When I think of value wines Washington State is always on the top of my list. The 2015 vintage does not disappoint. Washington State is attracting young winemakers that are building new vineyards with new grape varieties to take advantage of the terroir.
The 2015 vintage saw another year of hot dry weather requiring good canopy management. In the end, however, though the crop was larger, the grapes were generally small, which created the potential for intense, tannic wines. The tannins will require these wines to sit a bit to hopefully mellow out. The tannins will stop the wines from scoring in the low 90s upon release but if those tannins mellow out the beautiful fruit will come forth.
The wines will be deep, rich with ample structure. Tannins will be in issue and the better cabs will age well and the bulk bottlings may or may not age well. At $10 are you expecting a wine to age long term I doubt it. But in general the wines could use some time to settle down and mature. That is if you can wait that long.
Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley Grand Estates rated 91 @ $12
Broad and generous, open-textured and inviting, with cherry, currant and red plum flavors that swirl enticingly around the fine-grained tannins and creamy oak on the finish. Drink now through 2018. 170,000 cases made.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot Columbia Valley Indian Wells rated 89 @ $18
Sleek and well-framed, with black cherry and spice aromas and appealing blackberry, licorice and dark chocolate flavors. Drink now through 2021. 50,000 cases made
Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills H3 rated 89 @ $15
Broad and toasty, with tobacco and cedar overtones to the cherry and red plum flavors, persisting on the well-mannered finish. Best from 2018 through 2022. 275,000 cases made.
14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2015 rated 89 $12
Supple and easygoing, with festive black cherry, spiced cinnamon and dark chocolate accents. Drink now through 2021. 440,000 cases made.
Charles & Charles Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah Columbia Valley Post No. 35 2015 rated 88 @ $14
Plump and boisterous, with appealing notes of black cherry, bittersweet chocolate and espresso. Drink now through 2019. 100,000 cases made
Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley rated 88 @ $15
Firm and chewy, with a supple core of licorice-accented blackberry and grilled meat flavors, lingering with presence on the finish. Best from 2018 through 2022. 438,000 cases made.
Charles Smith Merlot Washington The Velvet Devil rated 88 @ $12
Polished, fresh and inviting, with pretty currant and floral flavors, wrapped in a velvety texture as the finish lingers gently. Drink now. 149,500 cases made.
Drumheller Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2015 rated 88 @ $15
Supple and expressive, with easygoing black cherry and toasted spice flavors. Drink now through 2022. 33,000 cases made.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2015 rated 87 @ $15
Trim and focused, with modest blackberry, spice and green olive flavors. Drink now through 2021. 507,500 cases made.
Charles Smith Riesling Ancient Lakes Of Columbia Valley Kung Fu Girl Evergreen 2015 rated 90 @ $12
Tangy and zingy, with lively acidity that balances against gobs of ripe pear and apricot flavors, carrying through the long, lime-accented finish. Drink now through 2020. 160,000 cases made.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling Columbia Valley Harvest Select Sweet 2015 rated 89 @ $9
Silky and succulent, offering orange blossom and petrol aromas and slightly sweet nectarine and grapefruit flavors that finish on the dry side. Drink now. 240,000 cases made
14 Hands Hot To Trot White Washington 2015 rated 88 @ $10
A bouncy white, with easygoing pear, pineapple and spice flavors. Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Sémillon. Drink now. 65,000 cases made.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Gewürztraminer Columbia Valley 2015 rated 88 @ 9
Floral peach and apricot aromas lead to supple, spicy, off-dry tropical flavors. Drink now. 65,000 cases
Chateau Ste. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc Horse Heaven Hills Horse Heaven Vineyard 2015 rated 88 @ $20
Bright and refreshing, with grapefruit and green apple flavors. A hint of green pepper enlivens the finish. Drink now. 56,000 cases made
Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay Columbia Valley rated 87 @ 10
Supple and succulent, with easygoing pear, nectarine and spicy toast flavors. Drink now. 1050000 cases made
Columbia Crest Chardonnay Columbia Valley Unoaked 2015 rated 87 @ $15
Expressive honeysuckle and tropical fruit aromas combine with crisp and refreshing flavors. Drink now. 30,000 cases made.
Hogue Chardonnay Columbia Valley rated 87 @$12
A good quaff, with soft and lively pear, apple and spice flavors. Drink now. 75,700 cases made