Editor’s note: Judges awarded both of these wines a Gold Medal in the 2019 North Central Washington Wine Awards competition.
Leony’s Cellars 2017 Animal Edge Zinfandel, Rattlesnake Hills, $26
Judges’ note: After learning winemaking at South Seattle Community College, Sandi Moreno bought a small winery in the Cascade town of Cashmere and started making wine. Using grapes from the Rattlesnake Hills, she crafted this tasty Zin. It is loaded with aromas and flavors of cherries, wild raspberry and herbal hints. This has a richer mouth feel than typical California Zins, giving way to a long, luscious finish.
Sigillo Cellars 2018 SnoValley White Wine, Columbia Valley, $20
Judges’ note: This craft winery is based in the westside town of Snoqualmie, but has a North Central Washington presence in Chelan. This white blend focuses on Roussanne, a Rhône Valley variety that can be boring on its own, but the inclusion of Viognier and Chardonnay transforms it into an enticing wine with notes of lemon, yellow flowers, white peach, layers of fruit backed by bright acidity and a complex hint of minerality in the long finish.