Friday, May 27, 2016

Crowd In For Some Cabernet

Columbia Crest dubs this wine "The first ever crowdsourced wine from vine to bottle." It was produced by folks who logged on to the website and told them how to make it. They set aside five acres of their Washington grapes in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA and let the people who are going to drink it make it.

The website extols that the instructions were pretty simple. Complexity is a must, and soft tannins. Some oak was ordered, but only 30% new oak. Oh, and harvest the grapes at night while it’s cool, will ya? We also like about 14.5% abv, if you’ve got it. I’m sure there may have been some other grapes in the blend, too. I’d guess Cabernet Franc for starters.

The 2014 vintage is being released this month on their website, and voting is about to end on what the 2015 should taste like. It’s a novel idea, if a little precocious and marketing-minded. Just like with Elvis fans, though, if you get enough wine lovers involved, they can’t be wrong.

Columbia Crest Crowdsourced Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, 2014

We sometimes hear that too many cooks spoil the soup. In this case, we have a lot of cooks throwing their two cents into the pot and coming up with a winner. This crowdsourced Cab is quite dark in color and lovely to smell. It shows dark berries and dark spice, with just a hint of pencil lead. The flavors are bold and follow along the lines of the nose. Tannic structure is great and acidity superb. It’s a big, purple bruiser, and there’s no steak that’s going to push it around.