A few weeks ago, I was in Eastern Washington visiting my friend Rick. Over the last year I have been slowly infiltrating his beverage palate with the deliciousness of wine. You see, Rick runs an internationally-renowned beer blog, and has taught me many new and exciting things about the world of craft brew. I thought it only fair to share the wealth and teach him a thing or two about wine.
Knowing that we both have a soft spot in our hearts for red bordeaux blends and that there was some good news to celebrate, I had brought a 2003 Columbia Crest Walter Clore Private Reserve to crack open. Well, upon opening it up the cork disintegrated. When I say disintegrated, I mean took me 20 minutes to open and the cork ended up in a pile of dust on the counter. I was mortified. Upon drinking the wine was flat and demonstrated some cork taint. I had been talking up this wine and was very disappointed that it didn't hit the mark. I know it's a good wine, I just had a bad bottle.
So, the next night, Rick pulled out a bottle of Basalt Cellars 2004 Rim Rock Red that he had purchased not knowing much about it except it was from Clarkston, WA and was a Cabernet Sauvignon heavy blend that included Merlot, Cab Franc, and Syrah. It was delicious, and in fact had medaled at the 2007 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Using Columbia Valley fruit, it offers a nose of coffee, oak, and fruit which carries into blackberries, cherries, and some earthiness on the palate. It was great as a standalone wine, but I'd suspect it would be amazing with a big old steak from the BBQ. It ended up being a much better wine experience for us at half the price.
Rick calls himself an idiot savant in the world of wine because he always picks out great wines without knowing it. I think he is holding back and knows more about wine than he lets on. Regardless, grab a bottle of Basalt Cellars and if you are in the Clarkston area, perhaps visit the tasting room. I'd like to.