2022 Hedges Family Wines, CMS Red Blend, Columbia Valley, Washington State.
The new “Green” label, all organic CMS Red Blend from Hedges is a dark purple/garnet opaque, rich and expressive wine, made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, that very much impresses for the price with loads of fruit density, nice toasty oak and pretty floral tones. This opulently smooth full bodied Columbia Valley red delivers a thick layering of blackberry, blueberry, plum and dark cherry fruits, along with coco, vanilla, crushed lilacs, sage, toasted coconut, cigar box, cedar and lingering creme de cassis background notes. This wine, sourced from all sustainable and certified organic grapes, usually is Merlot heavy with smaller amounts of Cabernet and Syrah with each vintage being slightly different after the final blend is made. The CMS has quality terroir, including the Columbia Valley Appellation and the Red Mountain Appellation that add to the pedigree here and gives this wine its core depth and complexity, it is a serious crowd pleasing offering and a great way to start exploring Washington State wines. Hedges was founded by Tom Hedges and his wife Anne-Marie who fell in love with Red Mountain and founded this estate there and helped establish the region as one of the best terroirs in America, especially for Bordeaux varietals.

The CMS Red Blend, made by Sarah Hedges Goedhart, the second generation of Hedges, who’s really upped the game here at Hedges in recent years and this wine is an exceptional value and again, a great way to celebrate women winemakers and Women’s History Month. The grapes, again mostly Merlot, come from the Columbia Valley vineyards, Wooded Island, Bacchus and Sagemoor, as well as the Red Mountain Vineyards of the Hedges Estate, with their Bel’ Villa, Jolet, Les Gosses and Magdalena plots included. Under Sarah’s gifted touch, the different separate lots were pumped over during alcoholic fermentation for 6 to 10 days on the skins while on American Oak, helping extraction, but with soft tannin development. About 40% of the wine was racked to American oak barrels where it completed malo-lactic fermentation and then aged for an additional 15-18 months. The other, the winery explains, 60% completed their Malos in tank, after which, it was racked to French Oak for more than year, before blending, ending up with typically 60% French oak and 40% American oak in the end. I first had Hedges in the early 2000s and have always enjoyed their efforts and look forward to trying the upper end of their range soon and recommend this 2022 CMS for savvy bargain hunters and those looking for a very polished organic wine.
($22 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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