The Challenge

Blog, Wine / Sunday, December 11th, 2016

It happens every year. The holidays come and go and we think about how incredibly fast this past year has gone by. Then resolution talk comes into play and then back out of play, fast forward 10 months and we’re back in the same place. Here’s an idea, a challenge, better yet “The Challenge.”

We are putting you to the ultimate wine test. 28 wines. A blind tasting. Glory and a gift certificate. Now is your chance to develop that palate that you’ve always talked about and stray off your beaten path by trying some new and different wines. Be that wine snob that you despise and have fun while doing it. Now till March 20th, Columbia Wine Co. will lead you through intense, full-bodied reds to delightfully aromatic whites. Stop by for more details and to start 2017 off on the right bottle.

The Challenge Tasting Notes

Alpha Zeta Soave
A pale lemon colored wine, with clean, bright aromas of almond blossom. With fresh acidity, the palate is ripe and concentrated, full of apple and pear flavors. The finish is lively and crisp.

Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc
Pale straw with green highlights in color with an aroma of lemongrass, lime peel and elderflower, with background notes of white currant and red pepper. Medium-bodied with white peach, gooseberry and citrus flavors, and a dry mineral finish.

Black Stallion Winery Chardonnay
A lovely nose of green apple, lemon zest and vanilla is followed by flavors of citrus, brown butter, pear and flint. The Chardonnay is soft and round on the palate with bright fruit and creamy notes that lead into a long, elegant finish.

Bobal En Calma
Bright, cherry red hue with violet tints. Intense aromas of ripe red seasonal fruit (cherries, blackberries, black currants) wrapped in notes of vanilla, against a toasted and spicy backdrop. The wine is deep, fresh and fruity on the palate, with soft and ripe tannin.

Bogle Chardonnay
Chardonnay grapes grown in Clarksburg are known for their characteristic apple and pear aromas and flavors. Bogle winemakers have captured these refreshing and ripe notes while allowing them to develop and intensify through stainless steel fermentation. Additional grapes are vinted using the techniques of barrel fermentation, sur-lies aging and partial malolactic fermentation, which creates an elegant counterpart to the fresh fruit with tones of spicy vanilla and nutmeg. The creamy mouthfeel adds just the final touch on the finish, reminiscent of an apple and pear galette.

Bousquet Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
This is an intense reddish purple wine with aromas of blackcurrant, and tobacco. In mouth it presents berries and spices, toasty and mineral notes. The end is long with fine tannins and hints of mocha. This wine has a very elegant style with a good intensity and a nice finish.

Broadside Wild Ferment Chardonnay
The 2015 Wild Ferment Chardonnay highlights a beautiful vintage with generous aromatics of white pineapple, minerals, pear and green plum. The vibrantly flavorful palate hints of the same,
with pineapple, papaya, and stony minerality. Finishes with fresh, mouthwatering acidity.

Cavallotto Barbera
Excellent structure with typical atoms and flavors of Barbera grown in the Barolo zone: red fruits, red flowers, open and intense. excellent aging potential.

Château Thomas Laurent Bordeaux
It certainly elevated quality right across the board. For a relatively ‘humble’ Bordeaux AOC, Château Thomas Laurent has everything – ripe berry flavors, supple tannins and harmonious, liquorice complexity.

CrossBarn Pinot Noir
Pomegranate violet in color with an aroma of wild red raspberries, strawberries and pomegranate, fresh herbs thyme/sage, forest floor and hibiscus tea. Fresh and juicy, red cherries, raspberries, with a coolness of rhubarb, black tea spice.

Divum Pinot Noir
Aromas of violets and lavender are followed by raspberry and plum fruit and complemented with just enough new oak aging to balance fruit and wood. The wine shows varietal cherry and brown spice with a light complexity and the lingering finish that only Pinot Noir provides.

Donnhoff Estate Riesling
A dry Riesling wine, very typical of our wine estate. Wonderfully fresh and well defined, elegant with a tingling minerality. A delicious wine for every day with moderate alcohol and very soothing acidity.

Envyfol Merlot
Ripe nose, strawberry aromas, beautiful roundness and soft tannins in mouth, toasty notes in the finish.

Freemark Abbey Chardonnay
Light greenish straw in color, our Napa Valley Chardonnay expresses fruit aromas of pear, apple, white peach, ripe banana, kiwi and lemon-lime. Oak aging adds to the complexity by adding spice flavors like nutmeg and toasty aromatic cedar. This Napa Valley Chardonnay has great viscosity, depth and an intriguing long finish evocative of angel food cake and marshmallow. Pear, citrus, green apple and peach flavors are lively on the palate.

Hollis Cabernet Sauvignon
Ripe fruit gives way to complex aromas of baked dark berry pie. Hints of vanilla, spice and smoke fill the glass. Cassis, black cherry and tobacco offers mild tannins with notes of chocolate and coconut husk with a very long, lingering finish. A plush, velvety finish support integrated aroma of toasted French oak.

Huarpe Malbec
The 2004 Lancatay is ruby colored with a sweet berry/cherry nose and floral notes. On the palate, it exhibits rich lush mouth-feel, soft tannins and an off-dry finish.

Indaba Sauvignon Blanc
A crowd pleaser, this easy drinking Sauvignon Blanc displays appealing citrus and tropical fruit aromas that lead to a fresh, invigorating palate of pineapple, lemon-lime, mango and green fig. Backed by a solid acidity, herbal undertones shine through on the mineral-tinged finish.

Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc
The Joel Gott California Sauvignon Blanc has aromas of papaya, grapefruit, pineapple and guava with softer notes of lemongrass and citrus. On the palate, the wine opens with bright, tropical flavors, followed by crisp, refreshing acidity and a long, clean, balanced finish.

Joel Gott Zinfandel
The California Zinfandel has aromas of cherry cola and raspberry with hints of white pepper and vanilla oak. On the palate, bright red fruit flavors and acidity are followed by a juicy mid-palate and a soft, round mouth-feel and a long finish.

M. Chapoutier Luberon La Ciboise Blanc
Pale, with green and yellow tints in color with aromas of white blossom, lemons and exotic fruits. Good balance between the freshness and roundness, with a great length.

Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier
The newest release of our intriguing blend delights the nose with a charming bouquet of enticing aromas of fresh Meyer lemon, fuzzy peach, ripe honeydew melon and yellow plum, mingled with touches of citrus blossom and white tea. The clean, vibrant palate enters with juicy pomelo, sweet lychee and honeyed tangerine fruits, balanced by vibrant acidity and hints of yellow apple and key lime pie that last through the crisp and refreshing finish.

Ravage Cabernet Sauvignon
Our flavors are dark, rich, and audacious. Dark berries layered with luscious vanilla and mocha to round out the palate. The tannins are soft enough to add balance, while giving structure and depth.

Ravines Dry Riesling
Ravines Dry Riesling is a unique and elegant expression of the brilliant Finger Lakes terroir. The bouquet of the wine is delicate with intricate aromas of white flowers mingled with pear, apple and citrus notes followed by a lingering mineral finish and a vibrant acidity.

Reine Pédauque Bourgogne Chardonnay
The color is bright yellow with a slight silvery sheen. The nose expresses aromas of yellow fruits such as chilled nectarine and pear. It is a wine whose aging was shared between stainless steel tanks and French oak barrels. Sweet woody notes appear when aerating: vanilla and butter, but not too much due to a relatively short aging which preserves the freshness of the Chardonnay. On the palate, the attack is a nice tonic note of acidity accompanied by fruity flavors of peach. The mid-palate is round and delicious. Finally, the finish is tonic and invigorating. You can enjoy tasting this Chardonnay in its youth.

Replica Wine Pinot Noir
While big and brawny in style, this Pinot still maintains good balance. The aromas resemble toasty, spicy oak, with cranberry and dark cherry notes. The flavors echo the nose and are vivid due to lively acidity and a firm layer of tannins.

Sileni Estates Cellar Selection Pinot Gris
Ripe, juicy stone fruit, pear and citrus flavors, with a little spice and beautifully balanced acidity.

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Hands Of Time
This Napa Valley red blend offers pleasing aromas of spiced plums and boysenberry with hints of tobacco and black tea. Rich in texture, this wine has flavors of currant and dark chocolate with a touch of sweet oak on the finish.

Valravn Old Vine Zinfandel
Layers of richness and complexity wrap around a core of wild strawberry and raspberry. Intoxicating aromatics with scents of mocha, espresso roast, violets and ripe red berries. Rich on the palate with flavors of raspberry, blackberry compote, and hints of licorice-laced black pepper. Valravn shows the weight of top quality dry-farmed Zinfandel, balanced by a the freshness that is the hallmark of these ancient vines.

Official Rules for “The Challenge”

Participants must pick up “The Challenge” form in store. The purchase of all 28 wines must be completed between the dates of November 20th, 2016 and March 20th, 2017 in order to qualify for the blind tasting. Participants must identify wines of Columbia Wine Co.’s choosing during the blind tasting to receive $100 gift certificate. Participants will have three attempts at the blind tasting.

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