Cinder Wines co-owners Melanie Krause and Joe Schnerr hold their daughter, Sam, at the winery in Garden City, Idaho. (Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Cinder Wines co-owners Melanie Krause and Joe Schnerr hold their daughter, Sam, at the winery in Garden City, Idaho. (Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Delicious whites from 17th Platinum Judging | Northwest Wines

  • By Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman Northwest Wines
  • Tuesday, January 3, 2017 5:36pm
  • LifeNorthwest Wines

Last week, we reviewed some of the top red wines from the 17th annual Platinum Judging, conducted by Wine Press Northwest magazine. This week, we take a look at some of the top white and rosé wines.

The Platinum Judging celebrates the best of the best in the Pacific Northwest. Only wines that win gold medals at any of about 40 competitions around the world are eligible. This year’s competition at the Clover Island Inn in Kennewick, Wash., drew more than 530 wines from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho.

For complete results, go to

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2015 Dry Riesling, Columbia Valley, $9: The No. 1 wine of the judging also ranks as among the least expensive and one of the largest offerings of Riesling in the country. Remarkable aromas of tropical fruit and orange blossoms lead to opulent fruit and minerally flavors with a flawless balance of acid to sweetness (less than 1 percent residual sugar). Enjoy it with crab, scallops, Asian fare, curries and mild cheeses. (12.5 percent alcohol)

Abacela 2015 Estate Grenache Rosé, Umpqua Valley, $18: Earl and Hilda Jones received the Oregon Wine Board’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, but these Southern Oregon pioneers don’t appear to be slowing down. Their dry rosé offers beautiful aromas and flavors of strawberry, raspberry and orange zest, providing delicious acidity for complementing turkey, ham or pork. It won best of show at two major California judgings before topping the field in the Clover Island judging. (13.2 percent alcohol)

Barnard Griffin 2015 Viognier Columbia Valley, $22: Rob Griffin, the dean of Washington winemakers, shines with this sometimes-boring grape, creating a fragrant wine featuring lemon zest, pear and apricot notes. Its complex mouth feel that’s capped by mouthwatering acidity made it a standout. (14.3 percent alcohol)

Cinder Wines 2015 Chardonnay, Snake River Valley, $18: Idaho winemaker Melanie Krause, a proud graduate of Washington State University and “the University of Ste. Michelle,” shows a deft hand with fruit, oak and acidity in creating this Chardonnay that would pair deliciously with steelhead or trout. (13.8 percent alcohol)

Kiona Vineyards 2014 Estate Gewürztraminer, Red Mountain, $17: One doesn’t think of Washington’s hottest growing region as a prime spot for this cool-climate Alsatian grape, but the Williams family has been making Gewürz for 40 years. This off-dry example shows remarkable pink grapefruit acidity among its tones of lychee and honeydew melon. (12.5 percent alcohol)

Milbrandt Vineyards 2014 Traditions Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $13: Emily Haines developed an everyday Chardonnay that offers tropical aromas, citrusy notes, careful use of oak and good acidity to pair nicely with seafood and pasta dishes. (13.5 percent alcohol)

Palencia Winery 2015 Albariño, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $18: This grape is native to the Iberian Peninsula, yet it thrives in the arid Columbia Basin. Aromas of dried pineapple and banana play out on the palate with hints of melon, gooseberry and lemon meringue. It earned gold medals in two Oregon judgings prior to its Platinum. (13 percent alcohol)

Jones of Washington 2014 Pinot Gris, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $13: Victor Palencia adds to his Platinum total with this Pinot Gris grown near the Gorge Amphitheater. The blend of tropical and orchard fruit aromas and flavors includes a pinch of sweet herbs and charming, food-friendly acidity. It earned gold medals in Denver, San Francisco and Seattle. (13.4 percent alcohol)

Silvan Ridge Winery 2015 Early Muscat Semi-Sparkling, Willamette Valley, $15: Argentine winemaker J.P. Valot produces this crowd-pleasing wine in Eugene, Ore. The theme of lime zest, honeysuckle and mango offers sweetness, but the combination of tart acidity, spritzy bubbles and low alcohol provides delicious balance. (6 percent alcohol)

— Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue run Great Northwest Wine, a news and information company. Learn more about wine at

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