Editor’s note: Judges gave both of these wines high marks in the 2019 North Central Washington Wine Awards competition.
Rio Vista Wines
2017 Tempranillo, Columbia Valley, $36 (Double Gold)
Judges’ note: This producer is along the Columbia River just north of the Lake Chelan cutoff, and is producing delicious wines under the direction of owner John Little. This full-bodied red is loaded with dark fruit, black licorice, blackberries, backed with smooth, inviting tannins for a long, memorable finish.
Winery tasting room open noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; hours vary seasonally
24415 Highway 97, Chelan
Manson tasting room open 1 to 5 p.m. daily; hours vary seasonally
224 E. Wapato Way, Manson
2014 Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley, $38
Judges’ note: Stand-alone Cab Franc have evolved into some of Washington’s most interesting reds, and this example from a Walla Walla winery with a Leavenworth tasting room is no exception, thanks to aromas of spicy grilled meat, herbs de Provence, vanilla and milk chocolate, which builds upon flavors and textures of black fruit, ripe plum and silky tannins.
Leavenworth tasting room open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
217 Ninth St., Suite A, Leavenworth