2007 Novelty Hill Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley)

Dark hue of purple all the way to the rim. The nose has hints of currant and plums but lots of cedar and blackberry. Across the plate more blackberry, licorice tar and oaky tannins. Intensely concentrated but not overly extracted. The fruit for this blend comes from a who’s-who of premium Columbia Valley vineyards such as Stillwater Creek, Alder Ridge in the Horse Heaven Hills and Klipsun Vineyard on Red Mountain. Very good but needs a little more bottle time. 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc; 1% Petit Verdot

Published in: on April 15, 2010 at 12:57 am  Comments (1)  
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2005 OS R3 Columbia Valley

2005_R3Dark inky purple color. The nose is rather closed but shows some wild dark fruit and mineral. This red wine blend of 45 % Carbenet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc has notes of dusty blackberry, dried anise, and pepper. Not bad but slightly flat. I was expecting more from this producer. R3 is blended from selected lots from Klipsun, Sheridan, Champoux, Ciel de Cheval, Dineen and Meek vineyards all from the Columbia Valley AVA.

Published in: on August 12, 2009 at 12:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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2006 Gordon Brothers Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown Washington, Columbia Valley

Medium red/purple color. The nose has aromas of black fruit and savory spice. Easy drinking with jammy black cherry and plumb. Although it’s fruit forward there is a nice complexity to this wine with layers of spice mid palate and all through the medium to long finish. Go06cabsauvrdon Brothers is a very consistent producerof relatively affordable Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon red wines from the Columbia Valley appellation. The fruit comes from their estate which claims a  “unique volcanic soil breakdown that includes basalt, sandy loam, clay loam and gravelly loam. The earth of the Gordon Brothers estate vineyard produces grapes of great depth and intensity. ” This vintage is an excellent example of a very good Washington Cabernet Sauvignon. Worth the $22.

2005 L’Ecole No. 41 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley


2005_lecoleCrimson and purple color. The nose has the classic Washington Cabernet Sauvignon aromas of fruit jam, to go along with the pan grille and cedar flavors. The palate shows currant and dried plumb with well rounded tannins. Easy drinking and elegant. This wine is a blend of several premium Columbia Valley vineyards including: Bacchus & Dionysus, Klipsun, Willard, Portteus, Pepper Bridge, Stone Tree, Candy Mountain and their Estate Seven Hills Vineyard. L’Ecole No. 41 picks and ferments their Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with small lot fermentation, punched down by hand which controls tannin and phenolics. It is aged 22 months in French and American oak barrels. They claim aging potential of 10-15 years after bottling. I would not wait that long. This wine should be enjoyed over the next 2-4 years.



2006 Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon H3 (USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills)

columbia-crest_h3Spicy plumb stew on the nose. The flavors are a ripe mix of plumb, red cherry, anise, mint, and black pepper. The mouth feel is a nice balance of softness and fine grained tannins. This wine from the Horse Heaven Hills region of Washington is quite the value. Winemaker Ray Einberger has done an excellent job with this designated Cabernet Sauvignon for two vintages in a row. For those looking for a value fruit forward Cabernet this wine fits the bill. Unlike most quality Cabernet Sauvignon’s from Washington this wine is readily available and can be found in many grocery store wine sections.

2005 Powers Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Champoux Vineyard (Washington, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills)

Very intense fruit breaks through on the nose with cherry, cassis and vanilla. Ultra ripe fruit flavors of cherry, plumb currant and a spicy hit at the very end of the long finish. The tannins are lingering and will mellow over time. The wine is still a little young and could use some additional (1-2 years) bottle time.powers

2005 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot Indian Wells (Columbia Valley)

iw_merlot_2005Deep purple in color. the nose gives off aromas of vanilla and black cherry. The black cherry holds on through the palate along with a smokey note. The finish is medium length with fine grained tannins. Very good but just short of outstanding.

Published in: on December 28, 2008 at 1:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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2006 Andrew Will Cabernet Sauvignon Champoux Vineyard (Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills)

andrew-will-champouxStill a little tight and tannic given it’s age. Needs a little more time in bottle to come into it’s own. Great fruit forward style with black currant, cherry and chocolate all working well together. The tannins are still in the way some but they will lay down over time. Be patient. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot.

Top Wines of 2008 Part 2

As we draw to the end of the year it’s time to start thinking about the best wines of the year. The wines are those that have been released in calendar year 2008 so mostly 2005 vintage with a few from 2004 and 2006. My top twenty wines will be a little different than most for a few reasons. First, the list will be dominated by red wines becausethat is what I prefer. I am sure there are many, many great white wines that should be on someones top list but I wouldn’t know because I don’t taste them. Second, the list will contain many new world wines. I don’t buy very many old world wines. The style I prefer is more new world so that is what I taste. Finally the wines on the list are wines that I have purchased with my hard earned dollars or something that I have tasted at a wine event either as a guest or a paid attendee. I am not on lists like Colgin or Screaming Eagle. I haven’t tasted these wines so I can’t very well offer an opinion except that they are overpriced no mater how good they taste. I am your typical wine enthusiast who has a wine budget. No one is sending me wine to taste for free (one can dream however).

Numbers 15-11:

15. 2005 Columbia Crest H3 Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills Washington

14. 2005 Bennett Lane Maximus, Napa Valley

13. 2005 Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Puento Alto, Maipo Valley

12. 2005 Kobalt Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

11. 2005 Kamen Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley

2005 Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon H3 (USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills)

Very pleasant  aromas of plumb, currant and pain grille. The flavors are packed in with cherry, currant, vanilla and spice box. Slight oaky tannins on the medium length finnish. The wine is nicely balanced and will imprive with a little bottle age. At $15 thie wine is quite a value. I’ll be buying more.