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Columbia Crest H3 Les Chevaux Red Blend 2010

Other Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • WS90
14.5% ABV
  • WS90
  • WE91
  • WS90
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3.5 2 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Les Chevaux, which is French for "the Horses," is a special blend of varietals from the Horse Heaven Hills AVA that personifies the legacy of the wild horses that once roamed this fabled area. 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.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
Supple and spicy, with a plush-textured, dark-hued, blackberry-rich mouthful lingering against creamy oak notes on the long and polished finish. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.
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Columbia Crest

Columbia Crest

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Columbia Crest, Columbia Valley, Washington
2010 H3 Les Chevaux Red Blend
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.

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington State’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA extends into northern Oregon as well. Because of its vast size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which is further split into three more even smaller AVAs. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences cold winters and long, dry growing seasons. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling, the styles of which depend on the warmth of the site. Citrus and green apple are common to both in cooler sites, while warmer vineyards will produce riper, fleshier stone fruit flavors.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

SOU300683_2010 Item# 117855

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