52% Cabernet Franc, 38% Syrah, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington. The wine spent 18 months in 10% new French oak and 90% neutral barrels.
Sample submitted for review. SRP of $12 and available for as low as $8. This is a limited release wine.
From the bottle:
"At Columbia Crest, we combine artisan winemaking with the best vineyards in the Columbia Valley to craft world-class wines of outstanding quality and value. Each year our winemaker puts aside a couple barrels of wine that represent the GOLD standard of the Columbia Valley. Ripe tannins, balanced oak notes and dark fruit flavors lead to a lasting finish.
Here at The Reverse Wine Snob we're not fans of made up marketing terms on labels that are intended to denote the quality of the wine when there is no clear standard behind them. In places like Spain where the terms reserva and gran reserva are strictly regulated and actually mean something, we're all for it. However, when terms like "Ultra", "Reserve" and "Gold Edition" are tacked on with no generally accepted standard behind them, it becomes something that some producers will take advantage of to sell more wine.
While today's wine carries the Gold term on the label, there's no doubt about the quality. Kudos to Columbia Crest (part of the Chateau Ste Michelle family of wineries) for that. Of course that's no surprise given the other excellent wines from Columbia Crest that we've tasted recently. Wines like the Bulk Buy Merlot that is also from the Grand Estates line and the fantastic Cabernet andChardonnay from their H3 Horse Heaven Hills label.
The 2012 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Gold Red Blend begins with a pleasant aroma full of raspberry, blackberry, a little spice, a little vanilla and nice floral notes. The medium-bodied wine tastes silky and lush and has an absolutely delightful mouthfeel. Lots of rich, juicy fruit with very well played oak overtones in the form of vanilla and chocolate lead into the dry, lingering finish. This is a really delicious blend especially after it gets a bit of air.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.