Experts Pick Washington Reds to Watch

We polled some local wine experts to tell us about some of the big, bold and beautiful Washington red wines to watch. Here are some their favorites.

DSC_0062_Photo by Orshi Kiss

Photo by Orshi Kiss

Savage Grace Wines, 2012 Cabernet Franc, Rattlesnake Hills AVA, $22

I’ve been loving the Savage Grace Wines 2012 Cabernet Franc. Harvested from Copeland Vineyard in the Rattlesnake Hills AVA of Washington, it’s an outstanding value at $22; you rarely find a single vineyard red in that range. Weighing in at a low 12.5% alcohol, it’s an excellent wine to pair with food. This is only the second vintage that’s been made, and it’s already turning heads. – Yashar Shayan, impulsewine.com

Result of a Crush, Red Table Wine, Walla Walla Valley AVA, $28 (now $24.99)

Why is this red crush-worthy? The Reynvaan family, who make some of the most praised and sought-after Washington wines, is behind it. Style and flavor-wise, it’s an entry into the delights of Reynvaan Family Vineyards Syrah, with a lower price and more lipstick. – Jameson Fink, Wine Without Worry, jamesonfink.com

Pomum Cellars, 2010 Tinto (Tempranillo blend), Snipes Mountain AVA, $25

Pomum Cellars is one of my favorite producers. Their crown jewel, in my opinion, is the “Tinto.” Spanish winemaker and owner Javier Alfonso says Eastern Washington’s climate is similar to Ribera del Duero’s and this wine is a great homage to the region he grew up in. This Tempranillo-based wine has plummy fruit with a little tobacco, clove and dried herbs. It sang when we paired it with barbecued pork. One of my top wines of the year. – Joey Lopaka, head sommelier, The Herbfarm, theherbfarm.com

Efeste, 2010 Final Final Red Blend, Red Mountain, Wahluke Slope, and Columbia Valley AVAs, $28

I am very excited about the Efeste “Final Final” red blend 2010. This Cab-dominant & Syrah blend (59 percent Cab, 41 percent Syrah blend) is both complex and elegant. Truly an expression of what Washington offers best while allowing vineyard sourcing to sing and take center stage. – Justin Doll, wine director, Schwartz Brothers Restaurants, schwartzbros.com

Avennia, Arnaut Syrah, Yakima Valley AVA, $48

Winemaker Chris Peterson spent a number of years with DeLille, and knows the lengths to which one has to go in order to make world-class wine. Specifically, I have deep respect for the Arnaut Syrah made from Boushey Vineyard fruit. The wine is produced by only introducing a small (15 percent) amount of new French oak — just enough to accent the complex array of generous Syrah flavors. It’s a knockout. – Chris Horn, wine director, Heavy Restaurant Group, heavyrestaurantgroup.com

Rasa Vineyards, 2011 Primus Inter Pares Grenache, Walla Walla Valley AVA, $44-$55

I have been intrigued by the wines coming out of Walla Walla’s Rasa Vineyards winery. In particular their 2011 Grenache called “Primus Inter Pares”. The fruit is from Monette’s Vineyard in “the Rocks” area of Walla Walla and offers incredible weight and texture — it’s like white pepper sprinkled on strawberries and raspberries. – Erik Liedholm, wine director, John Howie Restaurants, johnhowiesteak.com

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