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2004 Nicholas Cole Camille

This merlot-driven Washington cuvee shows big fruit slathered with big, but fine, wood. Layers of deep black cherries, some slightly bruised, unsweetened chocolate, and espresso, are sandwiched between thin layers of French oak, offering richness, some depth on the mid-palate, and wood-spice flavors, cedar and sandalwood. Drink with something very thick, very red, and only slightly cooked (and you know who you are).
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2009 Cana’s Feast Counoise

Cana’s Feast is an Oregon-based winery but sources grapes for its Counoise from Coyote Canyon in Washington’s Columbia Valley AVA. While higher in alcohol (14.9%) than the other two wines, the Cana’s Feast Counoise - aged in 100% neutral French oak - is quite simply a gorgeous drinking wine with a subtle aroma of figs and vanilla, and rich, ripe red fruit. This viscous wine is full bodied and defies its age with a solid structure and long, enjoyable finish. Their 2008 Counoise recently earned a Platinum award from Wine Press Northwest.
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2006 Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Merlot

Clear, bright, medium-plus intensity ruby red coloration with some purple. A clean nose with medium intensity aromas of plum, blackberry, sage, and damp leaves. Dry on the palate with medium-full body, medium tannin and acidity, and balanced alcohol. Medium intense flavors including black cherry, plum, other black fruits, oak, baking spice, and anise. A medium-long finish that really accentuates the black licorice. This wine will pair well with grilled or roasted foods (even tofu!) and should be matched with savory herbs like sage, rosemary, and thyme.
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2008 Maryhill Pinot Gris

Clear, medium intensity straw yellow with hints of green; Clean aromas, medium-soft intensity - a little citrus, lots of pear, sliced apple, delicate floral, fresh pistachio (very slight), and a little oxidation; Dry, medium-light body, medium acidity that gives way to a more rounded texture, medium alcohol; medium intense flavors of lime, unripe peach, a little pineapple, green apple, and that same floral note from the nose. Medium finish. A nice wine, refreshing, perhaps just a little over the hill. Pair with creamy cheese and herbs as an aperitif.
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Spokane: Washington’s Hidden Gem

The coffee finally started kicking in somewhere around the outskirts of Spokane. I had just spent the previous five days on a non-stop tour of wineries in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, then moved on to the Yakima Valley in Washington, followed by the Wine Bloggers’ Conference in Walla Walla. The only thing keeping my sleep deprived body going was a large cup of my favorite stimulant.
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2008 DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Blanc – Columbia Valley, WA

My wife and I were both blown away by this wine—huge nose for a blanc, with all kinds of great elements: grapefruit, lemon, honey, fig, and minerals. It's buttery, but not oaky, allowing the wine to completely cover the palate, quickly, and not set off any oak alarms. Picked up a few bottles of this at the winery and debating whether or not I should pick up more. This will be a mainstay white in our house, no question. Read more on RJ's Wine Blog.
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2006 Skylite Cellars Syrah, Columbia Valley

A smoky and meaty wine with a mouthful of blueberries and just as dark and dense as ink. Believe it or not, I was served this wine with a dessert of cheesecake with a sweet cherry sauce on top. It worked. Oh my how it worked, leaving a finish of sweet dark port and milk chocolate. From dessert to game, this Syrah can handle it all.