TN: 2005 Columbia Crest Reserve Cabernet - Wine of the Year

2009 Wine Spectator Wine of the Year.

This wine is horrid. I bought a six-pack on release, didn’t like it much then, but held on to a couple to see where they would go. Down the drain is where it went. I had half of a glass. Pungent vanilla and spoiled black olives on the noise. Porty dark fruits, black licorice, and dark candy. Medicinal, cough syrup. Tannins have melted, structure has evaporated and acid is low.

A very poorly made wine.

How many points, though?

'65, for my birth year


Don’t hold back, what did you really feel? Sounds like a must miss wine experience.

I tried it when it was announced as the WOTY and my thoughts were: Initial burst of OAK, OAK on the mid palate and OAK on the finish. TERRIBLE. The WS editors should be ashamed of themselves for this selection.


How dare you disagree with the accolades. Go drink some of your acidic, shrill Chinon. Whatever.

Those wines were always oaky but the oak kind of integrated over time. However, I think they got increasingly “plush” and ready for immediate consumption rather than aging. Not sure exactly when that happened but I did notice that the 2000 and 2001 weren’t holding up into 2010, so I’m thinking that something happened when they changed the bottle shape? Maybe around 1998 or so? No idea actually and I’d like to talk to them about it some day.

I think the reason the WS folks made it WOTY is because it was widely available and good at the time. Sad to see that it hasn’t aged well but honestly, hasn’t that happened with a lot of wines, e.g. many 1997 Napa Cabs?

So I guess the lesson here is to buy whatever the current vintage is and don’t hold it for too long.

Read like my tasting notes for those awful Australian Syrah! Now I use these wines for seasoning meats, quite tasty I would say.

Ha! It’s my wine of this year now.

Sell it on winebid… Just before 10/4

That seems to be the theme. I threw some “Top 10’s” in an all pinot blind tasting earlier this year with similar results. They gave new meaning to “hot mess” and were undrinkable.

Having recently had some outstanding late 90s Aussie Shiraz, perhaps the Columbia Crest will do well in 8 years or so. I never liked Supermarket wines so I own no Columbia Crest, but let us know in a few years if it blossoms. [cheers.gif]

Are used to enjoy Columbia Crest Wines – both in the Grand Estates and Reserves – the GE Merlot and Syrah used to be great values. But they’ve all gotten more oak driven.

In any case, even back before they doubled down on wood, we did a handful of side-by-sides, and the GE beat the Reserve each time.