Columbia Crest 2012 Walter Clore Private Reserve, Columbia Valley, $35

By on February 9, 2016

Columbia Crest Walter Clore Private Reserve bottleThe red wine team at the Horse Heaven Hills headquarters cherry-picks from some of Washington state’s top vineyards — Andrews & Rowell, Beverly, Four Feathers, StoneTree and Wautoma Springs — for Columbia Crest’s prized blend from a stellar growing season. This vintage, in fact, it could legally be labeled Merlot (80%) as Cabernet Sauvigon (8%), Cabernet Franc (8%) and Malbec move further in back from the 2011 assemblage. The barrel program of 26 months in mostly new French oak barrels makes for the nose of raspberry sauce over a chocolate brownie with black cherry, black pepper and savory black olive. Its structure is dark and intense, leading with flavors of black currant and chocolate-covered pomegranate. Firm, yet sandy tannins combine with Montmorency cherry acidity and cocoa powder for a lingering finish. Thankfully, production was more than doubled over the cool 2011 vintage.

Rating: Excellent

Production: 6,000 cases

Alcohol: 14.8%

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About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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