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ClarkDGigHbr

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A friend needs guidance on some old Columbia Winery cabs

by ClarkDGigHbr » Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:42 am

A friend of mine has a 6-year vertical (1984-1989) of Columbia Winery Red Willow Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Yakima Valley). He wants to have a tasting and asked my opinion about how best to serve them. Unfortunately, I do not have any experience with older WA wines like this. My gut feel is these wines are apt to be well beyond peak, with all/most of the fruit aged away.

Does anyone have any recent experience with these wines?

Thanks
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Jenise

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Re: A friend needs guidance on some old Columbia Winery cabs

by Jenise » Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:55 am

Clark, I had an 85 within the last three years. It was quite drinkable as one might hope considering David Lake's European style winemaking, but it hadn't developed a lot of interesting secondary complexity vs. just having gotten old. And who knows if that was a good/representative bottle or not? Not me! I'd say don't expect the earth to move, but do expect an interesting tasting experience, and have a few backup/alternative bottles handy.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Randy Buckner

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Re: A friend needs guidance on some old Columbia Winery cabs

by Randy Buckner » Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:17 am

These wines tend to have an 8-10 year drinking window, then they slowly fade away. It was my pleasure to taste a long vertical of these wines at the winery with David Lake and Mike Sauer (owner of Red Willow). As I find with most New World Cabs, they last, but they do not develop secondary/tertiary characteristics to any degree. Red Willow is consistently their best bottling IMO.
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Clint Hall

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Re: A friend needs guidance on some old Columbia Winery cabs

by Clint Hall » Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:02 am

What Jenise and Bucko said.

Clark, be sure to bring along some backup bottles, but still you might be in for surprises. If I had to bet on a winner it would be the 1989, not because it's the youngest but because that was one of Washington State's best Cabernet (and Merlot) years. I don't recall anything or have anything on hand about 1984, while 1985 was considered just average, 1986 a bummer, 1987 above average, and 1988 average. I pass these opinions along for what they are worth and in hope they may be of interest to you and your fellow tasters, but of course it's what's in the glass that counts. I wish I could join you as I think over the hill tastings are generally a lot of fun.

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