Food & Drink

Looking for quality wines at low cost? Try Jones of Washington wines

Even though it was just a few short weeks ago, Christmas 2014 seems likes a distant memory. Well, at least it does until we receive those credit card bills in the mail to remind us of our weak-moment (but almost certainly justified) holiday spending binges.

That’s why January always seems like a fitting time to talk about wines for people who are trying to be a bit more cost-conscious. A winery with solid, consistently good wines that are affordably priced is a must, and Jones of Washington is one that delivers on all counts.

This isn’t to suggest that Jones wines should be limited to those on a budget. On the contrary, these wines should be enjoyed year-round, with plenty of choices at both the lower and mid-range price points and overachieving quality on every level.

Here are a number of recommendations of current releases to get you started:

2013 Estate Riesling (about $12) – Refreshing pear and honeydew melon flavors lead off with a whisper of spicy lychee fruit on the extreme finish. Winemaker Victor Palencia seems to have used a bit of a lighter touch with this riesling, and it earned the winery a coveted double platinum award from Wine Press Northwest magazine.

2013 Chardonnay (about $15) – Ambrosia-like aromatics fill the glass, followed by a mouthful of tropical pineapple, papaya and banana flavors. As it warms, Golden Delicious apple and touches of peach shine through on the finish. This is a big, fruit-forward chardonnay that’s certain to put a smile on your face.

2011 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (about $15) – Delicious cherry and berry flavors, a touch of toasted oak, and slightly chewy tannins highlight this nicely balanced red wine. It’s an absolute steal at this price and perfect for everyday enjoyment or for those who want to impress without spending a bundle.

2011 Late Harvest Riesling (about $20 for the 375-mL bottle) – Mouthwatering peach and gently spiced pear and apple flavors are accentuated with zesty citrus notes of lemon and tangerine. The wine’s 10 percent residual sugar content adds a lengthy, honeylike finish.

Jack’s Reserve 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (about $30) – For a step up in price, try this beautifully crafted cabernet. It opens with blackberry and dark cherry flavors and the layered, complex finish suggests white pepper, cocoa powder and fresh herbs. It’s bold, yet refined, with the fruit, tannins and acidity levels in perfect balance.

Other well-priced Jones of Washington wines currently available include the 2013 Pinot Gris (about $13), and the 2013 Viognier, 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, and 2013 Estate Merlot (all priced at about $15 each).

Jones of Washington wines are easy to find in Whatcom County grocery and wine shops, and can be purchased online at jonesofwashington.com.

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