Buying Wine

The Great Whites of Washington

When you think about the great wineries of Washington, Cayuse, Leonetti, Quilceda Creek and Betz come to mind. What do all these wineries have in common besides producing world class wines? None of them make a white wine.

Washington may be best known for world class Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, but a wine enthusiast would be remiss in overlooking the plethora of amazing white wines coming out of the second largest wine producing state in the country. In fact, I was somewhat surprised to learn that Washington has considerably more acreage planted to both Chardonnay and Riesling that it does to Syrah.

As we head into spring and summer I always like to make sure I am well stocked on whites to enjoy as the weather heats up. I’ve broken my shopping list into two groups. The “old guard” are some longtime favorites that have been made by established wineries for well over a decade. The “new guard” are some younger wineries making some really exciting whites and reds.

Old guard:

  • Woodward Canyon Chardonnay – Their Reserve Chardonnay might be the best white wine coming out of Washington. The regular Chardonnay is almost as good and at $44 is a little easier on the wallet.
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Eroica – A German inspired Riesling from Washington and an absolute bargain at $22.
  • Delille Chaleur Blanc – Think white Bordeaux here and you are on the right track. Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. $35.

New guard:

  • Efeste Lola Chardonnay – Efeste is quietly making some of the most promising whites in Washington. The fruit for Lola is sourced from Evergreen Vineyard. $30.
  • Sleight of Hand Chardonnay Enchantress – Just delicious Washington Chardonnay sourced from French Creek Vineyard. Another bargain at $28.
  • Maison Bleue “Au Contraire” Chardonnay – Also sourced from French Creek Vineyard. A great white from an up and coming Washington producer. $25.
  • Rasa The Lyricist Riesling – Probably the best Riesling coming out of Washington. Rasa is made by a winery you should definitely keep an eye on. $30.
  • Guardian Angel Sauvignon Blanc – Aged in new oak barrels this is just a rich, delicious Sauvignon Blanc sourced from Klipsun Vineyard. $25.
  • Efeste Feral Sauvignon Blanc – Another wine sourced from the super exciting Evergreen Vineyard. Think grapefruit, slate and minerals. A steal at $20.
  • Force Majeure Viognier – Tropical fruits and laser like acidity. The best Viognier from Washington. $35.

So there’s your shopping list of 10 amazing white wines that would be a welcome addition to any cellar. Happy hunting!

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4 thoughts on “The Great Whites of Washington

  1. Nice list Tom. I’m totally in love with the Maison Bleue whites. I’ve been enjoying their Chard for a couple vintanges know and the JaJa white is a baby rhone (although it has chard in it) for a killer price. I agree on the FM too, that wine really hit it for me and I agree it’s the top Viognier in WA. So many wine lovers over look white wine for some reason and I’m glad you focused on it. Next…..roses!!!

  2. Can’t wait to start trying some of these off the list! I really enjoy Riesling so was happy to see them on the list. Speaking of rosé have you tried Epoch’s rosé or white? I am sure you received the email as well but was tempted.

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