Red blends bring greatness in Washington

By on August 31, 2014
Red blends are extremely popular in Washington state.

Bottles of red blends are lined up at the second annual Great Northwest Wine Competition in Hood River, Ore. Red blends are becoming the most popular style of wine in Washington. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Red blends are something special, and they are becoming the largest and most important category in Washington wine country.

Whenever we conduct a blind tasting of new releases we receive from throughout the Pacific Northwest, we are virtually guaranteed to have several red blends. And the styles do not always to adhere to any particular Old World region’s preferences.

Instead, we see Tempranillo with Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese with Merlot and Syrah with, well, just about everything. In addition, we also see traditional Bordeaux-style blends, as well as the fast-rising category of GSM – the Southern Rhône blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre.

Some red blends from Washington wineries might include a dozen or more varieties. While this tends to create a wine without any singular varietal characteristic, it also can result in a wine that is delicious, approachable and layered with complexity.

Here are a dozen red blends from Washington that we’ve tasted in recent weeks.

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About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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