The long, sunlit days and cool, brisk nights of a Washington summer are easy to savor. You’ll find them in the white wines made from the more than 13,500 vineyard acres of grapes that grow across the state. The grapes languish in an average of 17.4 hours of sunlight—two hours more than California’s prime growing region. This extra daylight allows grapes to ripen, while cool nights let the fruit’s natural acids remain high, resulting in intriguing, richly flavored, and well-balanced white wines.
L'Ecole No. 41 Columbia Valley Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2018
Old-vine Chenin Blanc is becoming increasingly rare in the state as vines are pulled out to replant more profitable varieties. What a shame. The aromas here offer notes of freshly sliced pear, cantaloupe, banana, melon rind and papaya. The bone-dry palate brings an abundant tropical-fruit flavor and a strong sense of acidity. It lingers on the finish.
#29 wine Enthusiast Top 100
91 pts. Wine Enthusiast
Milbrandt Vineyards, Chardonnay Traditions Columbia Valley 2018
Pioneer of the Columbia Valley wine region, Butch Milbrandt saw potential in Eastern Washington. He’s one of the first to drive a stake into what is now known as a world-class wine destination. In 1997, this fourth-generation farmer took a risk in planting grapes and soon became recognized for helping establish two of the top AVAs in Washington State: Ancient Lakes and Wahluke Slope. The Milbrandts are celebrating nearly two decades of 90-point wines. Their Evergreen Vineyard was named “Vineyard of the Year” by Seattle Magazine and over 12 varietals have been awarded “Best Buy” or “Editor’s Choice” by Wine Enthusiast. Now a multi-generational brand with Butch and his son Buck taking the lead, Milbrandt Vineyards remains a symbol of perseverance and reward. A premium wine tier as well as an introductory wine tier is available nationwide, both delivering uncompromising quality. This wine delights with floral notes of lilies and lemon zest on the nose, and apple and pear on the palate. Accented by hints of vanilla and crème brûlée, this medium-bodied wine is full of flavor, with a lingering finish of vanilla custard and apple crisp.