Some wines of particular interest currently entering the marketplace:
Three new bottlings from Wind River Vineyards high above the Columbia Gorge: a 2002 CV cab sauv ($22) and '02 pinot noir ($15), fruit from the great pinot block at Celilo Vineyard just downriver. The '03 "Finale" is an ice-wine from chenin blanc fruit naturally frozen on the vine in Andrew's Horse Heaven Vineyard (375ml bottle, $15).
L'Ecole 41 offers two '03 versions of the winery's celebrated semillon: a barrel-fermented rendition from CV fruit ($14) and a Seven Hills Vineyard estate bottling ($19). Also: an '03 chard, mostly from Fair Acres Vineyard fruit ($19).
The long-anticipated '02 reserve syrah from Syncline began hitting stores last week. The $30 bottle, containing a hint of grenache and a whisper of viognier, blends fruit from Milbrandt and Andrews & Rowel Vineyards.
Chateau Ste. Michelle's Domaine sparkling line has a brand-new leader: Luxe blanc de blancs is the winery's first vintage-dated sparkler, and at $23, the 1998 vintage compares favorably with lower-end nonvintage products from California and Champagne.
Matt Loso has released Matthews Cellars' '01 Columbia Valley red. So little of the highly selective cuvée was made that only those purchasing a minimum of three bottles at $44 per will be able to buy any at all. (The price goes up to $50 per after Oct. 1.) Matthews' open house this year is Sat., Sept. 25–Sun., Sept. 26; try your luck then.