I did my quarterly shopping at Costco yesterday. As always, I browse the wine aisles. Costco is the number one retailer of wine in the U.S. You should also know that wherever I go — grocery stores, drug stores, it doesn’t matter — if they have wine, I am there reading the labels.
While at Costco, I picked up an old favorite – they still had some 2012 Tres Picos! I also found this little ‘potential’ gem. First, you should know I have adopted a philosophy that I will taste any value wines before I recommend them. While I appreciate the critics and the reviews, I want to make sure I can support the wine before sharing it with you.
So today’s little gem is from Columbia Crest. It is a red blend from the Horse Heaven AVA out of Washington State. The price at Costco is $8.99! This is a true value when one looks at the price. Also, Horse Heaven is an excellent AVA (American Viticulture Area).
It is in these economical value blends that the real artistry of the winemaker shows through. This is where their palate and sense of flavors come into play. What percentage of which grape will give this blend the best possible expression of the vineyard and please the consumer? That is their quest, and sometimes it may take 50 different variations and tastings to land on that final blend. Upon my first investigation this wine was deep in color with moderate weight. The nose was bright blackberry and cherry. There was smokiness and mild leather as well. It had a mild tannic structure with rich fruit and plum on the palate. I say this is a great drinking wine for during the week and would make an excellent party wine. I enjoyed tasting it and do recommend it for your pleasure.
Wine Spector Review
H3 Les Chevaux Horse Heaven Hills 2012
Release Price $15
Issue Dec 15, 2014
Tasting Note: Plush and generous, with blackberry and plum flavors on a velvety texture, deftly balanced with refined acidity and tannins that persist on the finish. Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Viognier and others. Drink now through 2017. 80,000 cases made. –HS