Is It a River or a Wine? Columbia Winery Review

columbiaOK, I admit to a prejudice for Washington State wines. I had a “Come to Jesus” moment after I’d tasted several reds and realized there wasn’t a clinker in the bunch. Even the cheap(er) stuff was good! In a recent article I told you what makes Eastern Washington State such great wine country. The quick recap goes like this: Eastern Washington lies in a rain shadow created by the Cascade Mountains. The rain drops on the range’s western flank (i.e. Seattle), leaving the Columbia River Valley region dry and warm. Another happy benefit of geography is that the state is at a northerly latitude, which gives them longer days during the growing season, or more daylight hours to ripen the fruit. A wine grape couldn’t ask for more!

Columbia Winery was a pioneer in the Washington wine industry. Ten guys decided back in 1962 that they had faith in the region’s potential, and set out to make premium wine. Their efforts have been rewarded: over the years they’ve won plenty of “Best Buy” ratings and high scores.

But you can’t drink a score. So do these wines really measure up?

Speaking for the Cabernet Sauvignon, the answer is “yes.” In fact, the Columbia Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2007 is a great expression of Washington wine. The fruit is intense, with lush dark berries on the front. There’s sweet, toasty oak in the middle, and then the acid stands up and salutes. This is the classic Washington balance — the acid created by cool nights (that 30-degree diurnal temperature shift) counters the richness of the fruit, so the wines are never “flabby” or too soft on the finish.

I was drinking this with a red sauce dish (Eggplant Parmesan, I think), and I loved every minute of my meal. Try it yourself and let me know what you think. Cheers!

Columbia Winery Columbia valley Cabernet 2007

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