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WINE REVIEW: Dossier 2021 Viognier, Columbia Valley, Washington ($58)

by Andrew Chalk

Viognier is a chameleon grape. It can transform into a large variety of wine styles. Dossier, a new and relatively unknown winery in Washington State, has made a very distinctive example. Stylistically, it is like an expensive California chardonnay. Oak aged, richly textured, and with a phenolic backbone that just urges the taster to slurp it around the mouth. The fruit is ripe, effusing mango and pineapple flavors. The acid is carefully calibrated to maintain a lively ambience.

Consider this wine to be a ‘reference style’ that could propel sales of the grape the way New Zealand defined sauvignon blanc to propel its sales. Or Italy defined pinot gris to propel its sales.

This is one of the most impressive wines that I have tasted this year. I plan to try more Dossier wines. Below is some information from the winery that helps understand what they are about.



Wines are now available for purchase as luxury brand sets the stage to build future winemaking facility and tasting room

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Dossier, a new Washington wine brand inspired by the region’s great potential, local talent and distinctive terroir, announced today the release of its inaugural wines and its plans to build a winery in Walla Walla. The first releases are the 2019 Syrah (SRP: $60), 2021 Rosé (SRP: $28) and 2021 Sauvignon Blanc (SRP $42), all sourced thoughtfully from some of the best vineyards in Walla Walla and the Yakima Valley and available for purchase at Dossier's flagship-tier offerings will be released in spring and fall 2023, and the brand plans to announce details of opening a winemaking facility and private, appointment-only tasting room in the near future. Founded in 2021, Dossier is owned by former NFL wide receiver Sidney Rice, along with successful real estate broker and developer Tim Lenihan. Rice, an avid wine connoisseur, investor and entrepreneur, calls the Northwest home. He put down roots in the Seattle area after he retired from the NFL in 2014, following the Seahawks’ Super Bowl win. Lenihan grew up in the Yakima Valley and is a graduate of Whitman College, where he was first introduced to Walla Walla wine. He stayed connected to the area’s wine and restaurant scene after he moved to Seattle in 2005, with the hope of returning one day to build a winery that highlighted the best of the region. His respect for and understanding and appreciation of the history and growth of the Washington wine industry, as well as his local connections, allow him to navigate his latest venture thoughtfully and strategically. Dossier’s mission is to pursue world-class wines. To that end, it has enlisted Billo Naravane MW, owner and winemaker of Rasa Vineyards and consulting winemaker of Delmas Wines, Rivaura Wines and Sinclair Estate Vineyards, to fulfill that intention. Naravane’s knowledge and passion for helping other serious wine aficionados realize their artistic visions for creating world-class wines made him the ideal fit to lead the team for Dossier. Rice and Lenihan have also hired Walla Walla native and industry veteran Brandon Kubrock as general manager. “We are incredibly proud of the team we have assembled to create and launch Dossier,” said Rice. “Dossier will offer a distinct experience to sophisticated wine enthusiasts from the Northwest and beyond. We can’t wait to share a first taste of our initial releases this month and roll out the flagship wines next year.” “Bringing Billo on board as our consulting winemaker and Brandon as the general manager leading the day-to-day operations is truly a dream team for us,” said Lenihan. “These first bottlings are really the teaser for Dossier, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the wines that have been produced thus far,” Walla Walla is known for quality and excellence in winemaking and winegrowing, and our goal is to contribute to that through our inaugural vintage and upcoming events. There are lots of amazing things ahead for Dossier, and we can’t wait to share them with wine lovers from near and far.” The first releases are as follows:

  • 2019 Dossier Syrah (Walla Walla Valley): This Syrah was sourced from the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater, a region renowned for producing aromatic, distinctive and compelling Syrah. The 2019 Dossier Syrah displays a complex bouquet of blackberry, huckleberry, gravel, grilled herbs, violets, bacon fat, smoldering incense and dark chocolate. The wine is richly textured and lively on the palate, with well-delineated notes of black plum, raspberry, truffles, nutmeg, anise, white pepper and stony minerality. 93% Syrah, 7% Viognier from the Rocks District. 189 cases. $60. Release date: October 2022.

  • 2021 Dossier Rosé (Columbia Valley): This Rosé was sourced from Weinbau Vineyard, a warm site in the Wahluke Slope AVA. Complementing the lovely pale-salmon hue, the aromatics lead with notes of strawberry and blackberry, with supporting notes of minerality, violets and sage. 100% Syrah. 382 cases. $28. Release date: October 2022.

  • 2021 Dossier Sauvignon Blanc (Yakima Valley): Sourced from Lonesome Spring Ranch, on the north bank of the Yakima River, the 2021 Sauvignon Blanc offers a nuanced texture, lovely complexity and mouthwatering acidity. The bright bouquet features notes of passion fruit, guava and grapefruit peel, with nuances of white flowers and dried tarragon. 100% Sauvignon Blanc. 229 cases. $42. Release date: October 2022.

Future flagship-tier releases will include a 2021 Viognier, 2021 Syrah, 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2021 Reserve Red Blend.

For more information on Dossier, visit

About Dossier Founded in 2021 by proprietors Sidney Rice and Tim Lenihan, Dossier offers a modern approach to Washington wine, inspired by the region's great potential, incredible local talent and distinctive terroir. It pursues world-class wines, built from the ground up, with the intent of creating an elevated and engaging experience for sophisticated wine enthusiasts. For more information, visit



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