Slightly more red wine is produced in Washington than white. The most common varietals include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Semillon.
Merlot became known in the early 1990's in Washington. The classic expression of Washington Merlot is flavors of sweet cherries and berries, and aromas like spice, mint, and cedar often add additional complexity.
Most of the Cabernet Sauvignon produced in Washington is of the fairly fruity variety. The wines are age-worthy, and are often used in Bourdeaux style blends.
Syrah has been rising in popularity in Washington. The wines produced here are big, concentrated wines, with black fruit and coffee.
Chardonnay is the most commonly produced grape, and the wine produced here is usually crisp and delicate.
Riesling is found in dry and slightly sweet wines in Washington, and there is some botrytis happening, enabling the production of late harvest and ice wines.
Semillon wines are produced in Washington, and are usually designed to be drank when they are young and very fruity. Some of them can age, however, and reduce in fruit, developing nutty characteristics. Some late harvest Semillon is also produced.
Sauvignon Blanc in Washington often has herbaceous flavors, and is sometimes labeled as Fumé Blanc here.