We often purchase the Columbia Crest H3 Cabernet and have one on hand as it’s a versatile Cabernet Sauvignon which isn’t too dry or fruity. Last night, we opened up the 2008 and while it’s a rather young wine, it’s medium body, black/red berry tones and cocoa/vanilla smoothness paired well with our dinner and was enjoyed by all. For the price, it’s hard to beat and it’s a consistent pick year to year.
As many know, the Columbia Crest Reserve Cab 2005 is an easy wine to compliment as it was rewarded in 2009 as the Wine Spectator Wine of the Year. When WS first reviewed the ’05 cab sauv, before the top wines issue, I called the PA LCB to request their assistance in locating it. They were (actually) helpful and located the last 7 bottles in the state and moved them to my local store. I took 3 and 2 friends (you know who you are – lucky!) took the others. Mind you, this wine retail price was <$30 and is now at auction for more than $90.
Now on to the wine, this is a phenomenal cab and not just because Wine Spectator said so. It’s got gobs of fruit up front which is stabilized through your palate as you drink it; oak barrel aging does some amazing things like impart the flavors of cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla, and cassis into this enjoyable vino. Lucky for us, we still have one left…
If you like cassis, vanilla, cocoa, and cinnamon in your bordeaux blend, this is a wine for you; Columbia Crest produces a variety of wines across multiple price points and their reserve wines are usually high quality products at a reasonable price (the bottles are pretty too). The Walter Clore Red Blend is no exception. Tonight, we had a New York Strip from Rineer Family Farms in Lancaster County, PA (they come to the Rittenhouse farmer’s market on Saturdays) which is the grass fed beef that provides both omega 3′s and great flavor. This wine was a perfect compliment and for less than $30, I should have bought a case of it. Columbia Crest reminds me that great wine is available for less than $30; if you paid $65 for this in a restaurant, you’d still be happy with it and would tell all your friends – it’s that good.
We enjoyed this Horse Heaven Hills (H3) Cabernet from Columbia Valley, WA last night with our dinner at home. This is another one of those amazing buys for less than $15 that also garnered a 90 point review from wine spectator. In this case, and in other H3′s before, this is a great example of a new world cab style. I really enjoyed this wine with its up front, though slightly restrained berry notes and silky smoothness. Unlike the ‘fruit bomb’ wines, it also has a nice backbone which is described classically as leather, tar, etc, but since I don’t taste those nuances, I’ll just say that it has a presence in your mouth beyond the silky fruit. Wine reviewers will call it ‘pencil lead’, but since I haven’t licked a pencil recently, I wouldn’t know. The bottom line is that if you want to enjoy a great Cabernet for around $15, this is a great one to grab.