One of the outstanding value Washington producers, Columbia Crest is the only Washington winery to have their wine appear at #1 on the Wine Spectator Top 100 list. That pedigree is shown in their lineup of not only good value wines but their higher tier wines as well. Founded in 1982, Columbia Crest is one of the longer-serving Washington wineries as their first wine release was back in 1987. Juan Munoz-Oca has presided over these wines since 2011 and has done a really fantastic job after taking over from eminent Washington winemaker, Ray Einberger. This past summer Katie Nelson was named new Columbia Crest winemaker and brings her talents to the forefront, previously serving as assistant winemaker for K VIntners. I am very excited to see Katie’s influence on this great program.
The new wines were all sourced from warm vintages. I was blown away with the value of the 2016 Columbia Crest ‘H3’ Sauvignon Blanc (WWB, 90) which is one of the great value wines that I have seen from this hot vintage in Washington. The wine shows good opulence and acidity with bright pear and kumquat flavors. The best wine I tried was one that had some age, their later release 2014 Columbia Crest ‘Private Reserve’ Red Wine (WWB, 93) which has tremendous length, richness and a Bordelaise feel. This beautiful wine is one for the cellar. Learn more about these outstanding values at columbiacrest.com Here are some of the great new wines by Columbia Crest.
2016 Columbia Crest ‘H3’ Sauvignon Blanc- The 2016 Columbia Crest ‘H3’ Sauvignon Blanc is a superb value from this great producer. The nose shows good richness with ripe apple, pear and melon aromas. The palate shows good weight with kumquat and bright pear, finishing strong with minerals. Drink 2018-2024- 90
2016 Columbia Crest ‘Grand Estates’ Syrah- The 2016 Columbia Crest ‘Grand Estates’ Syrah is another good value from this winery. The nose shows toasty oak with dark fruits. The palate shows good mid-palate richness with black and blue fruits with milk chocolate that come off slightly sweet. Drink 2018-2022- 89
2016 Columbia Crest ‘Grand Estates’ Cabernet Sauvignon- The 2016 ‘Grand Estates’ Cabernet Sauvignon is a fantastic value. The nose shows dark fruits and chocolate with red bell pepper on the nose. The palate shows a good combination of freshness and richness with good acidity. Black and blue fruits dominate with a touch of chocolate. Drink 2018-2024- 90
2014 Columbia Crest ‘Private Reserve’ Red Wine- This compelling wine is a blend of 46% Cabernet sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 8% Malbec. The nose shows toasty oak that wraps around blackberry pie, blueberry compote and mocha. The palate is plush and shows good minerality with black tea, Asian spice, sandalwood, mocha and anise. I love the sense of balance here. Lightly tannic, this outstanding wine will cellar well for a decade or more. Drink 2018-2030- 93
2015 Columbia Crest ‘Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon- Sourced from the Columbia Valley, the 2015 Columbia Crest ‘Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon was aged for 25 months in French oak prior to bottling. Crushed mint, creme de cassis, Turkish coffee and blackberry pie aromas impress. The palate shows a good combination of richness and tension. Mocha, anise, blueberry cobbler and sagebrush flavors all nicely amalgamate in the glass. Seductive and rich, enjoy this over the next decade. Drink 2018-20280- 92