Editor’s note: Judges for the 2020 North Central Washington Wine Awards competition awarded Gold Medal status to these wines.

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Icicle Ridge Winery 2018 Reserve Cabernet Franc

Icicle Ridge Winery

2018 Reserve Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley, $95 (56 cases)

Judges’ notes: The Wagoner family used Cabernet Franc to help establish their vineyard in 2000, and the judging’s most expensive wine also became a candidate for the superlative round by earning a gold medal within its class. The level of extraction by winemaker Jens Holsten is remarkable, making it the darkest entry in the category with intense levels of black and red fruit not normally presented in Cab Franc. Huckleberry and cigar box already emerge in this youthful, brooding wine that will drive conversation.

For current tasting room hours, call the winery or visit its website.

  • 8977 North Road, Peshastin
  • (509) 548-7019
  • 920 Front St., Suite B2, Leavenworth

(509) 470-8738

821 Front St., Suite B, Leavenworth

  • (509) 548-6156
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Beaumont Cellars 2017 Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon

Beaumont Cellars

2017 Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon, Wahluke Slope, $42 (150 cases)

Judges’ notes: Pete Beaumont’s work with Cabernet Sauvignon merited a pair of gold medals, an achievement that was unmatched in this judging, and he managed it with entries from the state’s two warmest growing areas. This example from the Wahluke Slope shows a level of finesse as red currants and blueberry come with classic Cab notes of menthol and cigar box. Again, this is not a big wine, but it carries impeccable balance.

For current tasting room hours, call the winery or visit its website.

8634 Road U NW, Quincy

(509) 717-8885

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Brender Canyon Vineyard 2016 Sunny Syrah

Brender Canyon Vineyards

2016 Sunny Syrah, Washington State, $26 (106 cases)

Judges’ notes: The Szmanias not only operate one of the Northwest’s most remarkable B&Bs at Warm Springs Inn & Winery, but they are also farm-to-table with their estate wine program via their own Brender Canyon Vineyard. They work with Woodinville winemaking talent John Patterson, and he’s crafted a Syrah worthy of its namesake — the Szmanias’ late golden retriever, who is depicted on the label. Patterson blends in some additional estate fruit — Cabernet Sauvignon (15%) and Sangiovese (10%) — to build the elegant platform for the offering and delivery of blackberry, plum, crushed violets and leather. The brightness of the Sangio shows in the finish of cranberry juice.

For current tasting room hours, call Warm Springs Inn & Winery or visit its website.

1611 Love Lane, Wenatchee

(509) 662-5683