Paul Gregutt

Contributing Editor

Reviews wines from Oregon and Canada.

Contributing Editor Paul Gregutt has been reviewing Pacific Northwest wines for Wine Enthusiast Magazine since 2000. Gregutt's book, Washington Wines & Wineries: the Essential Guide, is now in its second edition and has been released in both paperback and e-book formats. In addition to his work for print, Gregutt writes a well-read blog at www.paulgregutt.com. He and his wife Karen also operate Waitsburg Cottages, vacation rentals in Walla Walla wine country.

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96
points

Woodward Canyon 2011 Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon (Washington)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $99

The Cabernet comes from 40-year-old vines at Champoux and Sagemoor, with small amounts of Petit Verdot and Syrah in the blend. Black cherry, cassis, iron and graphite combine in a sturdy, authoritative, powerful midpalate. Licorice and espresso flavors streak through the lengthy finish. This is quite tight and compact, and will require decanting if drunk young, and…

 — P.G.  (12/31/2014)
94
points

Sparkman 2013 Birdie Riesling (Columbia Valley (WA))

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $18

Once again the Bacchus Vineyard provided the fruit for this wine, with 20% fermented in neutral oak. It’s lightly spritzy and immensely refreshing. Orange peel, apple, fig and pear fruit flavors are accented by a hint of toasted coconut. There’s also some beeswax in the mix, and the length of the finish is superb.

 — P.G.  (12/31/2014)
94
points

Côtes de Ciel 2012 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Nebbiolo (Red Mountain)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $50

Nebbiolo does not adapt easily to anywhere outside of its home turf in Italy. Somehow, the obstacles have been transcended here, and the results are—well—transcendent. A riveting, astonishing wine with depth, tar, tannin and texture, all under powerfully ripe, almost jammy cherry fruit. Despite the high alcohol, it retains the details that give Nebbiolo the ability…

 — P.G.  (12/31/2014)
94
points

Côtes de Ciel 2012 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Syrah (Red Mountain)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $39

Two clones of Syrah were blended and aged in neutral oak, often the best choice for this expressive grape. Dark and concentrated blue and purple fruit is dusted with white pepper. Streaks of espresso and dark chocolate keep the finish long and lively.

 — P.G.  (12/31/2014)
94
points

Woodward Canyon 2012 Artist Series #21 Cabernet Sauvignon (Washington)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $59

This wine has deeply concentrated yet focused and spicy purple-fruit tones. It’s generously endowed with notes of tobacco, licorice, mineral and pepper. The highlights keep piling on through a finish that seems to run for several minutes. This bold wine is enjoyable now but should also cellar well through 2020.

 — P.G.  (12/31/2014)
94
points

Woodward Canyon 2011 Estate Reserve Cabernet Franc (Walla Walla Valley (WA))

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $79

In this cool vintage that followed a winter freeze, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot ripened well, making this an interesting wine that’s reflective of the year. It’s a lovely Cabernet Franc, with dark and supple black cherry, cassis, blueberry, mocha and cinnamon notes. A scent of fresh coffee accompanies the penetrating fruit flavors, and the ripe tannins and…

 — P.G.  (12/31/2014)
94
points

Sparkman 2012 Ruckus Syrah (Red Mountain)

  1. $48

Sourced from Klipsun and Ciel du Cheval, this was co-fermented with 7% Boushey Vineyard Viognier. It’s a bright, punchy wine with berries, spice, some ginger cake complexity, and plenty of juicy acidity. The length of the finish is especially noteworthy.

 — P.G.  (12/31/2014)
94
points

Force Majeure 2011 Collaboration Series I Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red (Red Mountain)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $60

Red Mountain vintner Ben Smith makes this Bordeaux-style blend which is always at the top of the lineup for this Collaboration Series. This is a tooth-stainer—dense and layered—with dark fruit flavors of boysenberry, black cherry and cassis. Smoke, underbrush, a hint of soft leather and perfectly ripe tannins keep it moving through a long finish. Put this one away…

 — P.G.  (12/31/2014)
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