Wine Tasting Dinner: 2008 Washington Cabernet Sauvignon



By Kori ~ October 10th, 2012.

Washington State Cabernet Sauvignons are among the best in the world, and they are much better values (higher QPR) than most Cabs in other wine regions of the world. Last Friday evening, we tasted six Cabernet Sauvignons from the 2008 vintage from Washington State in our wine tasting dinner. It was another fabulous evening of great wines, the company of wonderful friends, and LaGayle’s (Mom’s) excellent food. All six wines paired extremely well with our dinner of tomato basil soup, mixed green salad with a lemon garlic balsamic dressing, grilled beef tenderloin steaks, rosemary roasted sweet potatoes, braised kale, and German chocolate dessert with whipped topping garnished with dark chocolate.

The consensus favorite was the 2008 Columbia Crest Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Columbia Crest, located in Paterson, Washington, has been one of our favorite sources of value wines for many years. Well-known for their Grand Estates, H3, and Two Vines lines, it is their Reserve line that puts them in the league with the premier producers in the state. As you may remember, the 2005 Columbia Crest Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was named as the #1 wine of 2009 in Wine Spectator’s annual Top 100 Wines list, the first Washington wine to receive the honor. Rounding out the top three wines in this tasting dinner and also receiving Quality ratings of 4.5 stars were the 2008 Betz Family Winery Pere de Famille Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2008 Fielding Hills Cabernet Sauvignon.

Not only did five of the six wines receive a Quality rating of 4 stars or higher (out of 5), but the top three also received a QPR rating of 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5). Even though these wines are not inexpensive, they are well worth the money. I would encourage you to try any of these wines, especially with a meal, to decide for yourself how Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon compares to other world-renowned Cabs.

From 1st to last in the group consensus rankings:

2008 Columbia Crest Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, Washington): 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Merlot. Deep, dark red in color. Gorgeous nose with blackcurrant, black cherry, smoke, cinnamon, and clove aromas. Black fruit, leather, earth, and clove comes through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity and medium to high, smooth tannins. Well-balanced with good complexity and a long, lingering finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $45; Available elsewhere, $30 to $50

2008 Betz Family Winery Pere de Famille Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, Washington): 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, and 5% Merlot. Deep, dark purplish red. Very aromatic with smoked meat, leather, spice, and black fruit on the nose. Blackberry, blackcurrant, smoked meat, and spice come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity and medium to high, smooth tannins. Well-balanced with good complexity and a very long finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $60; Available elsewhere, $59 to $75

2008 Fielding Hills Cabernet Sauvignon (Riverbend Vineyard, Wahluke Slope, Washington): 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Merlot. Dark, dense purple in color. Beautiful nose with blackberry, black cherry, and spice rack aromas. Black cherry, blackberry, blackcurrant, cinnamon, and a touch of tobacco come through on the palate. Full-bodied and fruit-forward with lively acidity and medium to high, smooth tannins. Well-balanced with good complexity, and a long, lingering finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $42; Available elsewhere, $32 to $42

2008 Woodward Canyon Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon (Washington State): 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot. Dark, dense red. Aromatic with black fruit, pencil lead, and oak on the nose. Blackberry, black cherry, mocha, spice, and a touch of green pepper come through on the palate. Full-bodied with lively acidity and medium to high, silky tannins. Well-balanced with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Full Pull Wines (Seattle, Washington), $70; Available elsewhere, $65 to $78

2008 JB Neufeld Artz Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Artz Vineyard, Red Mountain, Washington): 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep, dark purplish red. Nice nose with black fruit, oak, and a touch of spice. Red and black fruits, spice, and earth come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied and smooth with medium tannins. Well-balanced with a medium to long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Full Pull Wines (Seattle, Washington), $28

2008 Quilceda Creek Galitzine Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Galitzine Vineyard, Red Mountain, Washington): 99% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Merlot. Dark purplish red. Aromatic with cinnamon, vanilla, and black fruit on the nose. Cinnamon, black cherry, and a touch of black pepper come through on the palate. Full-bodied with lively acidity, high tannins, and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 1 bang for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $98; Available elsewhere, $110 to $190


Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Food & Wine, Red Wine, Washington State Wine, Wine Tasting Dinners, Wines Over $25

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