Wine Review: Columbia Crest 2006 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley

Columbia Crest 2006 Reserve Cabernet


Price: $22.99

Where from?:  100% Columbia Valley, Washington State

Blend: 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc

Alcohol: 14.7%

I am a huge fan of the 2005 version of this wine.  The 2006 is nothing like that.  Not that it’s bad, it’s just not a 95 pointer.  I think the 92 points it got from Wine Spectator is maybe a little enthusiastic.  It’s a good Cabernet, no doubt, but…

On the nose:  Nothing special here…Black fruit?  A little bit of oak?  I wanted to be wowed but was not.

On the Palate:  Much better, loads of black fruit.  Not overly fruity.  Mocha.  It’s quite bright, the wine is still young and a bit tight.  I actually decanted for an hour before taking my first sip.  Much much later, after 4 hours in the decanter the wine really started to show itself.  I recommend a minimum of 3 hours in a decanter if anyone wants to consume this wine in the near future.  Otherwise you are going to miss the complexity.  Later on the ripe fruit grabs you and says “Hey! How do you like me now?!”  At that point it goes down smooth, delicious with a solid back bone of tannins ala concentrated pomegranate.

Finish:  The finish is deliciously mouth-watering, but only after a long time in the decanter.

The Next Day:

24 hours later, very nice.  Fruit forward…Black Berry Black currant, simple and smooth finish.  A decent wine, I will buy it again.


  1. Must be nice to evaluate a wine “The Next Day” – we don’t get that luxury in our house.

    I haven’t had the 06 that I’m aware of. Judging by the price and your descriptions, still sounds like a very nice wine – (maybe 90 points).

    Good review, Tim (where’s the video on this one?)


  2. I haven’t sprung for this one… but I have tasted their “lesser” 2006 Cabs, “Grand Estates” and “Horse Heaven Hills”. Grand Estates is budget-basement, less than $10 on Sale; H3 goes for $14.

    WS gave both the same score (89, or maybe 90). But I found the “H3” to be vastly better — more powerful fruit, stronger finish, better nose.

    Tim, if you have tasted both, I was wondering: are you feeling this less impressive vintage of “Reserve” to be worth the money, or should I stay with the lower-budget H3 and get 50% more bottles?

    Or do you have some current, widely available picks in the $15 range which you liked better than “H3” ?

    thanks in advance!

    1. I have not re-purchased the current Reserve, if I found the 2005 I would buy it immediately. As far as recommendations, I would need to know some things:
      Do you like to try new things all the time? Sometimes? Or do you like to stick to what you know?

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