Most of Washington’s vineyards are planted in what is essentially a desert, the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains. And despite the cool northerly latitude, long summer days ensure that even Rhone reds such as Syrah can reach full and delicious ripeness. Chardonnay and Merlot also grow well here, but these varieties do not necessarily make Washington’s most interesting wines. I particularly enjoyed the lively Semillons, such as the DeLille Cellars “Chaleur Estate,” and the big Bordeaux-style blends, such as the Camaraderie “Grâce.” Certain Rieslings are also world-class, most notably “Eroica,” a complex, balanced and lively collaboration between Chateau Ste. Michelle and the Mosel Valley’s Dr. Loosen.