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2012 Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon 

Columbia Valley, Washington State

Retail $20-$23

Washington State is a well-established wine region, and its Columbia Valley is a large wine-growing area east of the Cascade Range. Charles Smith is a California native who founded this winery in 2001. His passion is for wines that make a big statement, and even his whites are bold and forward. He also likes playful labels that tell his story. Chateau Smith is a blend of 93 percent cabernet sauvignon, 6 percent petit verdot and 1 percent malbec. Its unmistakable rush of black cherry is punctuated by wet earth aromas, toasted herbs and a long, powerful finish. The wine is young and will age well. To drink it now, decant it 30 minutes before serving. Drink it with rare steak, grilled meats, roasts and game. Buy it at: Sidney's Wine Cellar, Pearl Wine Co. and Whole Foods Market Uptown and Metairie. Drink it at: Stella!, Red Fish Grill. ­— BRENDA MAITLAND

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