Getting back in touch with a Washington State’s Cabernet Sauvignon was pure Heaven… Horse Heaven Hills, to be exact.
This wine was/is a Crowdsourced™ project… Trademarked and saying so right on the label.
Columbia Crest Winery, in Paterson, Washington, was founded in 1983. Overlooking the Columbia River, it’s grown from its humble roots to be one of the most significant wineries in Washington State. Both Washington State and the Columbia Valley have a perfect grape-growing climate for Vitis vinifera wine grape growing. Great soils and vineyard locations allow Columbia Crest to create true-to-character, high-quality wines that best represent the region’s unique terroir.
I’ve spent some time in Washington State and am very impressed with their wine programs and the state’s terroir.
So, the sample arrived and I opened it. I tasted it and knew that José was going to love it… I know his palate pretty well. So, I shared it and watched it disappear.
We both agreed, the 2014 Columbia Crest Crowdsourced Cabernet is a very special wine, in so many ways. Once the bottle was emptied and recycled, Jose was still talking about the wine… More than the finish lingers… The aromas are distinctive and ambrosial, the flavors are mouthwatering, and the finis? It long lingers…
This experiment was well worth the time it took to get consumer input. And, it’s well worth your time; you’ll grasp the collective consciousness of Washington State’s Cabernets, through consumer efforts. Fun!
[PHOTO: Borrowed from the Columbia Crest Winery’s Website]
2014 Columbia Crest Crowdsourced Cabernet Sauvignon construction
First Wine Crowdsourced from Vine to Table Releases to the Public
Columbia Crest’s 2014 Crowdsourced™ Cabernet is now available for purchase.
The first wine to be crowdsourced all the way from the vineyard to the bottle, in this unique project, Columbia Crest invited the public to vote on key winemaking decisions that impacted the creation of the wine. The result is a wine that’s truly the product of the crowd.
In June 2014, Columbia Crest began their journey to become the first winery to crowd-source a wine from vineyard to table, through a unique interactive online experience on CrowdsourcedCabernet.com. “Everything from bud break, harvest, fermentation, the final blend, and even the label was put in the hands of the online community for an educational, fun and trailblazing adventure in winemaking.”
Columbia Crest Press Release
Over the last two years, the Crowdsourced Cabernet process empowered fans and wine enthusiasts to make decisions throughout every step of creating the wine and through their participation gain a deeper understanding and connection to the craft and skill of winemaking. Columbia Crest’s head winemaker, Juan Muñoz-Oca, played an integral role in the program by educating and guiding the crowd along the way, from how much water to apply to the vines, to how the temperature outside impacts harvest, to how different varietals shape the aromas and flavors in the blending process.
In a near perfect harvest, the crowd chose to harvest at night, create a wine with a lot of complexity yet soft tannins and age it 16 months in 30% new oak barrels. The result is a beautifully integrated and layered Cabernet Sauvignon from the Horse Heaven Hills. The 2014 Crowdsourced Cabernet Sauvignon has a delicate nose of tobacco, dried herbs, bright cherries and anise. On the palate, the wine develops warm blueberry pie flavors and a silky texture with dark chocolate and toffee undertones. It finishes with a bright, elegant and refined texture.
“The 2014 Crowdsourced Cabernet is definitively a Columbia Crest wine, yet a new take on our terroir based on the crowd’s decisions. To me, it’s a balance of ‘old world’ sensitivities with ‘new world’ fruit,” said Muñoz-Oca. “We loved the whole process and getting a chance to interact with and educate our fans over the past two years. I’m immensely proud of our virtual winemakers’ final product and I am excited for the rest of the world to taste our one-of-a-kind wine.”
Approximately 1,000 cases of the 2014 Crowdsourced Cabernet are now available for purchase in the U.S., exclusively online at ColumbiaCrest.com/shop and in the Columbia Crest tasting room in Paterson, Washington, and retails for $30 per bottle.
It’s not over! The 2015 vintage of Crowdsourced Cabernet still has decisions left to be made. To place a vote and impact the next vintage, visit CrowdsourcedCabernet.com.