Wonderful Wines from Washington State

April 2022
Written By: 
James Ginley
Photographs by: 
courtesy of the wineries

Five Unique Choices from Way Out West

Charles Smith Kung Fu Riesling 2020
Columbia Valley, Washington $13

Charles Smith Winery is the largest independent winery in the state of Washington. His first wine was “K Syrah,” which he sold from the back of his pickup in 1999. This bestselling dry Riesling opens with hints of apricot and white peach on the nose, leading to a bright palate of nectarine and lime. A light, easy to enjoy wine, it goes well with Asian and spicy foods or as an aperitif. 

Hawk CrestPinot Gris 2019
Columbia Valley, Washington $11

A straw color with fig and peach aromas lead to a palate of juicy grapefruit and melon with a bright, acidic finish. Unlike the popular Pinot Grigio, the American Pinot Gris grape is dryer, with more body and alcohol than its cousin. This combination delivers a medium-bodied wine with more concentrated fruit flavors, a balanced acidity and tart finish. Enjoy this Pinot Gris with appetizers, salads and lighter fare.

Perimeter Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Horse Heaven Hills, Washington $16

A bargain price for an awesome wine. On the nose, red fruits & spice, followed by an elegant palate full of blackberry and cassis, and a lengthy, smooth finish. Horse Heaven Hills is an appellation along the Oregon-Washington state line. Try it with your favorite grilled or roasted meat dish.

Chateau St. Michelle Indian Wells Chardonnay 2018
Columbia Valley, Washington $21 

The standout winery in Washington, Chateau St. Michelle produces dozens of labels, from everyday wines to single vineyard wines costing well over a hundred dollars. This example from Indian Wells creates a riper style of wine with pineapple and kiwi fruit notes on the nose, and a palate loaded with tropical fruit flavors. Butterscotch and toast linger on the finish. Pair with chicken, fish or pasta dishes and a rich, creamy sauce.  Earned 90 Points from Wine Enthusiast.

Dead Canyon Ranch Red Blend 2017
Horse Heaven Hills, Washington $17

A unique blend of 50% Syrah, then lesser amounts of Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec, Petite Verdot and Mourvèdre—Wow! This super blend is full of blackberry and blueberry aromas. The mouthfeel is loaded with tastes of cherry, currant and plum notes. Leading to the smooth finish are firm tannins and a velvet touch across the tongue. Sip slightly chilled as you grill your favorite cut of beef or pork. Earned 92 points from James Suckling.