Helix by Reininger “Pomatia” Bordeaux Blend 2015
The Bordelaise don’t have the market cornered when it comes to making great Cab blends. Columbia Valley, Washington, is one of those dynamic spots like Bordeaux, where certain grapes fit perfectly with the soil, the climate, and one another to make magical blends greater than the sum of the parts.
In Columbia Valley, the soil is an iron-rich loess over large glacial sediments. The climate is continental with a huge diurnal temperature change. And the aspect is a northwest diagonal ridge sloping down to the Yakima River. All of this combines to create amazingly inspired, Bordeaux-like, red wine blends. Our example today, Helix Pomatia from the Reninger family, demonstrates that exquisitely:
Deep purple, pure and intense, with tremendous opulence and palate presence, the Helix Pomatia is a wine of considerable nobility. It’s packed with loads of blueberry, black currant, pencil lead and sandalwood smoke-infused fruit. Its beautifully full-bodied texture gives way to ripe and powerful tannins, dark red cherry fruit, crème de cassis, pencil lead, touches of blackberry, sandalwood and graphite. Like Bordeaux, it’s a blend of Cabernet set off by Petite Verdot, Franc and Merlot (and then, this being Washington, a splash of Syrah) that maximizes the components of each grape to make the end result so much greater.
But unlike Bordeaux is the price. I know there are some of you out there who think a $6.99 can’t be this good. You’ll be missing out. While the Reninger family were not the first pioneers of Columbia Valley, they were darn close – Granddad starting working at Hogue Cellars when they were in a garage – and now they are one of the largest wineries in the world. They got in early, and that benefits us.
Finally, having met the Reningers, I can say they are one of those amazing wine families that refuse to add ego cost to the price of their wines. They never submit the wines to rating magazines, instead choosing to make a high-quality product at an incredibly reasonable price. This earns them longtime friends and wine lovers along the way. They count me in that bunch, and you should be, too.
I’d pay $20 for this wine; I’d even pay $25. But nobody has to – because at $9.99 (or lower!) we have it at a steal.