Dr. Jay Miller of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate scored 469 Washington wines 90 points or higher in a report released yesterday on eRobertParker.com, up nearly 40% from the 338 Washington wines that scored 90+ in 2009.  The total number of recommended wines also increased dramatically. In 2009, Dr. Miller recommended 561 Washington wines in his report, while this year a total of 810 were recommended, a jump of almost 45%.

Dr. Miller had words of praise for many varietals grown in the region, saying Riesling “is capable of big things in Washington” and that “the overall quality of Washington Merlot is high and better on average than that produced in Napa and Sonoma.” And while Cabernet Sauvignon “leads the parade”, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot have “become hot tickets”. Dr. Miller also claims that “it is already established that great things can be done with Syrah in Washington, so it seems that in due time Syrah is likely to approach the Bordeaux varieties in overall quality.”

Dr. Miller visited wineries and vineyards across Washington State during two weeks in June. His trip, for the third year in a row, was organized and executed by the Washington State Wine Commission (WSWC) – the state agency officially charged with promoting all of the wineries and grape growers in the region. “We very much appreciate Dr. Miller’s time here each year, and his reports continue to confirm that Washington State is a world-class wine region,” said Robin Pollard, executive director of the WSWC.

Among noteworthy scores, Quilceda Creek Vintners received a perfect 100 points for its 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. Quilceda Creek has earned this honor four times from the Wine Advocate for its 2002, 2003, 2005 and now 2007 vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon.

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