15. Sparkman Cellars 2012 Rainmaker Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley, $62
This is one of four Cabernet Sauvignons crafted by somm-turned-winemaker Chris Sparkman. He is producing some of the best wines in Woodinville, and The Rainmaker stands testament to that. Using grapes from Olsen Vineyards near Prosser and Obelisco on Red Mountain, Sparkman blended in a bit of Malbec to create a powerful yet harmonious red. Aromas of smoked vanilla, complex spices, black cherry and blackberry give way to flavors of blueberry and mocha. It’s all backed by chocolaty, well-managed and inviting tannins. This earned a unanimous double gold medal at the 2015 Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition in Hood River, Ore., at the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel.
Production: 267 cases