TN: Columbia Crest Estate Series 1996 - This was one of those highly rated cheapies of a few years ago that I bought just because it was highly rated and because I liked Cab at the time. I think that was the last year they made Estate Series, moving to the lesser priced and lesser quality Grand Estates the following year or two. I drank most of it within the first few years, thought it nice but not all that interesting, and ended up with two bottles tucked away with some orphan '97 cabs I discovered while reorganizing.
Very pure cab blackberry/cassis flavor, leaning to the blackberry side - and lots of it, but really nothing else. The aroma volume is about 6 on a 10 point scale, and really quite simple, but enjoyable if you like cab. A little short on acid, tannins fully resolved, still lots of fruit left, very sweet on the finish and not raiseney at all. Very nice, but not in the same class as many Europeon wines in that $16 price range. One left, which I have no urgency to consume, and might as well see how this one holds for another five.