Value Alert: 2005 Columbia Crest Reserve Cab

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Update (November 17th, 2009): This wine was named Wine Spectator's Wine of The Year, so expect demand to spike on this wine as a result. I haven't seen it available at retailers in some time. It was hard to come by ever since it was rated 95 points and cost only $27. I'd love it if you subscribed to the site via E-mail to hear about great wines like this before they sell out.

As is being discussed in this thread on the Wine Spectator Forums, the 2005 Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley Reserve received 95 points from Harvey Steiman (who does their Washington, Oregon and Australia ratings). From

"Ripe in flavor, with a vivid array of black currant, blackberry, violet, black tea and black pepper aromas and flavors that zoom through to a long, expressive finish. Shows subtlety in the layers of complex flavor against a refined structure. Tannins are present but nicely contained."

At a release price of $27, and discounts likely available given the production level of 6,000 cases, expect to see this one available at Costco or perhaps Trader Joe's (I swear I've seen it there in the past) for somewhere around $20. 95 points for $20 sets off alarms here at the Wellesley Wine Press, so I'm looking very forward to getting my hands on some of this.

I should mention that one of the wines that made me really start paying attention to Spectator ratings was also from Columbia Crest and also rated by Harvey Steiman: The 2003 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot. It was the first wine I tasted and said "Hey, maybe these guys at Wine Spectator know what they're talking about!" I gave that wine 92 points in my Corkd review and I've got just a couple of bottles left from the case I purchased. I'll be sorry to see the last of that go, but since each point north of 90 is exponentially more difficult to attain, I've got really high hopes for this 2005 Reserve Cab.

If you like this quality-price ratio, you might also be interested in this 96-point $29 Sauvignon Blanc.

Do you like hearing about wines of extraordinary value like this one? If so, consider subscribing to The Wellesley Wine Press via E-mail or in a feed reader. We talk about wines like this year 'round giving you a chance to buy them before they sell out.

Question of the Day: Have you seen this wine in store yet? If so, share the wealth and let us know where! I'd love to see the same kind of listing we came up with for the 2006 Villa Pillo Toscana Borgoforte.


Anonymous said...

2005 CC Reserve Cab...West Plano TX Costco got 8 cases today and sold out in 4 hours. $19.95

Bob said...

Wow- this is a hot one indeed. Thanks for mentioning this! Please do follow-up and let us know what you think of it when you get a chance to taste some.

Jay said...

I know it doesn't do a whole lot of good for you, seeing as you're in Boston and all, but the QFC in Wallingford (Seattle) still has about a case. It's going for $27. We had this on Christmas day and it is drinking very nicely. I haven't posted on it yet, but I will soon.

Bob said...

Hi Jay,

Thanks a lot for your comment letting us know that you were able to track this one down. Living in WA you've got all kinds of great wines at your doorstep!

This wine is surely a hot one and I wouldn't be surprised if someone benefits from your tip that it's available in the Seattle area. Hope to see you back here again in the future.


Anonymous said...

Its available online at

Bob said...

Thanks for that anonymous tip! I confirm that shoppers wines lists this wine for sale @ $27.95:

They are located in Union, NJ and they have an e-commerce site. More information on the states they ship to can be found here:

Anonymous said...

Saw it today at Bjs in Danvers at $19.99 they had 5 cases left after I bought 2

Robert Dwyer said...

Wow- that's a great price. Thanks so much for the tip. I'm going to crack open a bottle tonight to decide whether to make a trip to Danvers this weekend!

Robert Dwyer said...

I just visited the Danvers, MA BJ's and they still had this wine in stock- although it was $23.99. I cracked open a bottle last night and I'd rate it 92 points. It was good, but I couldn't see my way to 95. Still, $23.99 for a 92 point Cab is pretty darn good.

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