Cleaning out my photos and realized that I often forget to share the less expensive bottles that I open. The everyday, weeknight bottles. The bottles you have to have in your rotation to justify those splurges. Ok, I don’t ever justify a splurge, but I do love to “cost average” my wine – sprinkling in the cheap bottles with the more expensive bottles to make the average bottle price seem more reasonable. This is a legitimate budgeting tool, but my husband likes to call it “girl math.” Whatever.
These days, with the cost of everything rising, including wine, it is incredibly hard to find true gems that don’t break the budget. So, I’m going to make an effort to share anything I try that comes in under $20 as a #thriftythirstythursday post.
I actually opened this wine last September, but I think the sunshine and the daisies make it a perfect February, mid-winter pick me up. The wine is Cabernet Sauvignon dominant with some Merlot. I am unable to find any further details on this wine and I suspect that for lower priced wines this is often the case. The grapes come from the Columbia Valley in Washington state.
The wine is called Altered Dimension, and technically it falls under the Elicit Wine Project – “an innovation and incubation hub dedicated to creating wines that provoke response and emotion, where products that anticipate and shape the future of wine come to life.” Let me perfectly honest – that seems a little dramatic. Perhaps more enlightening is that the Elicit Wine Project was created by Chateau Ste Michelle in 2019.
There is no denying that Chateau Ste Michelle is a mega producer. Most people do not realize just how large and far reaching CSM is. I’ve heard that CSM is responsible for vintifying one of every 2 grapes grown in Washington state. That is pretty mind blowing. They have collaborations with legendary wine makers from Italy, France, and Germany. They own Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in Napa Valley. Yes, that Stag’s Leap. And Conn Creek. And Patz & Hall in Sonoma. You get the idea.
Notes of dark fruit, chocolate, vanilla, and maybe a touch of a leather, I have to admit this Altered Dimension was just a bit too fruit forward for me. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the wine, it was bold, with intense rich flavor, and incredibly smooth. Honestly, I get just as much palate development from getting to a know a style that might not be my favorite as I do with any other wine.
At this $15 price point, I prefer Chateau Ste Michelle’s own Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, the Columbia Valley and the Indian Wells Cabernet and the Merlot both make regular appearances at my house, and all come in under $15. The Chardonnay even makes an occasional appearance – watch for a Thrifty Thirsty Thursday post on those wines at some point in the future.
In the meantime, keep this Altered Dimension in the rolodex, if it is not your favorite style, I guarantee one of your friends will love it. I think it is definitely a crowd pleaser and at this price, it would be a great wine to have for a group.
Do you have a favorite an inexpensive wine that is a favorite? Please tell me about in the comments.