The tree is put away, the lights have been taken down (hopefully), and the bills from the holidays need to be addressed. Where is that value wine when you need one most? Well, for those experiencing the need for a good drinking, modest priced Cabernet – I have one for you.
I recently read a review in Wine Spectator regarding the Columbia Crest Grand Reserve Cabernet, 2014. It was tasted and awarded 91 points. Interesting start… Then, they listed the price for $12. This gets more of my attention. For me, that’s an invitation to see if I can find it and taste it myself.
One of the other things that I consider when searching for value wines is the actual number of cases that have been produced. It is no fun to write about a good wine when no one else can purchase a bottle easily. Well, the production numbers on this wine: 170,000 cases! That is big, and it means great distribution and availability.
My hunt was a short one. I found it at Total Wine, and the price was even better than what I’d read. I paid $8.50 per bottle, and if that doesn’t beg a purchase to drink mid-week for a happy time, I don’t know what does. I purchased two bottles for my own take on the wine, because I don’t make recommendations without tasting the wine first.
So what did I find? The wine on the first night was just okay. The nose was subdued with some floral notes and dark red fruit. The taste on the palate followed suit. The fruit was there on first blush, yet faded quickly. I would have given it more like an 85.
The next night, I opened the second bottle I purchased and what a difference! The nose was bright and filled with red and black fruit and I experienced the same thing on the palate. It really kept bringing me back for more. This was a great tasting wine! The second bottle was something that was very pleasing and easy drinking – especially for mid-week. If you can find this for $8.50, consider that a steal. I would also wholeheartedly recommend it for a party setting.
Why the difference in the bottles? Consider the case production number. It is a very large number and there are only, on average, 24 cases of wine that will be produced from one barrel. With that size production, if they used traditional size barrels, that is over 7,000 barrels. There will be variation in barrels, and that will easily give you some bottle variation. Nonetheless, it can be a very pleasant bottle to open at any time.