2009 Col Solare Columbia Valley Bordeaux Blend

SKU #1201883 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The most structured and tannic of the lineup and a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and a splash of Malbec that was harvested during the second week of September, the 2009 Col Solare obviously comes from a warm vintage. Offering up ripe, decadently styled aromas of blackberry, kirsch, licorice and classic Red Mountain crushed stone-like minerality (42% of the blend is from Red Mountain) on the nose, it is a big rich 2009 that has solid mid-palate depth and layers of fruit that only partially cover full-throttle tannin. Needing time to round into shape, it will benefit from another 2-3 years of bottle- age and have a solid 15+ years of overall longevity. Drink 2015-2024.  (6/2013)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 This is the first Col Solare release to bear the Red Mountain appellation. It’s a limited-production wine made from Klipsun, Kiona and estate-grown grapes. It feels tight, and it shows great depth of fruit, along with pencil lead, oreo cookie and smoke notes.  (4/2013)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (73% cabernet sauvignon, 15% merlot, 10% cab franc and 2% malbec): Bright full ruby. Pure, vibrant nose offers raspberry, blackberry, black cherry, licorice and spices. Suave and nicely delineated in the mouth, with attractive peppery lift and a light saline nuance to the spicy black and red berry flavors. This Bordeaux blend boasts terrific inner-mouth perfume, a restrained sweetness and the medicinal reserve to support slow aging in bottle. The long, firmly tannic finish leaves notes of currant and tobacco behind, along with a building oakiness.  (11/2012)

92 points Wine & Spirits

 Here’s an old-school red with a cedary scent overlaying tightly-wrapped red plum fruit that, while tethered to warm caramel oak accents, is vertical and elegant. This is bound up and waiting for the cellar, where the polish of the tannins should relax with three years of age.  (4/2013)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Dark and dense, with crunchy tannins around a solid core of black cherry and currant flavors, shaded with notes of sage and a hint of wet stone. Finishes strong. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Best from 2014 through 2019.  (3/2013)

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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.

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.


- 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.