21. Vino La Monarcha 2014 Pinot Noir Rosé, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $15
Victor Palencia grew up in the mint fields and vineyards of Washington’s Yakima Valley. Upon graduation, he went to college at Walla Walla Community College to learn winemaking, then immediately returned to the Yakima Valley. Today, he crafts more than 1 million cases of wine as director of winemaking at J&S Crushing on the Wahluke Slope. His Palencia and Vino La Monarcha labels are his own side project at the Walla Walla Regional Airport. This is a stunning rosé made from Pinot Noir. Aromas of strawberry, apricot and tangerine immediately spill from the glass. On the palate, this is a bright, bone-dry pink wine with flavors of strawberry-rhubarb pie, dark raspberry and cherry, all giving way to a stunning finish that wipes clear the residual sugar of 1 percent. This won best of show at the 2015 Great Northwest Wine Competition.
Production: 182 cases