Wine accolades are an interesting phenomenon. As a producer, we are always of the opinion that our products are spectacular and (obviously) worthy of your hard-earned dollars and attention.
But in a world where there are thousands upon thousands of individual wines being produced Washington state alone, how is a consumer to wade through the horn-tooting and self-promotion to find a quality wine?
Year-end lists are a good answer to that question, and we are lucky to have been included in a very visible and desirable one in 2017.
Each year, Wine Enthusiast magazine compiles a list of their 100 top "Best Buy" designated wines of the year. In order for a wine to receive a Best Buy designation, a wine must "... offer a high level of quality in relation to price. Wines meriting this award are generally priced at $15 or less, and are designated Best Buys after surpassing a specific quality-to-price ratio benchmark."
Our 2014 Estate Red Mountain Lemberger landed at #70 on the list, and the review reads as follows:
"This wine has become a signature variety for this winery, and this vintage shows why. It brings aromas of cranberry and cherry that lead to ripe polished dark-fruit flavors. It's near irresistible and an exceptional value." (90 PTS)
It has always been true in our industry that price is not always exactly correlated with quality. The wines on this list are a prime example of that.
An excerpt from the magazine:
"This list highlights some of the most exciting and affordable wines we reviewed in 2017. All of our Best Buys - and there are many - are priced at $15 or less and must meet a high quality-to-price ratio. Culled from more than 1,450 wines awarded the Best Buy designation this year, these are the 100 wines that rise above the rest."
We've known about our inclusion on this list for a couple of months, but had to be tight-lipped about it until it was officially unveiled by Wine Enthusiast. In anticipation of this accolade, we have kept aside about 50 cases of the 2014 Estate Red Mountain Lemberger at the winery, and moved the distributor network over to the new 2015 vintage. So if you'd like to taste a 2017 Top 100 Best Buy, now's the time!