Food & Drink

2018 Washington Wine Buying Guide

Featuring the Washington state winners and finalists from our 2018 wine awards

By Seattle Magazine Staff July 24, 2018

Wine rack with wine bottles, space for copy, selective focus

This article originally appeared in the August 2018 issue of Seattle Magazine.

This article appears in print in the August 2018 issue as part of the 13th Annual Seattle Magazine Wine AwardsClick here to subscribe.


Rosé of the Year
Long Shadows 2017 Julia’s Dazzle Rosé of Pinot Gris, Columbia Valley, $20

White Wine of the Year
Efestē 2016 Feral Sauvignon Blanc, Ancient Lakes, Evergreen Vineyard, $20

Red Wine of the Year
Two Vintners 2015 Syrah, Columbia Valley, $25

White Wines

Chardonnay, $20 or Less
Winner: Chateau Ste. Michelle 2016 Indian Wells, Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $20
Finalists: College Cellars 2016 Chardonnay, Walla Walla Valley, $20
Nelms Road 2016 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $16 
Honorable Mention: Board Track Racer 2016 The Vincent, Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $15 

Chardonnay, $20–$40
Winner: Chateau Ste. Michelle 2015 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, Cold Creek Vineyard, $30
Finalists: Dusted Valley 2016 Chardonnay, Yakima Valley, Olsen Vineyard, $36
Aluvé 2016 Estate Chardonnay, Walla Walla Valley, Menozzi Vineyard, $34
Honorable Mention: Forgeron 2015 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $28

Chardonnay, More than $40 
Winner: Abeja 2016 Chardonnay, $40
Finalists: Tranche Estate 2014 Chardonnay, Columbia Gorge, Celilo Vineyard, $45
Sixto 2014 Frenchman Hills, Chardonnay, $55
Honorable Mention: Côte Bonneville 2014 Estate Chardonnay, Yakima Valley, DuBrul Vineyard, $50

Sauvignon Blanc, all prices
Winner: Efestē 2016 Feral Sauvignon Blanc, Ancient Lakes, Evergreen Vineyard, $20
Finalists: Lobo Hills 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Yakima Valley, $17
Avennia 2016 Oliane, Sauvignon Blanc, Yakima Valley, $28
Honorable Mention: Savage Grace 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Red Willow Vineyard, $2

Riesling, All Prices
Winner: Long Shadows 2016 Poet’s Leap, Riesling, Columbia Valley, $20
Finalists: Chateau Ste. Michelle 2016 Riesling, Columbia Valley, Cold Creek Vineyard, $22
Nine Hats 2016 Riesling, Columbia Valley, $12
Honorable Mention: Saviah 2016 The Jack Riesling, Columbia Valley, $15

Sparkling Wine, All Prices
Winner: 14 Hands Brut Méthode Champenoise, Columbia Valley, $15
Finalists: Westport Winery 2016 Going Coastal Sparkling Gewürztraminer, Yakima Valley, Red Willow Vineyard, $28
Analemma 2013 Atavus Blanc de Noirs, Columbia Gorge, $59
Honorable Mention: Domaine Ste. Michelle 2013 Luxe, Méthode Champenoise, Columbia Valley, $25

Rosé, All Prices
Winner: Long Shadows 2017 Julia’s Dazzle Rosé of Pinot Gris, Columbia Valley, $20
Finalists: Seven Hills 2017 Dry Rosé, Columbia Valley, $18
Savage Grace 2017 Cabernet Franc Rosé, Yakima Valley, Red Willow Vineyard, $24
Honorable Mention: L’Ecole No. 41 2017 Grenache Rosé, Horse Heaven Hills, Alder Ridge Vineyard, $21


Syrah, $25 or Less
Winner: Two Vintners 2015 Syrah, Columbia Valley, $25
Finalists: Tenet 2015 The Pundit Syrah, Columbia Valley, $25
L’Ecole No. 41 2015 Syrah, Columbia Valley, $24
Honorable Mention: Boomtown 2015 Syrah, Columbia Valley, $19

Syrah, $25–$40
Winner: Savage Grace 2016 Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, Red Willow Vineyard, $28
Finalists: Saviah 2015 Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $32
Kevin White 2015 En Hommage Syrah, Yakima Valley, $28
Honorable Mention: Amavi 2015 Syrah, Walla Walla, $33

Syrah, More than $40
Winner: Kerloo 2015 Syrah, Snipes Mountain, Upland Vineyard, $48
Finalists: Saviah 2014 The Stones Speak Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, Funk Estate Vineyard, $55
Two Vintners 2015 Some Days Are Stones Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, Stoney Vine Vineyard, $50
Honorable Mention: Betz Family 2015 La Serenne Syrah, Yakima Valley, $60

Merlot, $25 or Less
Winner: L’Ecole No. 41 2015 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $24
Finalists: College Cellars 2015 Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, Seven Hills Vineyard, $25
Januik 2014 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $25
Honorable Mention: Eight Bells 2015 Merlot, Yakima Valley, Red Willow Vineyard, $25

Merlot, More than $25 
Winner: Pepper Bridge 2015 Estate Merlot, Walla Walla, $50
Finalists: Northstar 2014 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $41
Two Vintners 2014 Merlot, Walla Walla, $32
Honorable Mention: Abeja 2015 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $45

Cabernet Sauvignon, $30 or Less
Winner: Saviah 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley, $30
Finalists: Efestē 2015 Taylor Mag Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain, Taylor Mag Estate Vineyard, $30
Intrinsic 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $25
Honorable Mention: Wines of Substance 2016 Substance Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $17

Cabernet Sauvignon, $30–$65
Winner: Tranche 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, Blue Mountain Vineyard,  $50
Finalists: Canvasback 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain, $40
Amavi 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $33
Honorable Mention: Woodward Canyon 2014 Artist Series #23, Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $59

Cabernet Sauvignon,
More than $65
Winner: Betz 2015 Pere de Famille, Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $75
Finalists: Woodward Canyon 2014 Old Vines, Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $99
Col Solare 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain, $75
Honorable Mention: Den Hoed 2013 Andreas Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, Wallula Vineyard, $80

Red Blend, $25 or Less
Winner: Secret Squirrel 2014 Bordeaux Blend, Columbia Valley, $25
Finalists:Intrinsic 2016 Red Wine Blend, Columbia Valley, $25
L’Ecole No. 41 2015 Frenchtown Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $22
Honorable Mention: Nelms Road 2015 Red Wine, Washington state, $25

Red Blend, $25–$45
Winner: The Walls 2015 Stanley Groovy Portuguese Red, Red Mountain, $38
Finalists:DeLille 2015 D2, Columbia Valley, $45
Board Track Racer 2016 The Chief, Columbia Valley, $28
Honorable mention: Avennia 2015 Gravura, Columbia Valley, $38

Red Blend, More than $45
Winner: Upchurch 2015 Counterpart Red Wine, Red Mountain, Upchurch Vineyard, $50
Finalists: L’Ecole No. 41 2015 Ferguson Estate Red, Walla Walla Valley, Ferguson Vineyard, $65
Avennia 2015 Sestina Bordeaux Blend, Columbia Valley, $65
Honorable Mention: Betz Family 2015 Clos de Betz Red Blend, Columbia Valley, $60

Rhône Red Blend, $25 or Less
Winner: College Cellars 2015 GSM, Columbia Valley, $25
Finalists: Kevin White Winery 2016 Rhône Red, Yakima Valley, $20
Secret Squirrel 2014 Rhône Blend, Columbia Valley, $25

Rhône Red Blend, More than $25
Winner: Kevin White Winery 2015 La Fraternité Red Wine, Yakima Valley, $28
Finalists: W.T. Vintners 2015 Rhône Blend, Yakima Valley, Boushey Vineyard, $40
The Walls 2015 The Ramparts, Red Mountain, $44
Honorable Mention: Betz Family 2015 Bésoleil Southern Rhône Blend, $48

Disclaimer: Some of the wines in this story may be sold out in stores or at the winery, but they can often be purchased at restaurants, from online retailers or collectors. Bottle prices were derived from two retailers and the winery, when possible. Retail prices may vary.

Seattle Magazine’s Washington Wine Awards program is produced and managed by Yashar Shayan. For more details on our tasting methodology and to meet our tasting panelists, click here


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