I went on an exhaustive search a couple years ago when this wine was awarded No. 1 Wine in the World for 2009 by Wine Spectator.
I located and secured the last 8 bottles in the state of Pennsylvania and kept 4 for myself (initial post here) and shared the others with some friends. While it was hard, we let this one lay down for a couple years in hopes that we’d enjoy it with a hint of “age” on it.
I’ve found that we’re generally happy with the way Washington and California wines are drinking when they are bottled rather than after they have been “laid down” for a few years. So, maybe that means I’m not the extreme oenophile or just that I like a less restrained wine than those that are completely rested.
Either way, this Columbia Crest Reserve Cab stood up nicely to its hibernation in my wine frig. If I had to give it one flavor combination, I’d go with one of my favorite sodas: Cherry Cola. This wine was just phenomenal. I’d like to start buying a few of each vintage to see how they stand up and how they change year to year. This is a great value for the quality delivered and extremely consistent.
This Walla Walla winery has something right, both in price ($17) and flavor profile. The Waterbrook Melange is an interesting mix of fruit: Merlot (43%), Cab Sauv (30%), Cab Franc (13%), Sangiovese (13%), and Temparnillo (1%). On the nose, I think it’s earthy…like mushroom and blue cheese. Don’t be scared, that’s ok. But, it has a split personality as it tastes very rounded, with black fruits and light tanins. It’s like a heavier version of a northern california pinot noir. It’s not terribly heavy though and should provide some versatility as well.
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.