Tag Archives: CMS red blend

What we’re drinking: Hedges CMS Red

Brynn writes:

I won’t lie, I bought this wine because of the label.

Delicate silver lines depicting a crest-like symbol encircle big block letters reading “C.M.S.” It’s pretty — makes me think of French royalty and thus by drinking the wine I feel noble purely by association.

I’d seen the wine at Costco — that’s where the label first caught my eye — but I didn’t buy it. Then one night I popped into Safeway to grab a pizza. Of course I got sidetracked in the wine section.

There again was the beautiful label staring at me with a sale sticker — the $15 bottle of wine was now $11. A Hedges Family Estate blend, I knew we wouldn’t be disappointed. I grabbed a bottle and hurried on my way home to my hungry husband.

Until my 30th birthday earlier this year, I didn’t know C.M.S. is the abbreviation for grapes used in the wine blend. (Yes I’m a rookie). I ordered a bottle of the Hedges C.M.S. white for my birthday, and started reading the label — it too was intricately beautiful like the red blend label. That’s when I realized C.M.S. stood for “Chardonnay, Marsanne, Sauvignon Blanc.” (Picture a light bulb igniting as I had this epiphany).

For the red blend, C.M.S. stands for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah.

We had the wine with our Safeway pizza. I’m not sure I liked the two together — the sauce did something funky to the finish. But I had a second glass after dinner and loved the wine alone. I had another glass a couple nights later while cooking and it was still delicious.

The grapes are sourced from the Columbia Valley AVA. The wine has fruity hints of the Syrah upfront that are balanced by the minerality of the Merlot and the weight of the Cab.

Here’s what the Hedges family has to say about the wine:

CMS Red, Washington State’s original blended red wine, has been produced and bottled by the estate since 1987. Consistently recognized as one of the best values in Washington State, CMS Red combines elegance and historic blending practices with top quality vineyard sources in the Columbia Valley. A style consistent with classic northern latitude wine growing, the CMS Red is known for a more Columbia Valley AVA regionally driven style, giving way to purity and structure over modernity.

I give this wine two thumbs up — it’s going on my list of wines to drink on a regular basis.