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Columbia Crest Grand Estates Amitage Red Blend

This week has been a long one indeed.  When I finally awoke to Wednesday, it was quite literally a “Thank God, it’s halfway over” kind of mentality. Sad thing is, I don’t work a normal job (not one I have to report to on a daily basis anyway, only when I’m needed); school is still out for the summer, so my days are still my own. As much as they can be anyway, with two kids aged 6 and 4.  We all know who really runs the castle around here ;)

But it’s Wine Wednesday, so that will automatically improve any day.  That, and a new pair of boots.  Done, and Done!

The best part of yesterday was the break in the heat we finally saw here in Spokane (well, best may be an exaggeration; I did have new boots, after all).  Only a high of 87˚? I’ll take it!  Cool enough for a red wine, and I knew exactly what I be bringing up from the cellar: Columbia Crest Grand Estates Amitage.

I wasn’t certain how this wine would do.  I mean, it did receive a Gold medal at this years Seattle Wine Awards (along with my beloved H3 Cabernet Sauvignon, also by Columbia Crest).  However, while I highly enjoy most of the H3 line (so many reviews!), Grand Estates has been hit and miss for me, and this is new.  But this is also the fun in trying a new wine, you just don’t know!  I pulled the cork, and poured myself a glass, allowing it to breathe for a bit as I set up our backyard set to enjoy some dinner and a cool-er evening.  Such a simple act, pulling the cork and pouring the wine, so relaxing.  My brief slice of serenity cut short by a surprise of aromas that came wafting out of the bottle and into my nose: sweet espresso? chocolate?  This must have Merlot in the blend (the bottle doesn’t specify).  Oh! Now I’m excited!  But back to what I was doing….Table and chairs set up, dinner on the table,  a warm breeze blowing through the backyard, and I finally get to settle down with a glass of wine that has been teasing me since I first opened it up.  

Deep ruby/purple in color, Amitage entices your senses with aromas of black cherry and sweet spices.  Taste buds sing as the black cherry meets with blackberries and stone fruits.  A complex wine with leathery undertones, and finally, the espresso.   Soft tannins and a long, silky finish round out this wine.  Columbia Crest knows how to woo a red wine enthusiast.

Need I really write it down?  Columbia Crest Grand Estates 2009 Amitage Red Blend:   ★★★★★  Excellent
The details:  Amitage is 13.5% alcohol content and is blended from 63% Merlot, 33% Syrah, and 4% Cabernet Franc, aged in 25% new French and American oak for 16 months.  This wine is widely available in stores for anywhere from $10-$13 or online at http://www.columbiacrest.com for only $12.  Excellent wine, excellent price.

Have you tried this wine before? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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10 responses to “Columbia Crest Grand Estates Amitage Red Blend

  1. We did a blind tasting for a big birthday/pizza evening. All wines were $12 or under. This wine won, hands down, and is an excellant QPR wine. We bought several cases at a discounted price from a local grocer. It ended up being about $8 a bottle. (and thankfully had many bottles left over for our own enjoyment)

  2. Bartells had this wine on sale this week for $5.99 (reg.11.99) plus their is an $18 rebate on the case. Excited to after reading the reviews. We call this type of wine, mid-week or if our adult children are visiting “maintenance wine”.

    • John – love the term “maintenance wine”. I think I’ll have to remember that. I haven’t seen a Bartells here in Spokane, but we do have Total Wine. I’m often able to grab a few bottles for around $7-$8 each. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. It’s more like $13 here in TN but its well worth it. One of my favorite value wines (which is about all I buy!). Thanks for the review!

  4. Hi! I have a chance to get a deal on this wine, but I have to buy six. I’m gun-shy on red blends since I took the same deal on Cupcake Red Velvet, which I very much disliked and actually gave away (ditto fo Apothic Red). I’m always in search of a good “maintenance wine,” as John said, but I don’t want to stumble into another sweet-up-front, little-acidity-or-finish blend. As I said, gun-shy. Thank you!

    • Amy: DO IT! This is not a sweet red at all. As far as your experiences with the other two… Well, I cringed at the names as I have had them as well. I don’t believe in sweet red wines, personally. They are for dessert only. The Amitage is smooth, and in comparison to Cupcake anyway, very dry (orherwise, not very dry, as a Cabernet often is). But truly a well balanced wine. Let me know what you do! Good luck!

      • Thanks so much for your reply! I agree with your position on red wine and am excited to try the Amitage. Thanks again!

        Amy Campbell Editor to trainee: Operate on the basis that no one ever wants to read anything you write and you have to entice them. Youre the witch, the readers are Hansel and Gretel.

      • Hi! Just wanted to thank you for your response. The Amitage red blend did not disappoint, and I probably wouldn’t have taken a chance on it without your recommendation. Thanks again!

        Amy Campbell @SlapdashGourmet

        Editor to trainee: Operate on the basis that no one ever wants to read anything you write and you have to entice them. Youre the witch, the readers are Hansel and Gretel.

      • I’m so glad it worked out for you! Enjoy another glass for me!

  5. I love wine….and cooking. As I was frying up some latkas, I went to a trio of wines sent by my sister in law. I reached for what I thought was the cab, but grabbed the “Red blend”. My spirit sank somewhat in disappointment. My last dance with a red blend was a mess. So I pulled a wishful glass out of the cabinet, not forgetting to flip those spunky latkas over. I pour the dreaded red fluid into the glass and play drums while the kids play their harmonica and ridged thingamagig. It was beautiful. Back to the glass. With a snubbed attitude I tip it to my mouth catching the aroma. Wait. Could this be a stud of all red blends? It hits my pallet and I pause…then relish the moment. It is full of strength and personality. The latkas seemed to start sizzling excitingly in the pan. I turn those babies over. The blend, oh the blend…it has berries dancing on my tongue and it’s tannins are soft and floating with a polished finish. Superb. Finish that glass of goodness, pull the dinner together and sit back and, ashamed I even gave this bottle a crooked look, pour another glass. Must give my fabulously brilliant sister in law a big hug next time I see her. This wine is a tantalizing surprise. Going to look for cases of this soon!

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