Current Releases from Columbia Crest (Two Vines and Grand Estates)



By Kori ~ January 11th, 2010.

Columbia Crest Two Vines and Grand EstatesWhile Columbia Crest, Washington State’s largest winery, has recently received national attention for its 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon which was rated as the #1 wine of 2009 by Wine Spectator, they are best known for their everyday value lines, Two Vines and Grand Estates, which are widely available nationwide. Rounding out their portfolio is the H3 line featuring fruit from the Horse Heaven Hills AVA which debuted in 2008.

Columbia Crest, located in Paterson, Washington, has been one of our favorite sources of value wines for many years and was previously featured in our Making your wine buying simple, enjoyable, and easy on the pocketbook post. Time after time in the blind tastings at our monthly wine tasting dinners, a Columbia Crest wine has finished at or near the top in the consensus rankings while invariably being one of the lowest priced wines in the tasting. For those of us who live in Washington State, it is nice to have such a consistent, affordable producer in our own backyard.

Head winemaker, Ray Einberger, took the reins in 2002 from Doug Gore who had been the winemaker since Columbia Crest was founded in 1983. Under Gore and Einberger’s leadership, the Columbia Crest winemaking team has produced more 90+ scoring bottles of wine than any other winery in the world.

We recently had the opportunity to taste seven current releases from Columbia Crest in a samples tasting, four from the Two Vines line and three from the Grand Estates line. Once again, Columbia Crest delivers consistently good wines and excellent value. We would recommend six of the seven wines, and five out of seven received a QPR rating of 5 bangs for your buck. There are many good options here to enjoy with your mid-week dinners.

2008 Columbia Crest Two Vines Vineyard 10 White Wine (Washington State): Pale yellow with green tinges. Citrus aromas, especially grapefruit, come through on the nose; lots of lime, grapefruit, and white peach on the palate. Medium-bodied with lively acidity and a long finish. A smooth, refreshing sipper.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $8; Widely available

2008 Columbia Crest Two Vines Riesling (Washington State): Pale yellow with green tinges. Beautiful peach and dried apricot aromas lead to apricot, peak, and floral flavors. Off-dry, light-bodied, and lively with a long finish. Would be good with food as well.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $8; Widely available

2008 Columbia Crest Two Vines Gewurztraminer (Washington State): Pale, greenish yellow. Dried apricots and pear on the nose; pear and white peach on the palate. Off-dry and crisp with a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $8; Widely available

2007 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, Washington): Deep, dark purple. Black fruits and oak on the nose, slightly medicinal. More black fruits and spice come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with medium tannins and a long finish. Smooth but plain.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $11; Widely available

2007 Columbia Crest Two Vines Vineyard 10 Red Wine (Washington State): Deep purplish red. Very aromatic with blackberry and oak notes. Jammy with lots of blackberry on the palate. Medium-bodied and smooth with medium tannins and a long finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $8; Widely available

2008 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Pinot Grigio (Columbia Valley, Washington): Straw-yellow. Nose is a bit tight at first, but with time, floral aromas come through. Floral and citrus flavors. Light-bodied and lively with a long finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $11; Widely available

2008 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Chardonnay (Columbia Valley, Washington): Straw-yellow and watery. Buttered popcorn aromas. Plain and boring with a bitter, unpleasant finish. Disappointing.
Quality: 2 stars (out of 5)
QPR: NR (not recommended)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $11; Widely available


Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris, Red Wine, Riesling, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wines NOT To Buy (1 & 2 Star), Wines Under $10, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

Reader's Comments

  1. H3 Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills Columbia Crest – WineMiser.com | February 23rd, 2010 at 4:27 am

    [...] H3 Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills Columbia Crest 2007 H3 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon facts : 85% Cabernet Sauvignon 10% Merlot 5% Cabernet Franc ALCOHOL 14.5% BARREL AGING French and American oak (14 – 18 months) 40% new, 60% older Ray Einberger, Winemaker Grapes were crushed at 20% whole-berry to retain fruit quality. Fermentation lasted 6-10 days on the skins to extract optimum fruit and structural components. Malolactic fermentation occurred in stainless steel tanks and oak barrels. The wine was racked at three month and six month intervals during the 14-18 month barrel aging period. Wine spectator gave it a 90 The Wine Miser’s tasting Notes : Nose/Bouquet : Cassis, vanilla, Lavender-cherry Blossomish, Tasting Flavors : Cassis, vanilla, Lavender, medium bodied but beautiful. nice mid-palate and finish Subtle and Nuanced even. Wine Miser rating 89 points $12 at Rite in the pearl Portland Comment for a chance to win the Bruce Springsteen Poster. Check March 5th 2010 to see if your have won. Cheers! Columbia Crest on Wine Peeps [...]

  2. Anne Johnson | September 20th, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I tried the Shiraz last night….. delicious!

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