In tough times, we continue the search for inexpensive wines.

Saint Laurent is located in the Wenatchee Valley. The winery has two tasting rooms, one in Magala, Washington in Wenatchee Valley and one in Quincy near where the Columbia River crosses Interstate 90. Saint Laurent makes a variety of reds including Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, and blends. The winery produces 6,000 cases annually.

Columbia Crest 2006 Grand Estates Cabernet is the sister wine to January’s Virtual Tasting wine – the 2006 Grand Estates Merlot. Columbia Crest’s Grand Estates line is Washington’s leading value brand.

Salmon Harbor appears to be part of a larger conglomerate. The winery is not listed by the Washington Wine Commission and lists a California distributor.

Waving Tree is located in Goldendale, Washington near the Columbia River. Waving Tree produces approximately 1,000 cases per year including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, Barbera, Grenache, Syrah, and Viognier. The 2007 Sangiovese, sampled here, appears to need a little more time in the bottle.

Finally, Hoodsport Winery is located on the Olympic Peninsula although they source their grapes elsewhere. In addition to red and white wines, Hoodsport also makes a lineup of fruit wines.







Saint Laurent Lucky Red 2006

Red raspberries and red currant mark this wine that has a beautiful taste that opens up and lingers. 14.1% alcohol.

Purchased at Esquin for $15.



Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

An opulent wine that coats the palate with chocolate. The nose is somewhat elusive at present with campfire, chocolate, and black currant. The only things holding this wine back are the seeming disconnection between the nose and taste and that the taste gets a bit overwhelming after the second glass. 80% Cabernet; 11% Merlot; 4% Syrah. 13.5% alcohol. Recommended.

Purchased at Pete’s for $9.



Salmon Harbor Merlot Columbia Valley 2006

A quiet nose with a bit of blueberry syrup and some wood notes. Taste is fairly sharp, uneven, and a bit too acidic with light blue and red fruit showing through. 13.8% alcohol.

Purchased at Safeway for $6.50.



Waving Tree Sangiovese 2007

An enjoyable nose with rhubarb pie and rose hips. Front loaded on the palate and then trails off on the mid-palate. There is something a bit off-putting toward the end I can’t quite put my finger on. May improve with some age.

Purchased from European Vine for $13.



Hoodsport Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2005

A rich nose with milk chocolate mixed with Logan Berry syrup. Packs a wallop with an engaging berry taste up front followed by fairly harsh tannins. 100% Cabernet, Roza Hills Vineyard. 13.8% alcohol. 1,800 cases produced.

Purchased from QFC for $7.