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2008 Columbia Grand Estates Chardonnay

February 4, 2011 - Norman Bentley

Columbia Crest Winery, owned by Chateau Ste. Michelle in Washington State, has been making good wine at a good price for more than twenty five years now. Their 2008 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Chardonnay is no exception. We have been enjoying this Columbia Valley Chardonnay for many years now, and the last four or five vintages have had scores from the high eighties to the low nineties each year. That is consistency, with a wine priced in the ten dollar range, which the winery should be very proud of.

The other night we opened a bottle of the 2008 CC Grand Estates Chardonnay to pair with a meal of broiled flounder. It was a good match! The wine has a lot of complexity for a ten dollar bottle of wine. It starts with big fruit flavors of green apples and pears, with a nice creamy feel, and proceeds into mild vanilla and oak. The finish is clean and crisp with a slight lemon zest flair, and enough acidity to produce a complex and lingering finish. Make no mistake though, the wine while sturdy, did not over power the mild flavor of the flounder.

I can tell you that it is difficult to find a Chardonnay with big fruit, a creamy texture, and a mild oak finish for under fifteen dollars, but this certainly is one! The wine would be great with almost any fish or fowl dish, other than something which is very spicy or buttery. For those type dishes, I like just a touch more oak and acidity, but try this one with either grilled salmon, or grouper. Norm's score is an 88.

Price - $10 - $14

Score - 88



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