Northwest wine experts pick their dream cases

By on December 19, 2014
Northwest wine dream case.

If you could choose any 12 wines to find under your Christmas tree, what would they be? (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

If you could have any bottle of wine, what would it be?

That’s the question we posed to nine Pacific Northwest wine experts, and their answers included both a “who’s who” and a “who’s that?” list of wines from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho.

Our nine wine experts taste thousands of wines per year in a search for what to write about, what to stock on their shelves and what to put on their wine lists.

We asked each of them, “What would be your dream case of wine to find under your Christmas tree?” Here are their answers.

Doug Charles

doug-charles-featureDoug Charles is the owner of Compass Wines in Anacortes, Wash. He started his wine career in the late 1970s in the restaurant business, working in Bellevue and later at a restaurant on Chuckanut Drive, south of Bellingham.

In addition to his wine shop, Charles also runs a couple of wine labels, including ded.reckoning and BBQ Wines.

  • ded.reckoning 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Two Vintners 2012 OG Gewürztraminer
  • Hightower Cellars 2010 Red Mountain Reserve
  • Figgins Estate 2011
  • Result of a Crush NV Christmas Cuvée
  • Andrew Januik 2012 Stone Cairn Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Woodward Canyon Winery 2012 Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Ashan Cellars 2012 Celilo Vineyard Chardonnay
  • Mark Ryan 2012 Numbskull GSM, Walla Walla Valley
  • Cadence Winery 2011 Taptiel Vineyard
  • Woodinville Wine Cellars 2011 Grenache
  • Meyer Family Vineyards 2012 McLean Creek Road Vineyard Chardonnay

Mark Takagi

mark-takagiMark Takagi is specialty sales director of the Seattle-based Metropolitan Market group. He judges wines throughout the Pacific Northwest, including the Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition.

  • DeLille Cellars 2012 Four Flags Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Saviah Cellars 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley
  • Result Of A Crush NV Christmas Cuvée
  • Colene Clemens Vineyards 2012/2011 Margo Pinot Noir
  • Forgeron Cellars 2011 Boushey Vineyard Merlot
  • aMaurice Cellars 2012 Conner Lee Vineyard Chardonnay
  • Avennia 2012 Sestina
  • Stoller Family Estate 2012 Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills
  • L’Ecole No. 41 2013 Semillon
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle 2013 Eroica Riesling
  • Ambassador Vineyard 2010 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Woodward Canyon Winery 2012 Chardonnay

Ellen Landis

ellen-landisEllen Landis owns Landis Shores, a luxury bed and breakfast on Half Moon Bay in California. She judges wine throughout the United States and is considered one of the best and most knowledgeable wine professionals in the country. This fall, she was a judge at the Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition.

  • Chateau Ste. Michelle 2013 Eroica Riesling
  • Walla Walla Vintners 2012 Estate Syrah
  • Colene Clemens Vineyards 2012 Adriane Pinot Noir
  • Andrew Will Winery 2011 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red
  • Archery Summit Winery 2012 Red Hills Estate Pinot Noir
  • Stoller Family Estate 2011 Reserve Pinot Noir
  • Trisaetum 2013 Coast Range Estate Dry Riesling
  • Soter Vineyards 2012 North Valley Chardonnay
  • J Bookwalter Winery 2011 Protagonist Red
  • Woodward Canyon 2011 Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Burnt Bridge Cellars 2012 Les Collines Vineyard Syrah
  • Argyle Winery 2010 Brut Rosé

Don Elsing

don-elsingDon Elsing runs the wine program at Sun Mountain Lodge in Washington’s North Cascades. He maintains one of the best wine lists anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. Don also judges such competitions as the North Central Washington Wine Awards and the Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition.

  • Karma Vineyards 2010 Estate Pink Bubbly
  • Charles Smith Wines 2012 Secco Italian Bubbles Rosé
  • Benson Vineyards Estate Winery 2013 Curious White Blend
  • Vin du Lac 2010 LEHM Sauvignon Blanc
  • Wine Girl Wines 2012 Kamari Gewürztraminer
  • Cairdeas Winery 2013 Nellie Mae White Blend
  • Chateau Faire Le Pont 2009 Provence Red Blend
  • Sparkman Cellars 2012 Ruckus Syrah
  • William Church Winery 2012 Bishop’s Red Blend
  • Harper Voit 2012 Strandline Pinot Noir
  • Beresan Winery 2012 Carménère
  • Robert Ramsey Cellars 2012 Cinsault

Ilene Dudunake

ilene-dudanakiIlene Dudunake owns A New Vintage Wine Shop near Boise, Idaho. She is a longtime wine professional and expert in Pacific Northwest wines who judges events such as the Idaho Wine Competition, Great Northwest Wine Competition and Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition.

  • Huston Vineyards Chardonnay
  • Koenig Vineyards Viognier
  • Dunham Cellars Trutina
  • Huston Vineyards Dry Riesling
  • Hells Canyon Winery Deer Slayer Syrah
  • Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red
  • Ross Andrew Rosé
  • Sawtooth Winery Classic Fly Series Tempranillo
  • Winter’s Hill Estate Pinot Noir
  • Adelsheim Vineyard Pinot Gris
  • Seven Falls Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Ste. Chapelle Block 16 Chardonnay

Chris Horn

chris-hornChris Horn is wine director for Seattle-based Heavy Restaurant Group and Purple Café & Wine Bar. H has served in that role for the past nine years. Prior to that, he was assistant wine director at Wild Ginger and The Triple Door.

  • Abeja Estate 2012 Chardonnay, Walla Walla Valley
  • Sheridan Vineyards 2011 Block 1 Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley
  • Lawrelin Wine Cellars 2001 L•W•C Syrah, Columbia Valley
  • Brick House Vineyards 2013 Gamay Noir, Ribbon Ridge
  • Argyle Winery 2002 Extended Tirage Brut, Willamette Valley
  • Belle Pente Vineyard and Winery 2010 Murto Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills
  • L’Ecole No. 41 2011 Ferguson Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley
  • The Eyrie Vineyards 2012 Original Vines Pinot Gris, Dundee Hills
  • Betz Family Winery 2012 La Côte Patriarche Syrah, Yakima Valley
  • Cayuse Vineyards — anything

Cole Danehower

cole-danehowerCole Danehower has a long history in the Northwest wine industry. He founded the James Beard Award-winning newsletter Oregon Wine Report and later was editor and publisher of Northwest Palate magazine. He now runs Essential Northwest Wines.

  • Soter Vineyards 2010 Mineral Springs Brut Rosé, Yamhill-Carlton
  • Analemma Wines 2010 Atavus Blanc de Noir, Columbia Gorge
  • Teutonic Wine Co. 2013 Medici Vineyard Riesling, Chehalem Mountains
  • Domaine Drouhin Oregon 2012 Edition Limitée Chardonnay, Willamette Valley
  • Bergström Wines 2012 Sigrid Chardonnay, Willamette Valley
  • Tantalus Vineyards 2011 Old Vines Riesling, Okanagan Valley
  • Trisaetum 2011 Coast Range Single Vineyard Pinot Noir
  • Soter Vineyards 2011 Mineral Springs Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton
  • Antica Terra 2012 Ceras Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills
  • Gramercy Cellars 2012 John Lewis Syrah, Walla Walla Valley
  • Den Hoed 2010 Andreas Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle and Dr. Loosen 2007 Eroica Single Berry Select, Columbia Valley

Steven Sinkler

steve-sinklerSteven Sinkler owns The Wine Shack, a wine shop in Cannon Beach, Ore. He also created the Puffin wine brand, which has won numerous awards in 2014.

  • Sleight of Hand​ Cellars 2011 Illusionist Cabernet Sauvignon – The Wine Shack’s “Wine of the Year”
  • Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2012 Jet Black Syrah
  • Bergström Wines 2013 Cumberland Reserve Pinot Noir
  • Angel Vine 2011 The Hellion
  • Pudding River Wine Cellars 2013 Viognier
  • Puffin 2013 Pinot Gris
  • Trisaetum 2013 Ribbon Ridge Riesling
  • L’Ecole No. 41 2013 Chenin Blanc
  • Argyle Winery 2010 Brut Rosé
  • Zerba Cellars 2011 Cabernet Franc
  • Sineann Winery 2012 Petit Verdot
  • Stoller Family Estate 2012 Reserve Chardonnay

Yashar Shayan

yashar-shayanYashar Shayan is the owner of Impulse Wines, a Seattle-based online wine retailer. He is a certified sommelier who has worked at a number of restaurants and wineries in Western Washington. He is a frequent wine judge throughout the Pacific Northwest.

  • Avennia 2012 Arnaut Boushey Vineyard Syrah, Yakima Valley
  • Analemma Wines 2010 Atavus Vineyard Blanc de Noir Sparkling Wine, Columbia Gorge
  • W.T. Vintners 2011 Damavian Les Collines Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley
  • Andrew Januik 2012 Stone Cairn Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain
  • Sixto 2012 Uncovered Chardonnay, Columbia Valley
  • Savage Grace Wines 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley
  • French Creek Vineyard 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley
  • Beaux Freres 2012 Zena Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
  • Betz Family Winery 2012 La Côte Rousse Syrah, Red Mountain
  • Underground Wine Project 2012 Idle Hands Devil’s Playground Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills

About Andy Perdue

Andy Perdue is the editor and publisher of Great Northwest Wine. He is a third-generation journalist who has worked at newspapers since the mid-1980s and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Eric Degerman and served as its editor-in-chief for 15 years. He is a frequent judge at international wine competitions. He is the author of "The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer's Handbook" (Sasquatch, 2003) and has contributed to four other books. He writes about wine for The Seattle Times. You can find him on Twitter and .

One Comment

  1. Luna Snoqualmie

    December 20, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    My dream case (a baker’s dozen):

    Sparkman Cellars 2012 Evermore Old Vines Cabernet,

    Smasne Cellars 2010 Mouvedre Upland Vineyard/Snipes Mountain,

    Domanico Cellars 2012 Malbec Alder Ridge Vineyard/Horse Heaven Hills,

    Woodward Canyon 2009 Charboneau Merlot,

    Boudreaux Cellars 2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon,

    Balboa 2009 Eidolon,

    Spring Valley Katherine Corkrum Cabernet Franc / Walla Walla Valley,

    Mark Ryan 2008 Long Haul Red Mountain Merlot/Cabernet Franc Ciel du Cheval,

    Figgins Estate 2010 Red Wine Walla Walla Valley,

    Long Shadows 2012 Sequel Syrah,

    Cadence 2006 Camerata Cabernet Sauvignon,

    Trust Cellars 2013 Rose’ Columbia Valley,

    Bartholomew 2010 Aligote Upland Vineyard Snipes Mountain,

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