Yakima Valley thrives as historical heart of Washington wine

By on September 3, 2017
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Cairdeas Winery 2014 Counoise, Yakima Valley, $36

This year, we’ve given our highest rating of Outstanding! to five Rhône-inspired wines by Charlie Lybecker, a list that includes this 2014 Counoise. Meek Vineyard near Red Mountain in the Yakima Valley American Viticultural Area is responsible for the Counoise (85%) and the Cinsault (8%), while the Alicante Bouschet (10%) hails from nearby Inland Desert. The bright red fruit aromas of cranberry and lingonberry include cinnamon oil and white pepper. It’s a juicy drink of boysenberry and cherry, backed by soft golden raspberry tannins and finished with cherry cola and more pepper. While it was released as a wine-club offering, inquire at the tasting room.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 88 cases

Alcohol: 14.3%

Winery website

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 .

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