Who does't love wines that overdeliver for their price points. How about $20 wines that taste like $30 ones, or $30 ones that taste like $50 ones? Here are some wines that we have tasted recently that offer high quality/price ratios. Full reviews will be in the June issue of the Review of Washington Wines which goes on line May 26.
The Institute for Enology and Viticulture at the Walla Walla Community College delivers high quality wines for their modest prices. Most of the grapes come from the Institute's vineyards (Clarke and Anderson) or are donated by other vineyards. And the grape growing and winemaking is done by Program students.
2019 College Cellars Marsanne, Walla Walla Valley, Anderson Vineyard ($18) - This version of a North Rhone white variety shows a brilliant lemon-gold color and intriguing, floral aromas and fresh, lively flavors that lead into a juicy, dry finish, lifted by bright fruit acids. 18.5/20 points.
2018 College Cellars Dolcetto, Walla Walla Valley, Cockburn Vineyard ($20) - This is a tasty version of this Italian Piedmont variety. Purple-crimson colored, its has seductive aromas and ample yet focused flavors with a sweetish ("dolce") lip-smacking finish. An ideal pizza or pasta wine. 18.5/20 points.
2018 College Cellars Carménère, Walla Walla Valley, Clarke Vineyard ($25) - Ruby-crimson colored, this has seductive aromas of wild fruits, with deliciously ripe, juicy flavors and a pleasing nicely fruited moderate tannin finish. 18.5/20 points.
2018 College Cellars Grenache, Walla Walla Valley, Cockburn Vineyard ($30) - With lovely, perfumed aromatics and copious red and blue flavors and a long finish, this tastes as good as a $45 Grenache. 19/20 points.
2017 College Cellars Malbec, Walla Walla Valley ($25) - Sourced from the Blue Mountain and Clarke vineyards, this has jump out of the glass aromas and deliciously juicy and fruit forward flavors and a pleasing juicy finish. 18.5/20 points.
2019 College Cellars Rosé, Walla Walla Valley ($18) - This Sangiovese-Barbera combination shows a pink color and attractive aromas of strawberries, currants, Rainier cherries, lilac and cherry blossoms, with fresh, sprightly flavors and a nicely fruited dry finish. 18.5/20 points.
Other Washington Wine Values
2016 L'Ecole No 41 Estate Merlot, Walla Walla Valley ($36) - Composed of 79% Merlot, 17% Cab Franc and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, half from Ferguson and Half Seven Hills, this is exquisitely balanced, with medium bodied but deep and penetrating flavors and a long, satisfying finish. 19/20 points.
2018 Canvasback Riesling, Columbia Valley ($30) - From the Frenchman Hills on the Royal Slope, this shows how well Riesling develops. Brilliant lemon-gold colored, it possesses floral aromas and vivid, resonant flavors, with persistent minerality. 19+/20 points.
2019 Bartholomew Rosé of Carménère, Rattlesnake Hills, Konnowak Vineyard ($18) - This is the only Rosé of Carménère I know of. Light copper-pink colored, it has attractive aromas of strawberries, cherries, watermelon and lively, pleasingly juicy, dry flavors. 18.5/20 points.
2019 Bartholomew Albariño, Horse Heaven Hills, Coyote Canyon Vineyard ($18) - From a grape originating in the Galicia region of Spain, this has intriguing aromas and distinctive flavors and a racy, bone dry finish 18.5/20 points.
2019 Bartholomew Viognier, Horse Heaven Hills, Coyote Canyon Vineyard ($18) - This possesses a lovely, perfumed nose and pleasingly juicy flavors, with notes of pear skin, peach stones and stony minerals and a crisp, finely fruity finish. 18.5/20 points.
2019 Julia's Dazzle Pinot Gris Rosé, Columbia Valley ($20) - Produced from grapes given extended hang time to produce a copper tinged color, this possesses expressive aromas of strawberry, pink peach, Rainier cherry, tangerine, and pleasingly quaffable, yet textured flavors. 18.5/20 points.
2018 Long Shadows "Poet's Leap" Riesling Columbia Valley ($20) - With floral aromas of pear, peach, Key lime, apple blossoms. lilac and wet stone, with vivid white fruit flavors and a lingering off-dry, racy finish, this is inspired by the great Rieslings of Germany. 19/20 points.
2019 Sleight of Hand Cellars "The Magician's Assistant" Cabernet Franc Rosé Wine, Yakima Valley, Blackrock Vineyard ($18) - This attractively styled, with a pink-copper color and fresh aromas of strawberries, Rainier cherries, red currants, tangerine and pink roses. The flavors are appealing and resonant, with a crisp, piquant finish. 18.5+/20 points.
2019 Sleight of Hand Cellars "The Magician" Riesling, Ancient Lakes, Evergreen Vineyard ($18) - From a cool site, ideal for Riesling, this has floral aromas and fresh, juicy white fruits dancing on the palate, followed by a racy, off-dry low alcohol (11.5%) minerally finish. 18.5/20 points.
2016 DeLille Cellars Roofline Red Wine, Yakima Valley ($20 - regular $30) - This "Rhone-style" red displays a purplish-ruby color and rich aromas of berries, lavender and spiced incense. The flavors are generous, yet focused intermixed with licorice, cocoa and alluvial minerals, followed by a savory moderate tannin finish. Good value at $30, a bargain at $20. 18.5/20 points.