Columbia Crest Grand Estates Wines: The Best in Show Surprise

There is something to be said for consistency, right? In a world of chaos and constant hustle and bustle we all appreciate something fairly uncomplicated and trustworthy.

Wine is often not predictable. Vintages change, weather conditions affect the consistency. Winemakers move on. Blends are reformulated. It’s an ongoing saga just to get the wine in bottle.

Add volume to the picture and you really can compromise what ends up in the bottle. Large production tends to produce less interesting wines claim many wine critics. That theory is quite possibly true, but not steadfastly accurate.

Columbia Crest is a winery that has been about as consistently good as I have seen in America. This winery is under the umbrella of the well known Chateau St. Michelle family of wines from Washington state.

Various wine writers and wine publications have raved about the Columbia Crest “Grand Estate” line for decades. The wines are highly respectable for quality and style at under $15 per bottle. When we are able to purchase them at the $10 retail price point, you actually really get something noteworthy for your money!

The Columbia Crest Grand Estate Chardonnay has to be America’s best perennial white wine value. At just $10 per bottle, you cannot get better chardonnay with proper pedigree and near perfect time spent in barrel to add complexity.

The newest addition to the Grand Estate’s family is the excellent blend called “Amitage.” This noteworthy blend of 64% Merlot, 19% Syrah, with the balance small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 16 months in 25% new French and American oak, offers up greater complexity than the other Grand Estates reds and is a balanced, lengthy offering that offers excellent value.

In my opinion, there is not a better balanced, more rich and robust red blend bang for your buck to be found in America! The mouthfeel is exceptional. The fruits are precise and pin point accurate with notes of purple and blue fruits following a montage of red fruits. You will literally get a parade of cherry, boysenberry, blueberry and cassis flavors. The finish is slightly smokey and gentle. A hint of vanilla meanders it’s way throughout. This wine is a pure pleasure party sipper as well as a full-throttle steak on the grill contender.  I tasted this for the third time earlier this week with some heady California reds that all cost in excess of $25 and Amitage easily held it’s own, if not actually leading the pack for best taste and quality.

At $10 a bottle, it certainly was best of show at a fraction of the cost.

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