Columbia Valley Wine Reviews

Posted by Keith Wallace

Seven Hills Red, Walla Walla Valley

Seven Hills Vineyard, Walla Walla
Seven Hills Vineyard, Walla Walla

A Bordeaux-style blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and aged for two years in mostly older oak barriques. Cedar and wildflowers frame a classy move into old-world finesse. Flavors of Asian five-spice and sun-dried cherries flesh out this beautiful bottling.  Wine Rating: 93 Points

Beast “Wildebeest” Red, Columbia Valley

Beast 2015 “Wildebeest” Red, Columbia Valley
The Beast, Columbia Valley

A Syrah-Cabernet Sauvignon blend made by Buty Winery (Buty and the Beast, see what they did there?). To push the in-joke further, they release the BEAST on Halloween.  Despite the PR stunt, this is an excellent wine made by a small family-owned winery. Black and blue fruit flavors give way to garrigue and cracked black pepper. Fleshed out and fun, aided with well-heeled tannins and a smokey finish. Wine Rating: 90 Points

Brian Carter Cellars “Oriana” White, Yakima Valley

Brian Carter Cellars 2017 “Oriana” White, Yakima Valley 
Brian Carter Cellars, Yakima Valley

A Rhone blend of Viognier and Roussanne with a splash of Riesling (10%).  The note of jasmine in this wine is unmistakable. There’s at least one scientific paper that claims Jasmine is better than valium for decreasing anxiety.  Not sure we believe that, but it would explain why 80% of all perfumes are based in Jasmine.  

That’s a long way to go about saying we really love the nose on this wine. Complemented with peach pit, lychee, and marmalade. There is a waxy richness here, lifted with electric acidity. Wine Rating: 90 Points

Owen Roe Red, Union Gap Vineyard, Yakima Valley

Owen Roe Union Gap Vineyard
Owen Roe, Union Gap Vineyard

This is a Cabernet Franc dominated (45%)  red wine with Cab Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec filling in the gaps from their estate vineyard.  This Owen  Roe bottling luxury-level bottling shows the potential of Cabernet Franc in Washington. Supple and edged with burnt sage, hibiscus, and chocolate. Fresh strawberries and figs are here as offerings to Bacchus and various other booze gods. Cola and hawthorne on the finish. Wine Rating: 94 Points

Owen Roe Red, Red Willow Vineyard, Yakima Valley

Owen Roe 2012 Red, Red Willow Vineyard, Yakima Valley
Owen Roe, Yakima Valley

One of the top vineyards In Washington, Red Willow, is located inside the  Yakama Indian Reservation. This wine is nearly equal parts of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.  The flavors here are complex and deep. They will likely evolve over the next 5 years.

Aromas of honeysuckle, ripe bing cherries, gravel, and seaside pebbles. Flavors of dark fruit, licorice, and Belgian dark chocolate. This is a richly textured wine, full-bodied and sporting a gloss of new oak. Like the other Owen Roe featured here, this bottling is usually priced at over twice the current price in PA. This is a steal. Wine Rating: 95 Points

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