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Col Solare Red Wine Columbia Valley USA 2006 Wine Spectator: 92 points A polished red, delivering a lively mouthful of blueberry and currant fruit shaded with nice hints of cream and white pepper. The finish lingers seductively. This is distinctive—and much smoother in texture than previous vintages. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and others. Drink now through 2014. 11,000 cases made. –HS Wine Enthusiast Review by Paul Gregutt Col Solare, the collaboration between Ste. Michelle and Antinori, brought in the first estate grapes this year, but it will be awhile before it becomes an estate wine. The current vintage uses five varieties from a half dozen vineyards scattered across four different AVAs. It’s soft, fruity and open, with a firm core of black fruits wrapped into lightly smoky, polished tannins. — (3/1/2010) — 91 points The Wine Advocate: 89 points The 2006 Col Solare – first in its series to be vinified and aged at the new Red Mountain facilities – demonstrates that the sort of wine envisioned and executed by the team here has significant aging potential even in a difficult vintage (in this instance, one in which heat caused the vines to repeatedly shut down). This is another vintage in which Syrah – as well as Petit Verdot – were added to the blend to supply body. Mint, smoky black tea, and a suggestion of charred wood rise from the glass, then join tobacco on an oxidatively developed but still juicy palate. There is some drying to the finish – attributable, I strongly suspect, to residual wood tannins. At the time, though, this bottling was aged entirely in new oak (25% American). But there is also a subtle, saliva-encouraging salinity that nicely fits the savory, low key flavors of a sustained finish.