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Washington Wine

In Saturday’s Wall Street Journal wine column, Lettie Teague discussed wines from Washington State. It’s always good to find out what an outside expert thinks about our local wines.

She notes early on, after describing herself as “a fan of Washington wines for many years, that “I’ve found their price-to-quality ratio to be particularly favorable. But thanks to the current global wine glut there are a lot of great deals around, at prices that make those of Washington’s producers seem rather high—and this has put a crimp in many Washington producers’ wine sales.” This is echoed by a Washington winemaker: “We can’t compete when Pahlmeyer Cabernet that used to be $90 a bottle is now $45 a bottle.” And we had our own experience along the same lines just two weeks ago when we visited Pete’s, a well-known Seattle wine shop, for advice on wine selection for a party we were hosting. Their wine expert steered us away from Washington wines toward French, Italian, and Spanish on the grounds that we would find better value there.

Read the article for more. I’ll conclude by listing the two most expensive of the five wines Teague recommends. I don’t see us getting the most expensive one, since it’s above our limit, even more so at a store. But we’ll keep our eye out for the first.

2007 Andrew Will ‘Sorella,’ $60
Although Chris Camarda, winemaker/owner of Andrew Will, makes many first-rate red blends, his flagship Sorella is a consistent favorite of mine. The 2007 is a big, deep, rich, intensely flavored Cabernet-dominant wine that will need some time to unwind. (The 2006 Sorella is also outstanding and worth a search.)

2007 Quilceda Creek Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, $125
This wine from is simply outstanding: a beautifully polished Cabernet that is drinkable now but will develop for decades. It rivals some of Napa’s best—at one-quarter the price. The catch: You have to be on the winery’s mailing list—or pay about twice as much at retail.

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