WASHINGTON VINTAGE GUIDE
Click on each vintage to see what we currently have in stock on our main website:
2017- Like their colleagues in Oregon, Washington vintners mostly dodged what could have been a serious setback in the form of smoke taint from the wildfires that raged throughout the Pacific northwest. While the flames threatened some vineyards, the smoke had far less-than-anticipated effects on the finished wines. The Columbia Gorge and Columbia Valley AVAs contended with the smoke to some degree, but vintners in Walla Walla Valley enjoyed another potentially classic year, especially for Bordeaux varietals. A late bud break and delayed flowering portended a late harvest, but a hot summer put ripening back on track, and the weather during picking was ideal, with bright, dry days and cool, crisp nights. The 2017 wines from Washington's premier growing regions show a measure of grace and finesse that the previous three vintages (all record breakers in the temperature column) simply could not achieve.
2016- Like many vintages of this decade, heat was a defining feature for Washington in 2016. Early budbreak and flowering led to the earliest harvest of the largest crop on record. After a torrid late spring and early summer, temperatures subsided in August and remained mild through the long, leisurely harvest. Thanks to the extended hang time and cool temperatures at the end of the season, the finished wines are displaying moderate alcohols, good acidity, and powerful yet refined structures.
2015 - A hugely successful vintage for Washington with a notably long harvest. Things got off to an early start in the Spring, but then cooler temperatures in the Summer and Fall extended the season. Cabernet proved to be king with wines of deep color, tons of extraction, and bright acidity. But across the board all varietals did remarkable well, so there is no shortage of bounty for wine drinkers. The reds will be very age-worthy and are ideal picks for collectors.
2014 - All around the kind of vintage winemakers long for. Temperatures were ideal as well as the amount and timing of the rain. The resulting wines are classic Washington State with plenty of density and concentration. Tannin levels were modest offering wonderfully smooth and supple textures. Thanks to some zippy acidity there is good potential for aging, making these great candidates to enjoy in the near term or a few years down the line.
2013 - A notably hot vintage resulting in super-ripe and concentrated wines that are tailor made for those who love bold flavors. Cooler temperatures did arrive in September which kept the wines for falling out of balance and too over the top. The crop was larger than normal and one of the biggest the State had enjoyed. Cabernet and Merlot were real stars of the vintage.
2012 - A superlative vintage that had winemakers absolutely ecstatic. A huge crop that came in at at perfect levels of ripeness, acidity, and alcohol. While not powerhouses, the wines show great definition and poise. There is enough tannic structure that will allow the reds for substantial aging, but at the same time plush enough to allow for early drinking. For collectors this is a perfect vintage to go long on.
2011 - A late harvest with freeze damage coming in the latter part of 2010 were the two biggest challenges for winemakers to contend with. Despite this the 2011s show remarkable depth and power. Overall a terrific age-worthy vintage that shows off the beefier side of Washington State.
2010 - A vintage that will be most remembered for bright and vivid profile. A very cool season led to wines of sharp acidity and delicate nuance. Merlot fared particularly well, as well as Syrah. Both are reflective of the cooler season, showing more even balance and not overly concentrated. A great vintage for those who enjoy a more classic, old world style.
2009 - A very hot vintage in the early months could have resulted in overly ripe wines, but September cooled things down perfectly and eased the grapes’ maturation. Make no mistake these are big, bold wines with plenty of extraction, but the acid and alcohol are perfectly in-line making for great composure and poise. Fans of Cabernet and Syrah will be especially pleased with the 2009s. Go ahead and hold onto these for a while as they have excellent aging potential.