A Wine for Tonight: 2009 Columbia Crest H3 Les Chevaux Red Wine

By Kori ~ January 26th, 2012.

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 Crest H3 Les Chevaux Red Wine from the Horse Heaven Hills 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 Crest, located in Paterson, Washington, has been one of our favorite sources of value wines for many years. Last year, Juan Munoz Oca took over as head winemaker from Ray Einberger. Einberger had been at the helm since 2002 when he took the reins from Doug Gore who had been the winemaker since Columbia Crest was founded in 1983. The Columbia Crest winemaking team has produced more 90+ scoring bottles of wine than any other winery in the world. For those of us who live in Washington State, it is nice to have such a consistent, affordable producer in our own backyard.

H3, an abbreviation for Horse Heaven Hills, is one of the tiers in the Columbia Crest portfolio and showcases the region in which their winery is located. All of the fruit used to produce H3 wines come from the Horse Heaven Hills AVA. This red blend is called “Les Chevaux”, French for “the horses” and a reference to the wild horses that once roamed the region.

“Aromas of fresh blueberries, anise and earth lead to firm and supple tannins on the palate. This red wine blend presents incredible depth, with layered flavors of candied nuts, licorice and dark chocolate that lead to a mocha finish featuring ample, sweet tannins.” –Winemaker Juan Munoz Oca

2009 Columbia Crest H3 Les Chevaux Red Wine (Horse Heaven Hills, Washington): 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 18% Syrah, 10% Malbec, and 3% Cabernet Franc. Deep, dark purplish red. Nice nose with bright red and black fruit, smoke, and pencil lead. Black cherry, black plum, smoke, pencil lead, and a hint of earth come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with good acidity and smooth tannins. Well-balanced with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, Washington), $10.99; Available elsewhere, $11 to $15

Filed under: A Wine for Tonight, American Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Red Wine, Washington State Wine, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

Reader's Comments

  1. 2010 Columbia Crest H3 Les Chevaux | July 25th, 2013 at 4:28 am

    An aromatically appealing wine with toasty oak spices, vanilla, dark, brambly berries, light gamey notes, and coffee. The palate has a creamy feel, loaded with oak and dark fruit flavors with impeccable balance. The oak is often at the fore here but for those looking for this style at a can’t-be-beat price, look no further. 80% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 7% Syrah. Aged 18 months in French and American oak (33% new). 14.5% alcohol. 72,000 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.