Avennia 2015 Oliane Sauvignon Blanc, Yakima Valley, $28
Two of the Yakima Valley’s premier vineyards — Boushey (60%) and Red Willow (40%) — come together in the hands of Woodinville winemaker Chris Peterson for this brisk, crisp yet approachable Sauvignon Blanc. His winemaking incorporates seven months of surlie aging in mostly neutral French oak barrels with juice from concrete egg (15%), an approach that removes any meow. The nose of Granny Smith apple, gooseberry and starfruit lead to flavors of green apple and lemongrass, backed by lime and more starfruit. Look for this at all PCC Markets, Esquin and many of the Puget Sound’s top restaurants, including four Purple locations, and enjoy with shellfish and white fish.
Production: 545 cases
Pepper Bridge Winery 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Walla Walla Valley, $36
This latest release of Salmon Safe-farmed Sauvignon Blanc by Jean-François Pellet from the entirely estate program of Seven Hills (63%) and Les Collines vineyards is 100 percent deliciously intense. He’s eliminated his use of stainless steel fermentation in recent years, so here the program was neutral French oak (60%) with juice from concrete egg (40%). That builds brisk aromas of Key Lime pie, Granny Smith apple, gooseberry and grassiness with a faint whiff of meow and quinine. Inside, it delivers mouthwatering citrus flavors of lime and gooseberry with lemongrass, showcasing brilliant food-friendly balance and a finishing touch of slate. Bring on the mussels.
Production: 193 cases
Claar Cellars 2015 White Bluffs Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley, $16
Joe Hudon’s stint in New Zealand with Kiwi icon Kim Crawford is on display with this latest Sauvignon Blanc from the Claar-Whitelatch family’s Salmon Safe vineyards above the Columbia River near Pasco, Wash. The nose carries slices of gooseberry pie and Key Lime pie with lychee, grassiness and just a wink of tomcat. Its strident acidity is a ripper, focusing on bone-dry flavors of grapefruit, lemongrass and more gooseberry, leading to a finish of fig and peach. These wines are available in Washington, Oregon, California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New York and Virginia.
Production: 131 cases
Valley View Winery 2013 Anna Maria Sauvignon Blanc, Rogue Valley, $22
The prior vintage by longtime Southern Oregon winemaker John Guerrero earned a spot on the New York Times Reserve Wine Club, and Valley View’s current release stacks up alongside its older sister. It brings a classic nose of gooseberry and lime, notes joined by starfruit, peach skin and a hint of oak. There’s complexity on the palate, starting with a creaminess of banana before the brisk tones of lime and gooseberry return, leading to a finish of slate. Sales are limited to the tasting room in historic Jacksonville and the Wisnovsky family’s online store.
Production: 425 cases
ded.reckoning Wine Co. 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley, $14
Best Buy! Regionally renowned wine merchant Doug Charles of Compass Wines in Anacortes, Wash., goes negoçiant for this collaboration with Sean Boyd, formerly of Woodinville Wine Cellars. They achieved their goal of developing a Sauvignon Blanc specifically for Dungeness crab and other Salish Sea delicacies by using Artz Vineyard on Red Mountain and Stillwater Creek Vineyard in the Frenchman Hills. Fruit-forward aromas of dried apricot, white peach and lime pick up hints of lightly toasted almond. On the palate, it’s deliciously dry with a touch of oiliness on the midpalate that’s framed by flavors of gooseberry, white peach and lime. A scrape of yellow grapefruit pith caps it off. These wines are available at a growing number of Washington restaurants, wine merchants and grocers along the I-5 corridor, including select Fred Meyer, QFC, Ken’s Markets and Thriftways.
Production: 512 cases
Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards 2015 Talitha Cumi Bloc Sauvignon Blanc, Umpqua Valley, $23
Southern Oregon grower/winemaker Stephen Reustle has received praise for his work with Syrah, Grüner Veltliner and Tempranillo, but he’s also been using fruit from his 1.5 acres of Sauvignon Blanc to earn gold medals in international wine competitions since the 2008 vintage. The nose is very giving as tropical aromas are joined by lime juice, gooseberry, Granny Smith apple peel, white pepper and a faint meow. On the palate, it’s clean, green and mean with great flavors of gooseberry, lime peel and river rock. The dry approach and energetic acidity also will appeal to Riesling geeks. Enjoy with halibut, oysters and chevre.
Production: 230 cases
Airfield Estates 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Yakima Valley, $15
Best Buy! Marcus Miller spearheads the wine production for this fourth-generation farming family in the Yakima Valley near the town of Prosser, and he expertly managed a historically hot vintage, pulling his Sauvignon Blanc in time to preserve the all-important food-friendly acidity in this white Bordeaux variety. Aromas of Uncola, white peach, starfruit and fresh-mowed grass lead to mouthwatering flavors of grapefruit, kiwi and gooseberry. The finish of Granny Smith apple, peach and lemon give this versatility as an aperitif or paired with salads, lighter dishes and Pacific Northwest seafood.
Production: 1,567 cases
Jones of Washington 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $17
The 2014 edition of this gorgeous white wine won best of show a year ago, and this vintage is its equal. Aromas of fresh herbs, passion fruit and a hint of gooseberry give way to flavors of tropical fruit, including papaya, pineapple and melon. It all leads to a long, gorgeous finish backed by bright acidity. Enjoy this stunning wine with oysters, scallops or pasta tossed with shrimp and a white sauce. This won double gold at the 2016 Wenatchee Wine & Food Festival wine competition.
Production: 709 cases
Crayelle Cellars 2015 Neve’s Blanc Sauvignon Blanc, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $21
For the better part of two decades, Craig Mitrakul has a well-earned reputation as one of the top winemakers in North Central Washington for different producers. Crayelle is his own project, and this stunning Sauv Blanc is named for his daughter and uses grapes from Cave B Vineyards. It opens with aromas of tropical fruit, including pineapple and kiwi. On the palate, this zesty wine provides flavor of sweet herbs, passion fruit and apple, all backed by bright acidity. This won gold at the 2016 Wenatchee Wine & Food Festival wine competition.
Production: 40 cases
Canoe Ridge Vineyard 2015 The Expedition Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley, $15
Best Buy! Skyfall Vineyard in the Yakima Valley, one of Precept Wine’s latest acquisitions, allowed Walla Walla winemaker Bill Murray to double his production of this Sauvignon Blanc that’s built for Northwest seafood. Aromas of pear, Granny Smith apple, lime juice and fresh-cut celery lead to a clean entry of sliced apple, baked pear with herbal notes.
Production: 4,000 cases