Columbia Winery has been a leader in wine production and quality wines in the State Of Washington for over 50 years. Today, winemaker Sean Hails continues to use innovative techniques to further the Winery’s quest to be the front runner in high quality and reasonably priced wines. Located in the Columbia Valley AVA, the Winery produces high quality wines from the State’s best growing areas.
The Columbia Valley AVA is Washington’s largest and with over 17,000 acres under current production, the area produces more than 60% of Washington’s annual wine output. Nature has blessed the AVA with strong sunlight during the growing season and, typically, very little rain. During the season, the vines are subjected to up to 16 hours of bright sun, but the seasonal rainfall averaged at 8” or less. The result? Intense flavors and color at the time of harvest.
The Columbia Winery 2013 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a nice example of what the local conditions can produce. Winemaker Hails has taken the grapes and created a Cab which is both full and tannic; one which breathes dark fruit and cocoa on opening. On the palate it shows blackberry and black currant. The structure is firm and the wine goes well with outdoor meats and hearty Asian food.
To achieve the complexity desired in this vintage, Hails took 40% of the grapes from the Wahluke Slope and the Horse Heaven Hills. The desire was to take some of the grapes from one of the warmest areas of the valley and combine them with grapes from other sub-AVA’s of the region. This led to the wine which shows the complexity of the blend.
At harvest, the grapes were destemmed and cold soaked for two days. After the cold soak, the grapes went to fermentation in stainless tanks for up to 11 days. Temperature during this fermentation was maintained at 90°F. During the fermentation the juices were in a rack and return process to obtain maximum color and increase the flavor of the juices. After fermentation, the juice was stored in French and American oak to acquire further structure.
To get the final blend, Hails used 81% Cabernet, 13% Syrah, 3% Malbec and 3% of red varieties. The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon finished out with an alcohol content of 13.5% and a pH of 3.73.
This Cab exemplifies the wines from Columbia Winery. Tasty, easy to drink and at a price point of about $15.00, it makes for a good buy to drink today or to keep for several years.
Enjoy and have a winederful day!