Non-Traditional Washington Wines


We love wineries that aren't afraid to step outside the box, so when we find ones bottling non-traditional varieties, ones not the usual suspects for a given region, we want to showcase them. Here are a few of our favorites from Washington:
2013 Idilico Graciano Reserva, $27.00
Idilico is the only winery in Washington focusing exclusively on Spanish varieties. The Graciano is a relatively unknown grape from the Rioja wine region of Spain. It is primarily used to enhance the color and acidity of Tempranillo blends. This wine has all the varieties traits when it is bottled on its own: inky color, wild aromatics, huge fruit, zesty acidity and a near infinite finish.
2015 Kiona Lemberger, $12.99
Lemberger is a relatively obscure Eastern European grape that is sometimes known as Blaufrankisch. It has become a signature variety for Kiona, and this vintage shows why. It offers aromas of cranberry and cherry that lead to ripe polished dark-fruit flavors. It’s the perfect spring and summer barbecue red and an exceptional value.
2013 Helix Sangiovese, $15.99
This Italian variety seems to thrive in the Columbia Valley. Blossoming aromatics and a bouquet of strawberry jam, rainier cherries and pomegranate are backed by wisps of Italian roast coffee. Medium-grained tannins add a light grip on the palate, while the wine’s softer acid ushers in sundried pomegranate and black cherry flavors, with shades of plum and lightly toasted oak.
Cotes De Ciel 2012 Nebbiolo $49.00
Nebbiolo does not easily adapt to areas outside its home turf in Italy. Somehow, the obstacles have been transcended here, and the results are—well—transcendent. A riveting wine with depth, tar, tannin and texture, all under powerfully ripe cherry fruit. Despite the high alcohol, it retains the characteristics that allow Nebbiolo to improve with age. A beautiful deep red wine with an intense nose of cherry, tobacco and hints of violet and rose. The rich pallet consists of cherries, blueberries and currants. The high acidity, for which Nebbiolo is known, is present, but the wine has supple and elegant tannins, which make this wine easy to drink. 94 Pts Wine Enthusiast