2011 Columbia Valley Red Blend

At a glance:

Country: USA
Region: Wahluke Slope (Columbia Valley, WA)
Grape(s):Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc (45/38/17)
Year: 2011
Maker: Desert Wind

Price: $20

It has been a while since I wrote anything about wine. The drinking of it hasn’t stopped, although in truth I also haven’t had anything in the last few months that really compelled me to write about it (save for a really good riesling from Alsace that I had a restaurant and wasn’t interested in taking notes on). Anyways, it has been a while, so time to get back to it.
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The wine, a blend from the Columbia Valley in Washington, is deep purpley red, and the first whiff was a rush of dark fruit, sage and oregano with some nutmeg sprinkled in. The taste probably had some of those flavors as well, but the most immediate sensation was the sudden warmth that comes with the salivary glands rushing into overdrive followed by the intense, mouth-puckering tannic dryness. Past that there is a little bit more, some of the same notes from the nose along with a backdrop of smoked wood and a hint of pear flavor. That said, the tannins are so front and center it can be kind of hard to taste a lot else.
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I should talk about what I drank this with, but the truth is I was just drinking – my glass sat on a side table as I read a little bit (okay fine I was watching football on twitter, but same idea). Still, I’m not above plugging in the meal I had earlier, which probably inspired some of my flavor notes (I’m suggestible – totally guilty) a butternut squash gnocchi with sage and nutmeg (but I really do think those flavors do both pop up here).

gnocchi
It was the first good meal I have cooked in a little bit, so maybe that’s part of it too – writing about the wine is probably just an excuse to post a picture of my dinner. But I think the other part of it was that when I don’t write about wine, I don’t really remember it. And however tedious the prose may be, it does seem to lock these wines in for me, makes me think a little bit more about them. So for this one, no sweeping declaration of greatness; like most of the wines I have had it was good but not amazing, a reasonable value and one I would be happy to have again.  And now on to the next one, always on the lookout for a special bottle.

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2011 Columbia Valley Red Blend

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