Victor Palencia is the head winemaker for Jones of Washington, a winery in Quincy, as well as his eponymous brand in Walla Walla. (Andy Perdue / Great Northwest Wine)

Northwest wine: Delicious whites from 17th platinum judging

Last week, we reviewed some of the top red wines from the 17th annual Platinum Judging, conducted by Wine Press Northwest magazine. This week, we take a look at some of the top white and rosé wines.

Platinum Judging celebrates the best of the best in the Pacific Northwest. Only wines that win gold medals at any of about 40 competitions around the world are eligible. This year’s competition at the Clover Island Inn in Kennewick drew more than 530 wines from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho.

For complete results, go to

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2015 Dry Riesling, Columbia Valley, $9: The No. 1 wine of the judging also ranks as among the least expensive and one of the largest offerings of riesling in the country. Remarkable aromas of tropical fruit and orange blossoms lead to opulent fruit and minerally flavors with a flawless balance of acid to sweetness (less than 1 percent residual sugar). Enjoy it with crab, scallops, Asian fare, curries and mild cheeses. (12.5 percent alcohol)

Abacela 2015 Estate Grenache Rosé, Umpqua Valley, $18: Earl and Hilda Jones received the Oregon Wine Board’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, but these Southern Oregon pioneers don’t appear to be slowing down. Their dry rosé offers beautiful aromas and flavors of strawberry, raspberry and orange zest, providing delicious acidity for complementing turkey, ham or pork. It won best of show at two major California judgings before topping the field in the Clover Island judging. (13.2 percent alcohol)

Barnard Griffin 2015 Viognier Columbia Valley, $22: Rob Griffin, the dean of Washington winemakers, shines with this sometimes-boring grape, creating a fragrant wine featuring lemon zest, pear and apricot notes. Its complex mouth feel that’s capped by mouthwatering acidity made it a standout. (14.3 percent alcohol)

Cinder Wines 2015 Chardonnay, Snake River Valley, $18: Idaho winemaker Melanie Krause, a proud graduate of Washington State University and “the University of Ste. Michelle,” shows a deft hand with fruit, oak and acidity in creating this chardonnay that would pair deliciously with steelhead or trout. (13.8 percent alcohol)

Kiona Vineyards 2014 Estate Gewürztraminer, Red Mountain, $17: One doesn’t think of Washington’s hottest growing region as a prime spot for this cool-climate alsatian grape, but the Williams family has been making Gewürz for 40 years. This off-dry example shows remarkable pink grapefruit acidity among its tones of lychee and honeydew melon. (12.5 percent alcohol)

Milbrandt Vineyards 2014 Traditions Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $13: Emily Haines developed an everyday chardonnay that offers tropical aromas, citrusy notes, careful use of oak and good acidity to pair nicely with seafood and pasta dishes. (13.5 percent alcohol)

Palencia Winery 2015 Albariño, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $18: This grape is native to the Iberian Peninsula, yet it thrives in the arid Columbia Basin. Aromas of dried pineapple and banana play out on the palate with hints of melon, gooseberry and lemon meringue. It earned gold medals in two Oregon judgings prior to its Platinum. (13 percent alcohol)

Jones of Washington 2014 Pinot Gris, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $13: Victor Palencia adds to his Platinum total with this pinot gris grown near the Gorge Amphitheater. The blend of tropical and orchard fruit aromas and flavors includes a pinch of sweet herbs and charming, food-friendly acidity. It earned gold medals in Denver, San Francisco and Seattle. (13.4 percent alcohol)

Silvan Ridge Winery 2015 Early Muscat Semi-Sparkling, Willamette Valley, $15: Argentine winemaker J.P. Valot produces this crowd-pleasing wine in Eugene, Oregon. The theme of lime zest, honeysuckle and mango offers sweetness, but the combination of tart acidity, spritzy bubbles and low alcohol provides delicious balance. (6 percent alcohol)

Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue run Great Northwest Wine, a news and information company. Learn more about wine at

Talk to us

More in Life

Lemon Mascarpone Layer Cake, photographed Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020. (Hillary Levin/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS)
These 4 recipes will prevent the heartbreak of blah desserts

Each of them is decadent and well worth the calories, and they’ll all become your new favorites.

Snohomish Historical Preservation Commission member Fred Cruger with his dog, Duffy, in Arlington along one of the history walk sections at Centennial Trail. The event will be up through September. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Discover local history as you walk the Centennial Trail

Take a smartphone quiz as you stroll the trail. If you answer every question correctly, you’ll win a prize.

Rosemary Fish Fillets with Lemon Garlic Pasta. (Linda Gassenheimer/TNS)
Lemon, garlic sauce, rosemary make flavorful fish dish

This recipe calls for mahi-mahi, but any type of firm white fish will work — snapper, tilapia or cod.

A course of traffic-cone slaloms is one way to help teens improve their driving skills. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Her teen is putting pedal to the metal for accident avoidance

She signed the new driver up for an advanced collision avoidance class taught by Defensive Driving School.

Seattle filmmaker ‘would have been honored’ by being at Emmys

Lynn Shelton, who died in May, was nominated for directing and producing Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere.”

Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, now a symbol of peace and reunification. (Rick Steves’ Europe)
Rick Steves: Today’s Berlin is freedom’s victory dance

Checkpoint Charlie is now a capitalist sideshow. You’ll be sold fake bits of the wall, WWII gas masks and DDR medals.

We need to make suicide prevention a public health priority

The pandemic has impacted our mental well-being. Be on the lookout for suicidal behavior.

2020 Jeep Renegade adds more features for lower trim levels

All models have a new telematics unit, and a 9-speaker Kenwood premium audio system is available.

Blue leadwort is a low-growing perennial that acts as a colorful groundcover for the garden. (Getty Images)
A few perennial gems to help brighten up the fall garden

He can’t help but find new treasures to plant each time he visits the nursery. Here are four he added recently.

Most Read