2011 Corliss Estates Columbia Valley Bordeaux Blend

SKU #1303128 94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot and 32% Cabernet Franc; aged for 28 months in 65% new French oak, down from 33 months in earlier vintages): Aromas of cassis, blueberry and licorice are lifted by exotic spices. Outstanding energy leavens the sexy sweetness of this sappy, firmly structured midweight, with intense dark fruit flavors lifted by a violet element. Taut and backward like a topnotch young claret, showing a youthfully tight grain. Finishes long and energetic, with firm but sweet tannins and strong graphite minerality. Clearly the finest vintage to date for this bottling, which will not be released until the fall of 2016 and should evolve positively through the 2020s. (ST) 94+  (12/2014)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Columbia Valley Red Wine, like the Cabernet Sauvignon, has a serious kick of oak, but manages to hold it together and has just enough fruit to balance things out. Giving up lots of black raspberry, toasted bread, licorice, sweet oak and crushed flower, it’s full-bodied, nicely concentrated on the palate and beautifully textured. Made from mostly Merlot and Cabernet Franc, aged 28 months in new and used French oak, give it a year or two in bottle and drink it through 2026. (JD)  (6/2015)

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Price: $71.99

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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.
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 (%): 15.3