Washington Reds We Like

The Red Mountain AVA – big reds

The State of Washington makes fantastic red wines. The Columbia Valley is where we find all the great vineyards in this amazingly-diverse agricultural state. The Columbia Valley has several sub-AVA’s, including the famous Red Mountain AVA in the photo.

The Vintage Wine Tasters met for a blind tasting of 8 red wines from Washington. For our gathering, we each chose our favorite Washington red to taste. The criteria was a red wine and the price had to be under $25. Most of us chose a Cabernet Sauvignon, and two others were red blends. Using a scoring sheet from WineCountryGetaways.Com, we rated the wines. Four wines ranked well above the bottom four. Here is what we found.

2017 Intrinsic Cabernet Sauvignon – $15.99

2017 Intrinsic Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

The Intrinsic is from Costco for $15.99. The Intrinsic was by far the favorite, the big winner of our tasting. The Intrinsic is balanced, rich in taste, with a generous finish. It is a beautiful Cabernet. I purchased a couple of bottles afterwards at the San Bruno Airport Costco. Although this wine will pair with red meat dishes, I served the Intrinsic with a homemade cherry tomato and pesto pizza with prosciutto. We loved it!

If you buy some Intrinsic, watch the video below and you will get more appreciation for the nuances of the wine.

I found this video at the Intrinsic Wine Co Website.

2018 Wines of Substance CS Cabernet Sauvignon – $14.99

CS Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley
Great bargain Cabernet from the Columbia Valley

The Wines of Substance has been a perennial favorite of the Vintage Wine Tasters. We love the balance and the black fruit flavors. You can find it at several places, including KL Wines, for $14.95. Total Wine also carries the CS. The 2018 CS has impressive scores from James Suckling (93 Pts), Jeb Dunnuck (91 Pts), and Decanter (90 Pts). More importantly, the Vintage Wine Tasters love this Wine. Try it for that reason.

2016 Gravel Bar Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon – $24.99

gravel bar red mountain
Gravel Bar from Red Mountain AVA

I found the Gravel Bar Red Mountain Cab at Wine Thieves in Lafayette, CA. The Wine Thieves is a unique wine shop, stocked with exciting wines from around the globe. The prices are excellent from a consumer standpoint. The Gravel Bar is $24.99 at Wine Thieves. Everywhere else I checked, the price is $38. The Gravel Bar is a beautifully-tasting, deep and complex Cabernet Sauvignon from the highly-touted Red Mountain AVA. I love the layers of flavors and the long finish. This Cab will love red meat.

2017 Requiem Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon -$17.95

Washington red wines
91 Points from the Wine Advocate

The Requiem Cab is another excellent wine. These Washington Cabs are just excellent and complex wines. The Columbia Valley AVA and its winemakers are kicking the Cab market. Like the above wines, the Requiem has many different components and is just plain fun to drink, especially with a juicy steak. The Wine Advocate gives it 91 Points. You can find it at KL Wines for $17.95

Napa Valley has many issues to contend with these days. These include fire danger, smoke taint issues, drought, and other climate change problems. However, the Columbia Valley wines are on the upswing and perhaps another threat to Napa Valley. Time will tell. Tell us about the Washington red wines you like.


  1. Solid well made reds across the line. So many are very good dollar $$ values. The mid to upper dollar wineries are as good as any Napa reds.

  2. Thanks for the recommendation of Intrinsic. YES, delicious! And thx for the video of winemaker and his juicy squeeze, street art appreciation, and city sounds.

Speak Your Mind