2004 Col Solare Columbia Valley (Previously $50)

SKU #1039327

92 points Robert Parker: "Purple-colored, the expressive bouquet reveals pain grille, pencil lead, mineral, black currant, and blackberry. The wine glides across the palate smoothly and the flavors are savory. There is enough tannin to support 4-6 years of evolution but the finish is slightly muted and compressed. The wine's balance suggests that a few years of cellaring should round it out and it should continue to provide pleasure through 2025." (06/08) 92 points and "An Editors' Choice" Wine Enthusiast: "Tasted right after bottling, this new release from the high-profile Ste. Michelle/Antinori Red Mountain project may be the finest Col Solare to date. The blend is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and a splash each of Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot. Half is Horse Heaven Hills fruit, one quarter Cold Creek and one quarter Wahluke Slope. This is a chewy, muscular wine, dense with plummy fruit, and layered with flavors of earth, soy and black tea." (08/07) 91 points Wine Spectator: "Firm and chewy, with a generous layer of currant and blueberry fruit that runs through the tannins. Shows hints of cedar and sage as the flavors persist on the finish. Needs time to soften, but the elements are there to develop well. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best after 2009." (03/08)

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Price: $41.99

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

Washington

- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.