Widely Available Washington Wines
1) 2003 Red Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon - I've been drinking the Merlot for so long, I seem to have forgotten that Red Diamond makes a Cab. This was a pleasant surprise -lots of user-friendly fruit followed by some gentle tannin. Made me want to have a steak. Available in supermarket for about $9 ( $7 or $8 on sale.).
2) 2005 Hogue Chardonnay - Good basic Chardonnay with the usual green apple flavors. Fairly dry for an American wine. Good with food. A good value at about $8.
3) 2004 Columbia Crest "Two Vines" Chardonnay - Widely available (try any gas station in Washington), this wine is actually smoother and fruitier than the Hogue. Easy, great on it's own. About $7.
4) 2004 Columbia Crest "Grand Estates" Chardonnay - Drier than the "Two Vines", it is designed to go with food. I actually prefer to "Two Vines." About $8-$11.
5) 2003 Columbia Crest Merlot - Nicely balanced with lots of friendly berry fruit. Excellent value at about $7.
6) 2005 Waterbrook Chardonnay - Tart green apples, good with food. Is it worth the price difference? About $11.
7) 2006 Gordon Bros. - Jeff Gordon does it again! Not as smooth as the award-winning 2003, this one just need to age to surpass its ancestor. Beautiful, complex black berry fruit followed by a dollop of tannin. Almost European in it's structure, this wine deserves kudos and should be great in, say, 2010. This is definitely one for Ryan's cellar. About $18.
8) 2003 14 Hands Merlot - To this day, my original post on 14 Hands gets more hits than any other. Something about the name really struck a chord - perhaps a nostalgic longing for a simpler, more civil America. The wine is good, too, although this bottle doesn't seem as robust as previous bottles. Still, it's fruity, and light to medium bodied with mild cherry vanilla flavors. About $12.