Columbia Crest 2013 Reserve Grenache, Horse Heaven Hills, $35

columbia-crest-reserve-grenache-2013-bottleRancher-turned-grower Mike Andrew’s Coyote Canyon Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills ranks among the favorite sites of Columbia Crest final boss Juan Muñoz Oca, and here’s one of the state’s largest productions featuring Grenache – a rather rare and expensive red Rhône grape that’s on the rise in Washington state. The nose, influenced by a 20-month program of 48% new French oak barrels – carries aromas of strawberry jam, cherry compote, cocoa powder, molasses, crushed herbs and the dusty minerality so often detected in wines from this AVA. It’s a rich, round and crowd-pleasing drink of strawberry-rhubarb jam, black currant and black licorice, backed by a slow percolation of tannin and a cherry taffy finish. These wines are first offered to the Columbia Crest wine club, but they can become available to the public.

Rating: Recommended

Production: 608 cases

Alcohol: 13%

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