By Kori ~ March 3rd, 2011.
Would you like a quick suggestion for a good wine to drink tonight (or this weekend) that won’t break your budget and is widely available? Many of our readers have said this is something they would like, so here is this week’s selection, the 2009 Columbia Winery Cellarmaster’s Riesling from the Columbia Valley of Washington State.
Our selection criteria include:
- A very good Quality rating of >=3.5 stars (out of 5)
- A price tag of <=$15
- Must be widely available
Columbia Winery, located in Woodinville, Washington, was founded in 1962 by ten friends, six of whom were University of Washington professors. Originally known as Associated Vintners, it was the first premium winery in Washington State. The late Master of Wine David Lake was the founding winemaker; Kerry Norton, who now serves as Director of Winemaking, succeeded him. In 2008, Ascentia Wine Estates acquired Columbia Winery.
The Columbia Winery Cellarmaster’s Riesling holds a special place in my “wine” heart. My first real exposure to wine was visiting the nearby wineries in Woodinville with friends during my days at the University of Washington. Back in 1998, there were not nearly as many wineries in Washington State. A wine tasting trip to Woodinville generally consisted of two stops, Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Winery, which are located across the street from each other. Of the wines we tasted in those early days, the Cellarmaster’s Riesling was my clear favorite. As a wine newbie, I was drawn to this sweet white wine. These days, I don’t drink sweet whites very often. However, I was glad to see this wine do well in a recent blind samples tasting.
“On the nose are notes of pears, apples, and a hint of nutmeg. The sweetness is balanced by the zing of vibrant acidity that makes this such a food-friendly wine.” –Director of Winemaking Kerry Norton
2009 Columbia Winery Cellarmaster’s Riesling (Columbia Valley, Washington): 97% Riesling and 3% Gewurztraminer. Pale, greenish straw yellow. Nice nose with honey, melon, and pear aromas. Cantaloupe, honeydew melon, honey, and apricot come through on the palate. Medium-bodied and sweet with crisp acidity and a long finish. Residual Sugar: 6.1%
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $12; Available elsewhere, $10 to $12
Filed under: A Wine for Tonight, American Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Riesling, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25