Horse – Heaven – Hills
Columbia Crest Winery
Les Chevaux Red Wine
Washington state’s famed Horse Heaven Hills, named for the wild horses that once roamed this area, have been home to the Columbia Crest Winery for over two decades. The winemaker blends innovation and tradition to capture this unique basalt and bedrock terrior, creating wines that highlight the intensity of these grapes. Les Chevaux (French for “wild horses”) is a special blend of varietals from the Horse Heaven Hills AVA and personifies the legacy of the wild horses that once roamed this fabled area.
Les Chevaux, (French for “the horses”) is named for the wild horses that once roamed the Horse Heaven Hills. This lively red blend presents aromas and flavors of dark fruit and currant, followed by smooth tannins that lead in to a vibrant finish.
WINE SPECTATOR – 88 Points – 2011 Vintage
75% Syrah, 25% Merlot
A combination of weather conditions led to one of the more challenging vintages in Washington state’s history.
A freeze in November 2010 affected vineyards throughout the Columbia Valley, through many sites were not harmed. Additionally, the diversity of Columbia Crest’s vineyard sources balanced vintage variances.
Cool temperatures prevailed during the springtime which delayed bud break and bloom by three to four weeks. Consistently warm summer temperatures lengthened the ripening period. Many sites began harvest three weeks later than a typical year.
October was warm and dry, allowing the grapes to hang a bit longer, creating depth without sugar accumulation.
At first I felt this to be a *** rating. However, as I sipped and pondered, the bittersweet essence of an earthy dark chocolate grew on me. The anticipation of a soft and sweet delicate wine diminished and I grew to enjoy the earthy bitter pleasantness, hanging on a balance of dark, dark fruit.