The Only Wine You Need This Labor Day

2013 Columbia Crest Gold Limited Release (70% cab franc/30% merlot) $10
If you are one of the few long time readers of this site, you probably remember repeated mentions of the 2008 Columbia Crest Amitage red blend - the $8 powerhouse of a wine that seduced with its terrific structure and beckoned many happy returns thanks to its affordable price.  At seven years old, it's just hitting its stride. Even though I scooped up two cases of that bottling, there's only one bottle left in the cellar (a testament to my enthusiasm - and lack of patience). 

As has been remarked on these pages before, I would gladly pay double and then some for another bottle of that stuff. Thankfully, today's discovery makes that unnecessary. 

Much like the 2008 Amitage, this wine suffers from terribly unfortunate packaging. Now common across all labels in the Columbia Crest family, this particularly egregious label-fashion faux pas does anything but encourage customers.  Seriously, who is coming up with these color schemes?

To the degree that the silly packaging is deterring others, I thank those ham-fisted designers for helping shelve what would otherwise be snatched up in short order. 

On opening, it is taut and robust enough to stand up to heavily sauce led barbecue food thanks to real tannic backbone. But as it unwinds, the layers unfold and, given enough time, in the same way that an old, pilled, wool sweater provides comfort and softness, this does, too. Lush, rich, and perhaps a little simple for highbrow tastes, it is awfully easy to cozy up to.

Now it is your turn. But do not hesitate. The $10, this Cabernet Franc-based wine is a treat that will cut through  almost any preference profile.  Enjoy and have a safe holiday weekend!