Budget Wine Review: Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2014

columbia crest cab sauvWe have a winner in our budget Cabernet competition. The Columbia Crest was the best of this bunch but only narrowly beating out Mondavi. The results were:

1. Columbia Crest  88

2. Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2014  87

3. Rex Goliath Cabernet Sauvignon NV  83

4. Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon NV 82

Columbia Crest is a Cab for Cab lovers. The others were bright and fruity; only the Columbia Crest approached the dark, almost angry aspect we expect from Cabernet. Fans of the “dark” and “black” wines now flooding the market will enjoy this Cabernet without all the cheesy marketing.

Aromatic with ripe, dark and red fruit, chocolate and caramel hints that promise some intensity if not complexity. In the mouth it’s very juicy but dry with persistent creaminess that carries all the way through the modest finish. The dark toast notes were a bit over the top with some bitterness in the oak register, also apparent on the finish. Medium weight with low acidity, it offers just enough tannic support to remind you this is Cabernet. There is quite a bit of the barrel showing which is what gives it the dark mood but it gets distracting.

Some critics are scoring this in the low 90’s. It’s not that impressive but for the price this is a solid wine.

80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. The wine spends 12 months in 65% older and 35% new oak barrels, both French and American.

It should be noted that the top 2 scorers in this face off were the most expensive wines, double the cost of the Barefoot. In this case you get what you pay for.

Score: 88

Price: $10

Alc: 13.5%

Something smooth, middle-of-the-road and utterly paranoia-inducing creepy evokes the duality of this wine

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