Last week, we reviewed some of the top red wines from the 15th annual Platinum Judging, conducted by Wine Press Northwest magazine. This week, we take a look at some of the top white and dessert wines.
The Platinum Judging celebrates the best of the best in the Pacific Northwest. Only wines that win gold medals at any of about 40 competitions around the world are eligible for the Platinum Judging. This year's competition drew more than 600 wines from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho.
For complete results, go to www.winepressnw.com.
Kiona Vineyards & Winery 2012 Chenin Blanc Ice Wine, Red Mountain, $25: The Williams family pioneered grape growing and winemaking on Red Mountain and has been making this luscious dessert wine for years. While this ice wine isn’t quite as rich and voluptuous as those we see from British Columbia, it does retain beautifully natural acidity and bright varietal flavors. This offers hints of honey, pear, orange blossom, peach and toasted pine nuts. (8.2% alc.)
Jones of Washington 2013 Pinot Gris, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $13: Young Victor Palencia has a real touch with the grapes from the relatively cool Ancient Lakes region of Washington, and this Pinot Gris is simply stunning. It opens with gorgeous aromas of pear, lime and cotton candy, followed by flavors of tropical fruit, honeydew melon and citrus. (13.8% alc.)
Pacific Rim Winemakers 2013 Twin Vineyards Gewürztraminer, Yakima Valley, $14: Sadly, we don’t see as many Gewürztraminers from Washington as we used to. But happily, we still can find examples such as this from Pacific Rim near Red Mountain. This is a classic Gewürz, thanks to aromas and flavors of lychee, rose water, yellow grapefruit and clove. (12.9% alc.)
Upland Estates Winery 2010 Ampeli Ice Muscat of Alexandria, Snipes Mountain, $36: Winemaker Robert Smasne used grapes from vines planted in 1917 to craft this stunning dessert wine. Aromas and flavors of honeysuckle, jasmine, orange and tropical fruit intermingle behind bright acidity. (10.7% alc.)
San Juan Vineyards 2013 Estate Siegerrebe, Puget Sound, $20: This stunning wine by Chris Primus in Friday Harbor earned a remarkable five unanimous double gold medals from five sets of judges this year. Aromas of Asian pear, lychee and clove lead to flavors of pear, apple and pineapple. (12% alc.)
Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2013 Destiny Ridge Vineyard Shepherds Mark, Horse Heaven Hills, $24: Owner/winemaker Jarrod Boyle has been crafting this Rhône-style white for years. It leads with Roussanne and includes Marsanne and Viognier. The creamy mouth feel is loaded with notes of Asian pear, apple and mango. (13.4% alc.)
Northwest Cellars 2013 Sonatina, Columbia Valley, $19: This blend of Roussanne and Viognier is wildly aromatic on the nose and rich on the palate, with notes of pear, white peach, pineapple and papaya. (13.5% alc.)
Rio Vista Wines 2013 Antoine Creek Vineyards Viognier, Columbia Valley, $27: Rio Vista is along the Columbia River north of Lake Chelan on Highway 97, and owner/winemaker John Little is crafting gorgeous wines. This offers aromas and flavors of pear, orange and clove, all backed with impressive acidity and a lengthy finish. (12.7% alc.)
Swiftwater Cellars 2013 No. 9 Riesling, Columbia Valley, $18: California transplant Linda Trotta recently left this showpiece winery near the Cascade Mountains town of Cle Elum, but not before crafting this delicious Riesling from Olsen Brothers near Prosser. It is a pleasurable wine with aromas and flavors of tropical fruit, bright apple and persistent minerality. (12.5% alc.)
Smasne Cellars 2013 Otis Vineyard Pinot Gris, Yakima Valley, $12: Winemaker Robert Smasne grew up next to these grapes and now gets to work with them professionally. He’s off to a impressive start, thanks to aromas and flavors of orange, sweet lime, sweet herbs and bright acidity. (13.5% alc.)