Must-Try Wine of the Week: Columbia Crest Horse Heaven Hills 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington

I love cabernet sauvignon. And, judging by the high prices for premium cabernet from places like Napa Valley or Bordeaux, many others love the grape as well. So, when an irresistibly delicious, not to mention incredibly affordable cab comes along, I like to shout its praise.

Columbia Crest Winery sits alongside the Columbia River in Eastern Washington. Founded in 1983, it 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.

The Horse Heaven Hills AVA is an American Viticultural Area in southeastern Washington, and part of the larger Columbia Valley AVA. It borders the Yakima Valley AVA on the north and the Columbia River on the south. The Horse Heaven Hills, or H3 as they like to call it, is planted to about 12,000 acres of vines, 4,000 of which is cabernet sauvignon.

This Bordeaux-like red blend is made from 94 percent cabernet, 4 percent merlot, and 2 percent syrah. The aromas are filled with dark cherry fruit, light herbs, and additional touches of tar and bramble. The mouthfeel is of lively dark sweet fruit, accented by a nice savory edge, which carries through the long finish. If you’re looking for a medium-to-full-bodied “every-day” red wine for home, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything better, especially at this price. It pairs well with everything from steak to mac ‘n’ cheese to brownies. At Hi-Time Wine Cellars, and Total Wine, Wine Exchange, for about $10.

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