Wonderful Malbec from Royal Slope AVA Top of Our 2021 North West Top 20 Wines | Seattle weather

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CLIMATE CHANGE Has worked in favor of Josh Lawrence, who finds it rather delightful to revisit the moment a vineyard expert told him that the royal slope of Washington’s Columbia Basin was too cold to produce award-winning wine.

This year’s No.1 wine serves as further validation – the Gård Vintners 2017 Malbec from Lawrence Vineyards, a wonderful expression of the red grape native to the Bordeaux region of France that Argentina has taken to another level.

It was in 1999 that the Lawrence family took seriously the plantation of wine grapes near the town of Royal City. They met Rich Wheeler, who had a 30-year career with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates supervised the wineries before retiring in 2010.

“I’ve given Rich a hard time about this a lot, but he said, ‘You’re too far north. You’re going to freeze about every four years, ”Lawrence recalls with a chuckle.

Intrepid, the Lawrence family planted over 450 acres of vines in this region that the federal government officially recognized in 2020 as worthy of its own American wine-growing area – the royal track.

  1. Gård winegrowers 2017 Vineyards of the St. Lawrence domaine malbec, Columbia Valley, $ 40: The Lawrence family used French oak, concrete and stainless steel to create tones of black cherry and spicy plum bathed in juiciness and supple tannins. “I’m excited to plant Malbec,” says Lawrence. “If it’s not Syrah, then it’s Malbec that I think has the most potential in this state.
  2. Telaya Wine Company. Syrah 2018, Snake River Valley, $ 34: Boise-area winemaker Earl Sullivan works with famous Washington wineries, but he pulls this majestic Syrah from the volcanic soils of Sawtooth Vineyard in Idaho.
  3. DeLille cellars 25th Harrison Hill Vintage Red Wine 2018, Snipes Mountain, $ 105: Cabernet Sauvignon, planted in 1962, gives this elegant Bordeaux red blend a structure that Woodinville winemaker Jason Gorski transforms into a completely complete wine.
  4. Clearwater Canyon Caves 2019 Phinny Hill Vineyard Carménère, Washington, $ 32: Year after year, Idaho talent Coco Umiker transforms these Horse Heaven Hills grapes into arguably the Northwest’s most seamless example of this fascinating herbal burgundy red.
  5. Chateau Ste. Michele & Dr. Loosen 2019 Eroica riesling, Columbia Valley, $ 20: Bob Bertheau’s penultimate teamwork with German icon Ernst Loosen remains the American standard for this noble white grape of dusty Granny Smith apple, peach blossom and refreshing lime.
  6. Abeja Chardonnay 2020, Washington, $ 45: Amy Alvarez-Wampfler developed a passion for chardonnay during her days at Columbia Crest, and she and her husband, Daniel Wampfler, work with estate fruits and famous sites Celilo and Conner Lee for this charming example of the States favorite wine. -United.
  7. Ash wines Rosé cinsault 2020, Snake River Valley, $ 23: Idaho’s flair with Rhone varieties takes a brilliant Provencal approach in the hands of Boise native Melanie Krause who seems to have a Midas touch with every batch from her cellar.
  8. ömrang Siegerrebe du domaine 2020, Puget Sound, $ 75: Yes; it’s $ 75 a bottle, not $ 15, but winemaker and distiller Christine Stoecklein, flanked by a German family, takes the win while overlooking Camano Island with this beautifully dry example that evokes pink grapefruit, jasmine and lavender.
  9. Cave Echolands Grenache Vignoble Rivière Galets 2019, Walla Walla Valley, $ 38: Doug Frost of Kansas City, a rare breed both master of wine and master sommelier, started his own label in Walla Walla and made a splash with Grenache.
  10. Mosquito Fleet Vineyard 2018 petit verdot, Horse Heaven Hills, $ 38: Brian Petersen, a chiropractor near Hood Canal, knows how to beef up this muscular red Bordeaux grape into a supple expression of cherries and chocolate.
  11. Caves of Arenness Cabernet sauvignon DuBrul Vineyard 2018, Columbia Valley, $ 44: One of Washington’s famous landmarks serves as the base for Portland winemaker Robert Bailey to produce a cab loaded with black plum, cassis, savory earthy and mocha.
  12. Serene Domain Pinot noir Evenstad Reserve 2018, Willamette Valley, $ 80: The late Ken Evenstad of Minnesota brought a sense of luxury to the Oregon wine industry, and his flagship Pinot Noir consistently ranks among the best in the world.
  13. Sawtooth vineyard 2019 Classic Fly Series GSM, Snake River Valley, $ 48: Seattle-based Precept gives Meredith Smith the freedom in Idaho to blend Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre in a super silky, blue fruit expression of a Côtes du Rhône.
  14. Wautoma sources Sauvignon blanc 2020, Columbia Valley, $ 17: While she rose to fame with Malbec, Jessica Munnell repeatedly won gold medals for her work with this white Bordeaux which is a quick supply of melon, lime and sweet herbs.
  15. Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards 2019 estate selection Hefeabzug grüner veltliner, Umpqua valley, $ 26: The American grüner guru uses the Austrian benchmark for surlie aging to distinguish this bottling from his other citrus-laden examples.
  16. Cave L’Ecole N ° 41 Semillon 2019 Stillwater Creek Vineyard, Columbia Valley, $ 21: The famous Walla Walla school continues to hold classes on the beauty of the lemony white Bordeaux that is often overlooked in our part of the world.
  17. Argyle Vineyard 2016 Knudsen Vineyard brut, Dundee Hills, $ 50: This famous bubble house remains delightfully tied to the 50-year-old vineyard that is pictured on the Oregon wine-themed license plate.
  18. Brian Carter Cellars 2016 Opulento, Yakima Valley, $ 24: Brian Carter’s license plate in Washington state says “MIXES,” and this rich blend of touriga naçional, tinta roriz, souzão, and tinta cão should lead any port-style wine lover to his tasting rooms in Woodinville. or Vancouver, Washington.
  19. Tipsy Canyon Wine Cellar Merlot 2019, Lac Chélan, $ 38: Planting Merlot at Amos Rome Vineyard helped kick-start the Chelan Valley wine industry in 1998, and Boeing retiree Mark Garvin quickly established a reputation for making affordable red wines.
  20. Maryhill Winery Viognier 2019, Columbia Valley, $ 19: While others have abandoned this white Rhône grape, Craig Leuthold and winemaker Richard Batchelor continue to showcase its charming notes of Creamsicle orange, pineapple and melon.


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