Columbia Crest H3 Chardonnay 2008
Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
Aromatics of slight mineral, apple, pear, smoke and Horse Heaven Hills dust open this elegant yet racy, medium-bodied Chardonnay. A balanced palate of fruit and French oak leads to a seductive, creamy vanilla finish.
Wine Spectator - "Ripe and generous, not heavy, but heady with spice-accented pear, honey and floral aromas and flavors, echoing nicely. Drink now."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Chardonnay Horse Heaven Hills is a bit more serious. Forty percent was barrel-fermented in new oak, 30% in seasoned barrels with the balance in stainless steel. Like the Grand Estates, it was aged for 6-9 months sur lie with weekly batonnage. It gives up aromas of buttered popcorn, pear, spiced apple, and mineral leading to a smooth-textured, ripe Chardonnay with very good volume and concentration. This well-balanced, lengthy effort should drink well for 2-3 years. "
Columbia Crest Winery
Founded in 1983, Columbia Crest has grown from a small winery in a relatively unknown wine region to one of the most significant wineries in the U.S. and a major force behind Washington state's emergence as a world-class wine region. Over the years, the winery has remained committed to delivery handcrafted, small-lot wines, as well as affordable, superior quality everyday wines. In 2009, the winery reached a milestone when Wine Spectator named their 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon "Wine of the Year," the first time a wine from Washington state has received the ranking. This accolade was not only a historic moment for Columbia Crest, but for all wineries in Washington and reinforced the belief that the region is among the best wine-producing areas in the world. View all Columbia Crest Wines
About Columbia ValleyView a map of Columbia Valley wineries
Columbia Valley is the largest of Washington State's wine growing regions, with almost 11 million acres. It encompasses a number of smaller regions, including Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain and more. The vast area consists of a range of climates, allowing viticulturists to plant a diverse selection of grape varieties. Most wineries plant rows sparsely, which helps the vines survive the harsh winters.
Notable FactsMerlot is the most popular and most planted grape of the area, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Syrah and Riesling are also popular and continue to grow in acreage.
About WashingtonRelated Links:Now the number two producer in the United States, Washington State has also grown in quality.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.
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