Columbia Crest Vineyard 10 Blends

Columbia Crest's Vineyard 10, a vineyard with mixed red and white grapes planted along the Columbia River, is the largest single estate vineyard in Washington, with some of the very oldest wines. Columbia Crest's Vineyard 10 Two Vines series of wines features varietals as well as a trio of blends; Two Vines White, Two Vines Rosé, and Two Vines Red. These are all fermented in stainless steel fermenters, and the blend is created after

Two Vines Vineyard 10 White wine is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, all from Washington. Colette and John Bancroft of the Palm Beach Post have picked Columbia Crest's 2006 Two Vines Vineyard 10 White Wine as their "wine of the week." They refer to the wine as "a masterful example of blending," and describe it as "A delectable, very fruit forward blend" Wine Spectator called it a "Best Value" at 88 points. They've done an admirable job of creating a blend here; it really really works. You do notice the Chardonnay, but it's magically transformed by the other wines; I'm not a Chardonnay fan, at all, (living in Southern California can ruin Chardonnay for you), but I very much like this blend; the other wines enhance each other, and create something greater than their parts. This is definitely a "can't go wrong" summer wine.

Two Vines Vineyard 10 Rosé is a blend that's almost completely Syrah, with a small amount of Viognier. According to the Columbia Crest Web site puts it, "Select Syrah fruit was de-stemmed and crushed into refrigerated tanks for a 24-hour cold soak to extract the desired color. To minimize phenolic pick-up, the juice was then drained away from the skins into temperature controlled stainless steel fermenters." In other words, the grapes were selected, and crushed with the skins in order to achieve the "rosé" color. Then to avoid the grape skins making the wine bitter, the juice was drained and put into stainless steel tanks for fermentation. After, "To enhance the fresh fruit aromatics, a small amount of stainless steel fermented Viognier" was added, largely as a way of enhancing the wine's aroma. I like this wine, very much—having said that, the last bottle we purchased was disappointing; I'm not sure what was wrong, but it wasn't the same wine, even though it was exactly the same year as the others I've enjoyed. When it's good, it's a lovely light summer wine, perfect for sipping, and wonderful with summer salads.

Two Vines Vineyard 10 Red is a blend of Syrah, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Barbera, Mouvedre, Dolcetto varietals. Some of the wines used in the final blend were aged 12 - 14 months in French and American oak barrels. This is a fabulous basic red table wine, wonderful with food, but surprisingly good on its own. It's another "can't go wrong" table wine, and I do think that the blend is rather amazing. I had someone who doesn't like red wines, ever at all, try this and ask for a second glass. It does seem to change a bit in terms of the food it's served with—almost as if different foods bring other enhance the wine's own flavors.

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