An Outstanding case for Christmas

By on December 8, 2013

Columbia Crest 2010 H3 columbia-crest-h3-les-chevaux-label, Horse Heaven Hills, $15

Best Buy! Juan Muñoz Oca earned his promotion to Columbia Crest’s head winemaking position by developing reds such as this stunningly balanced and elegant blend — regardless of the price. Named for the French word for “the horses,” Merlot (80%) dominates the formula, and the use of 33% new oak gives this chocolaty and toasty aromas and flavors that join blackberry, black currant and black pepper. The structure is plush and complex, showing a deft touch with tannin management and a pinch of spice in the farewell. Suggested fare includes pepper steak, pates and strongly flavored cheeses.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 72,000 cases

Alcohol: 14.5%


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About Andy Perdue

Andy Perdue is the editor and publisher of Great Northwest Wine. He is a third-generation journalist who has worked at newspapers since the mid-1980s and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Eric Degerman and served as its editor-in-chief for 15 years. He is a frequent judge at international wine competitions. He is the author of "The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer's Handbook" (Sasquatch, 2003) and has contributed to four other books. He writes about wine for The Seattle Times. You can find him on Twitter and .

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