Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Thursday, January 12, 2012

2011 Unofficial Cassification Of Washington Wineries


This is the sixth  annual Unofficial Classification of Washington State Wineries. The 2011 Unofficial Classification Of Washington State Wineries represents my personal, perhaps idiosyncratic or eccentric, opinions of the quality of Washington State wineries. Out of more than 700 wineries, there are well over a hundred producing great wine. About half of the wine produced in Washington comes from wineries owned by Chateau Ste. Michelle. The other wineries are mostly small artesanal family enterprises typically producing 2000-3000 cases, in some cases up to 20,000 cases or more. In contrast to other classifications of wine such as the 1855 classification of Bordeaux, the Unofficial Classification of Washington Wineries can change every year. It is not set in stone. Since it is retrospective, it does not necessarily predict future rankings. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.Wines at the top of the list tend to be special wines for special occasions, whereas wines in the "Cinqieme" group tend to be outstanding values. Exclusion from this classification, in no way represents a commentary on the quality of a winery. In many cases, it may simply mean that I am not familiar enough with the wines or winemaker to form an opinion. On the other hand, not all Washington wines and wineries are great, so only the best that I am familiar with are listed here. Wineries are listed in alphabetical order and not ranked within each category. Wineries are listed as "deferred," if I have reason to believe they are worthy, but haven't tasted enough of their wines recently to form an opinion. There are well over 100 classified growths in Washington State. I would be happy to drink wine from any of these wineries and you will be, too.


Premier Grand Cru ( Extraordinary)

Cayuse

Leonetti

Quilceda Creek


Deuxieme Grand Cru (Outstanding)

Andrew Will

Betz

Cadence

DeLille

Januik

Long Shadow

Pepper Bridge

Spring Valley



Troisieme Grand Cru ( Exceptional)

Abeja

Adams Bench

Amaurice

Boudreaux

Brian Carter

Buty

Caderetta

Canon De Sol

Cougar Crest

Doyanne

Elsom

Fall Line

Five Star

Glencorrie

Gorman

Hestia

Hightower

Irlandes

Isenhower

Mark Ryan

Note Bene

O-S

Palouse

Pomum

Pondera

Robert Ramsey

Ross Andrew

Saviah

Sleight Of Hand

Sparkman

Syncline

Trio

Willis Hall


Quatrieme Grand Cru ( Excellent)

426

Adamant

Amavi

Baer

Barrage

Basel Cellars

Beresen

Bergevin Lane

Canoe Ridge

Chatter Creek

Covington

Darby

Davonport

Des Voignes

Desert Wind

Domaine Pouillon

Dusted Valley

Efeste

Flying Trout

Forgeron

Gifford Hirlinger

Guardian

Hedges

Kestrel

Kiona

L'Ecole

Mountain Dome

Nicolas Cole

Northstar

Novelty Hill

Pattterson

Red Sky

Reininger

Seven Hills

Sheridan

Syzygy

Terra Blanca

Tertulia

Three Rivers

Thurston Wolfe

Trust

Tyrus Evan

Vin Du Lac

Walla Walla Vineyards

Walter Dacon

Whitman

William Church


Cinqieme Cru (Best Buys)

14 Hands

Airfield Estates

Apex

Balboa
Bergevin Lane

Boomtown

Barnard Griffin

Chinook

Columbia Crest "Two Vines"

Covington

Dama
Eliseo Silva

Goose Ridge

Gordon Bros

Hogue

Martinez & Martinez

Maryhill

Nelms Road

NXNW

Pavin & Riley

Pine & Post

Red Diamond

Revelry

Ryan Patrick

Sagelands

Saint Laurent

Two Vintners

Waterbrook

Willow Crest

Wines of Substance


Deferred

Agate Field

Andrake

Animale

Cameraderie

Columbia Crest Reserve

Doubleback

Dunham

Ensemble

Glacial Lake Missoula

Gramercy

Grand Reve

Latitude 46 N

Local Wine Company

Massett

McKinley Springs

McCrea

Pacific Rim

Parejas

Rulo

Sandidge

Sandhill

Soos Creek

Terra Blanca - Onyx

Two Mountains

Woodward Canyon

Zefina


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