This is a bigger and riper bottle all around than any other Columbia Crest Chardonnays. You get more power—big tropical fruit flavors and even more of the buttered popcorn character than defines the entire lineup—but the tradeoff is that there is less detail, more alcohol, and an over-riding simplicity that risks becoming boring. Grab the H3 if you want complexity; this bottle is for those who want the power.
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.