2011 Columbia Crest "H3" Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1138710 Connoisseurs Guide

 **Good Value** It is not about to challenge its high-ticket cousins when it comes to fruity intensity or depth, yet this priceworthy wine smells and tastes of recognizable Cabernet, and it shows a light veneer of sweet oak to its mid-density, dark-cherry fruit. It is supple and agreeably balanced with a trim tannic spine, and it will make a pleasant partner to grilled steak and chops in the near term.  (12/ 2013)

Wine Enthusiast

 An aromatic offering of Cabernet with notes of char, butterscotch, vanilla and cherry with an underlayer of herbs. It’s elegant and soft in feel with chocolaty flavors and a grip of tannins on the finish.  (3/ 2014)

Wine Spectator

 Velvety and refined, with floral accents to the vibrant red berry and guava flavors, lingering effortlessly on the finish. Drink now through 2016.  (3/ 2014)

K&L Notes

Columbia Crest's H3 Cabernet Sauvignon is a perennial value and very, very tough to beat at this price. The 2011 bottling is comprised of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon with 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Malbec. The Horse Heaven Hills vineyards sourced for this bottling are situated just east of the Cascade Mountains on south-facing slopes. The 2011 vintage was characterized by a cool summer followed by a warm and dry October which fully ripened the grapes without raising potential alcohol levels too high. The wine was aged in 40% new French oak for 18 months before bottling, which has to be unheard-of for $11. From winemaker Juan Muñoz Oca: "This bold Cabernet opens with flavors of dark fruit and black cherries, complemented by earth and mineral notes. Deep berry flavors and supple tannins lead to a soft cocoa finish."

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Price: $10.99

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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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14