8 Northwest wines make Wine Spectator’s Top 100

By on November 21, 2017

Charles Smith of K Vintners in Walla Walla made the No. 2 wine in the world, according to Wine Spectator magazine. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Eight percent of the best wines in the world – according to Wine Spectator magazine – came from the Pacific Northwest in 2017.

The magazine unveiled its annual Top 100 list Monday morning, and eight Northwest wines were honored, including four Pinot Noirs from Oregon.

For the fourth time since the annual list began in 1988, a Northwest wine came in at No. 2, this time a Syrah from K Vintners in the Walla Walla Valley. Once, in 2009, a Washington wine – the Columbia Crest 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – ranked No. 1 in the world.

This was one of two wines on the list from Seattle vintner Charles Smith. His Sixto 2014 Uncovered Chardonnay ranked No. 13.

In the three decades of the top 100 list, Northwest wines have been listed 218 times, with 133 coming from Washington. Columbia Crest in Paterson has made the list 16 times, the most from the Northwest. No wine from British Columbia or Idaho ever has appeared on the list.

The No. 1 wine this year also has a Northwest connection. The Duckhorn 2014 Three Palms Vineyard Merlot from Napa Valley finished atop the list. Duckhorn owns a vineyard on Red Mountain and launched its Canvasback label – a Cab-based brand using Red Mountain grapes – in 2013. Today, it has grown production beyond 15,000 cases with nationwide distribution. The Canvasback wines are made in Walla Walla by Brian Rudin.

Here are the Pacific Northwest wines that made this year’s Wine Spectator Top 100 list:

2. K Vintners 2014 Powerline Estate Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $45
13. Sixto 2014 Uncovered Chardonnay, Washington, $35
39. Spring Valley Vineyard 2014 Frederick Red Wine, Walla Walla Valley, $50
42. Colene Clemens Vineyards 2014 Dopp Creek Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains
63. Purple Hands Winery 2015 Latchkey Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, $50
68. Gorman Winery 2014 Zachary’s Ladder Red Wine, Red Mountain, $30
70. Lingua Franca 2015 Tongue ‘n Cheek Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills, $60
75. Résonance 2015 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $45

About Andy Perdue

Andy Perdue is founding partner of Great Northwest Wine LLC and a longtime wine columnist. He is a third-generation journalist who has worked at newspapers since the mid-1980s and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Eric Degerman and served as its editor-in-chief for 15 years. He is the author of "The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer's Handbook" (Sasquatch, 2003) and has contributed to four other books.


  1. I believe you missed Quady North, which came in at #62 with their 2015 Steelhead Run Vineyard Viognier.

  2. The truly astounding aspect is that Washington represents far less than 1% of the World production. Maybe 0.001%?
    Then of course their tends to be be this really amazing price thing.
    Yes, I may be biased. But it is why I chose my spot. This is one of the Earth’s sweetest spots for wine.

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