Many of you know that I am a clinical psychologist, but if you read Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate, you would also know that my doppelganger, Dr. Jay Miller was in Washington recently representing Parker. In the most recent Advocate, just out, Miller says the Washington State is "taking off!" Got that right! Of the 500 some odd wineries, so many are making awesome wines that strike the right balance between American fruitiness and European "backbone." As the Washington Wine Commission says Washington has the "perfect climate" (no, they don't pay me to say these things). On the whole, Jay did a hell of a better job than Pierre Rovani did last year. Jay got to some of the more interesting, but less well known, wineries such as Bergevin, Boudreaux, Buty, Brian Carter, Cadence, Chatter Creek, Cuillin (misspelled Cullin), Damas (misspelled Dumas), Ensemble, Fall Line, Forgeron, Januik, Latitude 46N, Novelty Hill, O-S, Mark Ryan, and Syzygy wineries. He picked up on some of the new wineries such as Gifford Hirlinger, Hence, Sparkman, Tertulia and Walter Dacon. And he captured some of the best winemakers such as Chris Carmada, Brian Carter, Chris Upchurh, Bob Betz, Ben Smith, Christophe Baron, Chris Gorman, Brett Isenhauer, Mike Januik, Mark Ryan McNeilly, Jean Francois Pellet, and Alex Golitzin, but, alas, Jay missed Trey Busch at Sleight of Hand, Tim Narby at Note Bene, and John Bell at Willis Hall. He also missed some other really great wineries such as Amaurice, Cougar Crest, Ross Andrew, and Saviah. On the whole Jay's writing is softer and rounder than Pierre's. Is this a cultural difference or an individual difference? a personality difference? He is more generous than the incisive Rovani, but he only gave 2004 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon a "99". I guess three "100"s in a row would be over the top! Nobody's that perfect even in the perfect climate of Washington state, eh? For my own list of Washington's best wineries, look for the "2007 Unofficial Classification of Washington State Wines" in an upcoming posting this month.