chardonnay, Lake Chelan, $18: Winemaking Shane Collins crafts superb wines on the south shore of Lake Chelan using estate grapes. This tree-free Chardonnay shows off aromas of flint, key lime, mandarin orange and white pepper, followed by flavors of crisp apple, Asian pear and steely minerality.

Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue run Great Northwest Wine, www.greatnorthwestwine.com.

Talk to us

More in Life

The trick to 1892 East’s crispy French toast is a combination of cornflakes and buttery palmiers, which add great crunch and rich flavor. (Bob Chamberlin/Los Angeles Times/MCT)
Is your bread stale? Don’t throw it away; make this treat

Cornflake French toast might seem a bit of a gimmick, but the added crunch is a marvel.

The Washington State Wine Commission is using August, known for decades as Washington Wine Month, to promote the Drink For WA campaign. The commission estimates it will generate 12 million impressions through advertising and social media channels. (Photo courtesy Washington State Wine Commission)
Washington wine commission rolls out Drink for WA campaign

Share an image of your special occasion along with tags of #DrinkForWA and #EatForWA.

It only takes a small amount of cash to build a homemade swamp cooler to make your home comfortable this summer. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Can a do-it-yourself swamp cooler beat the August heat?

Instead of spending $400 for an air conditioner, purchase $25 of simple parts and assemble one yourself.

Fried green tomatoes stand in fro fresh red tomatoes in this BLT sandwich. (Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS)
Make a fried green tomato BLT when you can’t wait for ripe

Firmer than red tomatoes, with a zingy, slightly sour taste, unripe tomatoes hold their shape.

Thai Chicken Kabobs with Noodles. (Linda Gassenheimer/TNS)
This super-easy Thai-inspired dish has a slightly spicy edge

Peanut sauce flavors these Thai chicken kabobs with noodles.

Frozen blueberries team up with banana and yogurt to make a refreshing summer smoothie. (Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS)
Make the most of your fresh-picked blueberries this summer

They can play a starring role in so many recipes, and we’re not just talking dessert- and breakfast-type dishes.

Rich Davis works on finishing the deck of his home in Mukilteo on June 11. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Mukilteo man’s pandemic project: A 500-square-foot deck

Rich Davis had never built anything before, but the shutdown left him with ample time to learn a new skill.

Oslo’s City Hall, with stirring murals and art that depict Norway’s history. (Rick Steves, Rick Steves’ Europe)
Rick Steves on Oslo, the polar opposite of ‘Big Box’ culture

The Norwegian capital city is expensive, but its charm and civility are priceless.

Also known as Rose of Sharon, hibiscus is a hardy shrub is one of the few that blooms in the late summer. (Nicole Phillips)
Hibiscus will bring a tropical look to your August garden

Also known as Rose of Sharon, the hardy shrub is one of the few that blooms in the late summer.

Most Read