Appellation: Horse Heaven Hills
Two years after it earned acclaim from the world’s most influential wine publication, the Columbia Crest 2016 H3 Cabernet Sauvignon recently finished atop the 2020 Washington State Wine Competition as the best of show. There were 6 million bottles produced, making it possible for many to judge for themselves. It earned a spot on Wine Spectator’s 100 Top Values list in the Dec. 31, 2018 issue. Katie Nelson, senior director of winemaking for Columbia Crest and H3 Wines, credits Horse Heaven Hills growers Cal Mercer of Austin Sharp Vineyards, Mike and Jeff Andrews of Coyote Canyon Vineyards, Rob Andrews of McKinley Springs Vineyards and Rob Mercer of Mercer Vineyards for the grapes that contributed to this bottling, which includes a boost of Merlot (14%) for added structure. Expect an abundance of pleasing dark purple fruit akin to blackcurrant, Bing cherry and Marionberry with secondary notes of light toast, sage and green olive. Chocolaty tannins and cherry juice acidity make for an expertly crafted, balanced and approachable Cab. Earlier this summer, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates rolled out a new look for H3 Wines — making it a separate brand — and the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon recently made its way into the market.
Rated “Outstanding!” by Great Northwest Wine (14.5% alc.)
Cases produced: 500,000
Food pairings: Suggestions include Pasta Bolognese, braised lamb shank, beef pot roast and strongly flavored cheese.
There is no public tasting room for this sister brand of Columbia Crest Winery in Paterson, Wash.
Great Northwest Wine