As the heat wave continues in Eastern Washington with temperatures around 100 degrees, there is still plenty of summer left. Here are some recently tasted wines that will fill the bill for drinking for under $25 a bottle.
2016 Canoe Ridge Cinsaut Rosé, Yakima Valley, Canyon Vineyard Ranch ($22) - Light copper-tinged pink colored, this offers enticing aromas of tart strawberry Rainier cherry and watermelon, with scents of cherry blossoms, spiced orange peel, lavender and white incense. The flavors are appealing, with notes of grape skin, melon rind and Provençal herbs. The back picks up fraise and cerise liqueurs followed by a juicy finish. 18+/20 points.
Note: This wine is available for $12.99 a bottle at Precept Brands' headquarters on Fairview Avenue in Seattle and at the Canoe Ridge tasting room on Cherry Street in Walla Walla. At this price it's a steal of a deal that's not to be missed.
2016 El Corazon "Red Frog" Rosé, Columbia Valley ($23) - Spencer Sievers and Raul Morin make a bit more extracted Rosé than usual. Brilliant strawberry-pink colored, it brims with aromas of wild strawberries, cranberries, red currants, red roses, lavender and white incense. The flavors are nicely extracted, with notes of tangerine peel, grape skin and minerals. The back picks up fraise and cassis liqueurs, followed by a dry, persistent finish. 18.5/20 points.
2016 Syncline Rosé, Columbia Valley ($24) - Composed of 35% Cinsault, 35% Grenache and 30% Mourvèdre, this offers a pink-salmon color and enticing aromas of strawberry, pomegranate and watermelon with scents of meadow flowers, lavender and lightly spiced incense. The flavors are nicely extracted and juicy, with notes of grape skin and pomegranate seeds, followed by a fresh, minerally dry finish. 18.5/20 points.
2016 Basel Cellars "2901" Estate Syrah Rosé, Walla Walla Valley ($25) - 2901 is the address of the winery on the Old Milton Highway. This shows a pink-copper color and fresh aromas of raspberry, Rainier cherry and tangerine, with scents of cherry blossoms and flowers. The moderately extracted flavors are pleasantly juicy with notes of tangerine peel and minerals, followed by a lightly spiced crisp finish. 18.5/20 points.
2016 L'Ecole No. 41 Old Vine Chenin Blanc, Columbia Valley ($14) - This is one of the greatest white wine bargains around. Lemon-gold colored, it possesses attractive aromas of pear, peach and melon with scents of honeysuckle, lilac and verbena. The flavors are fresh and vibrant with distinct old vine minerality. The back picks up poire William liqueur and grapefruit peel followed by a nearly dry, nicely fruited finish. To be reviewed in the September issue. 18.5/20 points.
2016 El Corazon "V Neck" Viognier, Walla Walla Valley ($22) - Brilliant gold colored, this has engaging aromas of pear, peach, citrus, peach blossoms, honeysuckle, verbena and white incense. The fruit compote flavors are appealing, with notes of grape skin, peach stones and minerals, followed by a well fruited finish. Full review to be in September. 18.5/20 points.
2016 Syncline Picpoul, Yakima Valley, Boushey Vineyard ($25) - This an intriguing wine, from a grape originating in Southwest France. It shows a brilliant light gold color and aromas of granny apple, gooseberry and Crenshaw melon, with scents of white lilac, anise and white incense. The flavors are striking and lip-stinging, with notes of tart apple skin and minerals. The back picks up melon rind and lemon zest on the way to a bone dry finish. It calls out for shellfish. 18.5/20 points.
2015 Ste. Michelle Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley ($18) - This is a "50th Anniversary Special Bottling" with script lettering on the label like that of the 1967 vintage. It's not just for nostalgia buffs. Deep ruby colored, it puts out classic Cabernet aromas of blackberry, cherry and plum with scents of black roses, mulberry, olive and anise. The flavors are direct and true to variety, with ample dark fruits, licorice, chocolate and earth, followed by a fruit forward, yet focused moderate tannin and acid finish. Purchased for $12.50. 18/20 points.
2015 Charles Smith "Boom Boom" Syrah, Washington State ($18) - Purplish ruby colored, this wine has typical Syrah aromas of blackberries, blueberries and currants with scents of rosebuds, sweet tobacco and spiced incense. The medium bodied flavors are generous with good varietal character, intermixed with licorice, coffee beans and earth, followed by a slightly chewy textured back and soft grainy tannins, all making for easy drinking. Purchased for $13.99. 18/20 points.
2015 Tenet Wines "The Pundit" Syrah, Columbia Valley ($25) - Produced by Ste. Michelle, this shows an inky purple color (typical of a young Syrah) and a rich nose of blackberries, blueberries and black currants, with scents of black roses, mulberry, tobacco, lavender, olive and incense. The black and blue fruit flavors are intermixed with licorice, dark cocoa, French roast and earth. The back picks up pressed berries, and creme de cassis, followed by a chewy moderate tannin finish. Purchased for $19.50. 18.5/20 points.
2014 Dunham Cellars "Three Legged Red" Wine, Washington State ($24) - This proprietary blend offers a deep ruby color and engaging aromas of blackberries, cherries, plums, red roses, mulberry and smoke. The flavors are medium bodied yet well stuffed, with notes of licorice, cocoa, French roast and earth. The back picks up pressed berries and roasted nuts, and the finish possesses enough acidity for depth and structure on the satisfying finish. Purchased for $18. 18/20 points.
2013 Tero Estates Barbera, Walla Walla Valley ($24) - Sourced from the Dugger Creek Vineyard, this shows a deep ruby color and rich aromas of blackberries, black cherries, black currants and black roses. The flavors are robust, yet generous, marked by chocolate, espresso and minerals. The back picks up tart cherries (a trait of Barbera) counterpointed by amaretto and nougat, followed by a satisfying finish. Full review in September. 18.5+/20 points.