Cost: Average price $13
Where buy now: Stinson Wine & Spirits
Grapes: 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot & 12% Syrah
Region: Columbia Valley, Washington
Hedges Family Estate, out of Washington State, is run by Washington born and raised Tom Hedges, and his French wife, Anne Marie. They both cut their teeth working for large vinyards in the 70s. In the 80s, they created their own wine exporting company and their owncalled Hedges Cellars. An opportunity arose 3 hours East of Seattle in an up and coming wine region called Red Mountain. Volia! From the get-go, the Hedges Family Estate began making wine in a biodynamic way, very much working symbiotically with the terroir. While this may sound trendy or cliche these days, it was not the norm 25-30 years ago.
The marriage of American and French styles really emerges through their wine: New World but in an Old World way. Let’s chat about this C.M.S. which stands for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah (though I like to think it’s something like “Coat My Stomach”, “Crush Me, Studmuffin”, or “Caress My Slippery-stuffs”). The blend is nothing less than superlative.
Deep ruby juice fills your glass and aromas of black cherry, raspberry and toasty cocoa waft up your nose. It drinks like a New World wine, fruit forward with hints of toasted vanilla and chocolate. An “any occasion” wine, it’s medium bodied and pleasingly smooth with balanced tannins and acidity. Not too sweet, not too dry, with a decent little finish on it. I served it to guests and everyone liked it the best of all the wines we tried that evening. I’ve also been impressed by their Bacchus Merlot and their unoaked HIP Chardonnay (drinks more like a French Chablis, my fave American unoaked Chard to date!). You easily can spot their wines by their fetching labels featuring uniquely modern, yet baroque fonts.
Open this bottle day or night, weeknight or weekend. Sit back and enjoy a beautifully balanced estate made glass of wine. You’ll be impressed. I know I found a new staple- especially for the price!