Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Little Bit Of (Horse) Heaven...

Washington’s Columbia Crest Winery has been in the spotlight a lot lately and it has been well-deserved. Starting off with many of their wines earning top scores year round to earning the “Top Accolade” of having the Number One Wine of the Year in Wine Spectator Magazine, it is their time to really shine!

I was at a tasting recently (yes—another one. I do this often!) and I spied a bottle of 2007 Columbia Crest H3 Cabernet Sauvignon. I couldn’t wait to get a sampling of it. You see, in my fair state of Iowa, the H3 tier of their wines has been relatively difficult to get hold of. So, the excitement mounted as I made my way toward the table and happily over-extended my stay. This wine is a great find and not to be missed!

Horse Heaven Hills is an AVA (American Viticultural Area), located southeast of Yakima Valley, southwest of Red Mountain and stretches to the Oregon border. 570,000 acres (6000 used for grapes-growing) of gorgeous land located east of the Cascade Mountains at a 14,000 ft. elevation. Why is this terroir perfect for grape growing? Because its southern exposure allows the grapes to get a lot of sunlight, making for very intensely-flavored grapes. And it is this intense flavor that shines in the H3 Cabernet Sauvignon.

It is a jammy, earthy animal! Huge, bursting cherry fruit, firm tannins and chocolate-y, smooth finish! My mouth is watering just thinking about this wine! Your pocketbook will thank you too! At $15.00 a bottle, I don’t foresee many bottles of this wine sticking around for very long! In fact, at the tasting I was at, they disappeared faster than you can say “H3”!!! I was lucky to get a bottle but I did take one home. Lucky me!

The 2007 vintage is relatively new so I’m expecting to read great things about it going forward. At least I hope so. It is a really nice buy. When I visit Washington in the Summer of 2010, I hope I can experience a bit of Horse Heaven for myself! I am looking forward to it!

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