By John ~ March 21st, 2008.
â€œThough the Wine Advocate has been bellowing it for years, it is worth repeating: Columbia Crest is the source of some of the finest values in the world. I am awestruck that winemaker Ray Einberger and his team can produce such quality in industrial-size quantities.â€ â€“Pierre Rovani, Wine Advocate, April 2006
If you want to just make life simple and not have to take the time to learn about all the different wine producers around the world, itâ€™s nice to find a winery in your own backyard that makes almost everything you might want consistently well and at a price you can afford. For those of us in Washington State, that winery is Columbia Crest. And, the good news for those of you who donâ€™t live in Washington, Columbia Crest wines are readily available nationwide as well. In our own blind tastings throughout the years, Columbia Crest wines have almost always finished at or near the top, no matter what the varietal nor whether weâ€™re tasting reds or whites. And the best part is that they are usually one of the easiest wines on the pocketbook in the tasting.
â€œThe challenge for me is to deliver wines that beat all expectations year after year at all levels.â€ â€“Ray Einberger, Head Winemaker, Columbia Crest
The most remarkable thing about the quality that Columbia Crest is able to consistently produce is the volume at which they are producing it. Under Einbergerâ€™s leadership, the Columbia Crest winemaking team has produced more 90+ scoring bottles of wine than any other winery in the world. Columbia Crest has several different lines, all of which offer outstanding quality and value: the economical Two Vines (1 million cases per year, retails for approximately $6/bottle), the Grand Estates (750,000 cases per year, retails for approximately $10/bottle), and the Reserve (20,000 cases per year, retails for approximately $25-30/bottle).
I couldnâ€™t agree more with wine writer/judge Bob Woehler who said,
â€œFew things turn me on like finding a great cabernet sauvignon for under $10. Thatâ€™s exactly what happened at Januaryâ€™s  Wine Press Northwest tasting of 128 cabs when Columbia Crestâ€™s everyday 2002 Grand Estates placed in the top six of the judging with an outstanding rating. Wine Press Northwestâ€™s â€˜outstandingâ€™ rating is equivalent to a gold medal.â€
While variety is the spice of life, and we like many different wines from many different regions of the world, you canâ€™t go wrong with Columbia Crest if you need to pick up a bottle for dinner tonight.
Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, General Wine Information, Washington State Wine, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $10, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25