Tuesday, August 27, 2013

That's a Steal: Hedges CMS

1 comment

It's a notion that is subjective both in it's definition and it's connotation.

If you were to crack open a dictionary, you'd likely find the concept of worth, utility, and importance synonymous with value.

To me, it's about opportunity cost...what do I have to give up in order to receive the benefit of a particular object or experience. In the most tangible sense, that's money.

You weren't expecting us to get all academic on you, were you?

When it comes to my wine purchases, value takes shape in a number of ways. No, it's not just whatever is cheap, although cost is a factor. I find value in wines that should cost more than they do based on their quality. I find value in wines that are at a price point that is suitable for everyday drinking, but who's quality meets my snobby standards.

Inexpensive, but good.

Over the next couple of weeks, each of our writers will be exploring a value wine that is a staple in their cellar. While each of us has a different threshold of value, we're shooting for under $15 per bottle. The kind of wine that we use to introduce new wine drinkers to the Pacific Northwest and California, at a price that's appealing. So, here we go - the "That's a Steal" series.

I have a mental list of about dozen wines that are in that south of $15 range that are nice representations of the terrior, so for this journey, I wanted to do one better. Less than $10, tax not included.

What I settled on was a wine that is always rock solid, represents Washington well, broadly distributed, and is just about always on sale in the $10 range: 2010 Hedges CMS.

On sale at Safeway for a sticker price $9.98 today, it just met my criteria.

Oh, you need a Safeway Club Card for that price, but doesn't everyone have one of those already?

Hedges CMS

Located on a gorgeous estate on Red Mountain, Hedges Family Estate puts some fantastic Red Mountain AVA wine. They also have a line focusing on the Columbia Valley AVA, which is where you find the CMS.

According to Hedges:
CMS Red, Washington State's original blended red wine, has been produced and bottled by the estate since 1987. Consistently recognized as one of the best values in Washington State, CMS Red combines elegance and historic blending practices with top quality vineyard sources in the Columbia Valley. A style consistent with classic northern latitude wine growing, the CMS Red is known for a more Columbia Valley AVA regionally driven style, giving way to purity and structure over modernity
A blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 12% Syrah, the CMS had a 65,555 case production in 2010 and was estate produced from Columbia Valley fruit. Don't let the price fool you, the fruit comes from some of the best vineyards in the valley including Destiny Ridge, Sagemoor, Goose Ridge, and Hedges. A blend gives the winemaker the opportunity to be a bit creative, and do it at a palatable price. You'll find some of the best values out there in the blends.

Upon cracking the CMS open, I noticed a gorgeous, dark purple color. Sure, I'd enjoyed the wine many times before...but this was the first time I actually studied the look. While relatively a small percentage, the CMS took it's lead from the Syrah camp with little translucency.

The nose is gorgeous; fruit forward, strong black cherry, and classic Washington notes. I got some cranberry and currant out of it, noting that it was a very inviting smell just out of the bottle.

The first sip yields a very nice smooth mouthfeel. I was hit with a lingering punch of acid at the end, moderate tannins, and a strong cranberry and dark berry flavor. It was delicious and I found myself continuting to sip throughout the evening.

Extremely drinkable, and you won't feel bad (in the pocketbook that is) if you drink the whole bottle.

We hope you enjoy "That's a Steal", and perhaps find a few more value wines to add to your cellar!


1 comment:

  1. This was actually the first WA wine I tried at the Old Post Office Wine Bar in Pullman. Value and nostalgia, can't ask for much more than that!