Tasted right after bottling, this new release from the high-profile Ste. Michelle/Antinori Red Mountain project may be the finest Col Solare to date. The blend is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and a splash each of Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot. Half is Horse Heaven Hills fruit, one quarter Cold Creek and one quarter Wahluke Slope. This is a chewy, muscular wine, dense with plummy fruit, and layered with flavors of earth, soy and black tea. There is a hint of baked, pruney flavor that is restrained enough to add interest rather than detract.
Paul Gregutt is a Contributing Editor for Wine Enthusiast magazine, a founding member of the magazine’s Tasting Panel, and reviews the wines of Oregon and Canada. The author of the critically-acclaimed Washington Wines & Wineries—The Essential Guide, he consulted on the Pacific Northwest entries in current versions of The World Atlas of Wine and The Oxford Companion to Wine.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.