The 2010 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon is 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Merlot sourced mainly from vineyards in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA and the Wahluke Slope AVA inside the larger Columbia Valley AVA in Washington State. 99% of the grapes grown in Washington are grown in the Columbia Valley and there are 8 sub AVA’s inside the Columbia Valley AVA. Columbia Crest is part of the Chateau Ste Michelle Wines Estates Group, which also include 14 Hands, Conn Creek, Red Diamond and Erath, along with several others. This Cabernet Sauvignon was aged in oak barrels for 16 months with 1/3 of the barrels new oak and the rest used barrels. Columbia Crest sells this Cab for $12, but it is often discounted and I found it for $8.99 in a local supermarket. The alcohol content is 13.5%. 89 points Wine Spectator.
The color is garnet red. The nose is bright juicy cherry and blue berry, with some new leather jacket, brewing coffee and toasty vanilla. This is a Cabernet Sauvignon that is definitely not flavor challenged, there is a lot going on in the glass for a $8.99 bottle. It tastes of black cherry, ripe extracted blackberry, Nestle’s Quik powder, French vanilla and plum. The mid palate transitions to toasted oak spice, soft blueberry and tart cranberry. The tannins are sweet and a little chewy, I prefer my Cabernet Sauvignon to show some tannins and the Columbia Crest does a good job at that. The finish is full, but fades quickly though it never really goes away.
The Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon is a really, really solid Cab at a very good price. Red wine from Washington State tends to be fruit forward, but balanced, with great mouth feel and very approachable, the Grand Estates is all of that. The Columbis Crest is a solid bargain at the full price of $12 and I saw it on sale at the largest wine store in Chicago for $7.99, at that price the Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet should be your go-to Red for the summer of 2013