February Virtual Tasting - 2007 Hedges CMS Red

Hedges Family Estate is a family-run winery located in the Red Mountain AVA. Pete Hedges serves as winemaker and general manager.

Hedges has two basic tiers of wine. The first is Hedges Family Estate, which includes their flagship Three Vineyards wine, as well as single vineyard offerings of Cabernet, Merlot, and Syrah, and a fortified wine. The second is CMS which includes a red wine and a white wine. The term CMS comes from the red blend which is composed of Cabernet, Merlot, and Syrah. CMS is the winery’s value offering.

Unfortunately the 2007 CMS Red reminds me a bit of some other value wines I have begun referring to as “hangover wines” where a glass or two leaves you not feeling so good the next day. You could do worse, but at this price point, you can do better.

Hedges CMS Red 2007 $12 Rating: .
A reasonably engaging nose with maple and chocolate with berry and light spice behind it. A bit of heat. Reasonably full mouthfeel with a lot of berry and a tart taste with a touch of blueberry. Taste does not hang together completely and is a bit unappealing toward the finish. Warmer, more standard, temperatures are not very kind to the wine. 51% Merlot; 42% Cabernet; 7% Syrah. 13.8% alcohol. 57,000 cases produced. Sampled at 62 degress.

Purchased at Pete’s Bellevue for $9.99.

Sean P. Sullivan


  1. on opening: light prune, notes of menthol, dried cherries,orange blossoms, ground coffee,
    slightly tannic, astringent on tongue. (Comment from Alpine Yeti on Thursday morning post).

  2. agreed on astrigent. wine is too young to drink, or just not to my liking. alcohol overwhelming the fruit. strange mint-aftertaste. definitely heavy on the plummy/raison notes. can't tell how it will open up with another year or more. (Comment from Mere Wine Mortal)

  3. 2 out of 5 (Dot on Sean's scale)

    Moderately expressive nose of cherry, black licorice, and wood. On the palate, bright, spicy cherry fruit on the attack that diminishes quickly and is replaced with vanilla, oaky flavors. Although one-note, this is tasty for a brief period, especially when consumed below 60 degrees. Much warmer and it's all heat and oak. 51% Merlot, 42% Cab, 7% Syrah.

    If my relationship with the Hedges CMS is a road trip, we have been through hill country. I really liked the '05 (it was one of the first Washington wines I fell for) and had high hopes when I found the '06 at the Pennsylvania state store on Thanksgiving Eve. That one was a big disappointment: a total fruit-and-oak bomb, with cloying, stewed-fruit sweetness. For me, the '07 falls somewhere between the two.

  4. Gets a dot for sure. Had a pretty dark color. Nose had berries, molasses and a light spice that we later thought might be clove. Taste was creamy at first and jammy, with a rhubarb finish that was less than pleasing. Tasted like a cheap wine, although the nose was decent and interesting. Still, couldn't finish it as I was scared that it would give me a headache.

  5. Didn't like the wine very much. What I got was a raspberry nose, a raison and cherry palette, and an unpleasant acidic/alcohol finish. A velvety feel in the middle, but lost everything in the end.

  6. Nose: Berry--initially, nearly akin to Welch's grape juice. Settled down into a pleasant berry. Not an unpleasant nose.

    Taste: Sour/tart (reminiscent of sweetarts). Pretty tasty initially and into the mid-palatte, and then it fell into a very long, sour/bitter finish, with vanilla and astringent spice--cinnamon or clove.

  7. alpine yeti said...

    overall, I would say this is a decent wine for the price point. I tend to like a little more syrah in the mix, might have given it a little more depth on the mid-palette. overall, good wine, wouldn't turn it down if offered a glass.

    February 26, 2009 8:57 PM

  8. WOW... Who to listen to? Look at all of these flavors! light prune, notes of menthol, dried cherries,orange blossoms,ground coffee, strange mint-aftertaste. definitely heavy on the plummy/raisin notes. cherry, black licorice, and wood, raspberry nose, a raisin and cherry palette, Welch's grape juice coffee, light leather, walnut notes, dust notes

  9. I just like when I eat a piece of chocolate and then drink two glasses before bed :)

  10. Indeed, it's always amazing how varied people's perceptions are about wine. It is one of the reasons I love discussing wine so much and hearing what people have to say.

    I often find that there is a lot of variability about what people get on a wine but less variability, although not always, about how much people like the wine.

    Comparing perceptions is harder when you are not tasting together because when you are, you can discuss the wine and try to figure out what it is that the other person is seeing. Often people pick up similar things but have different words for them. Here though, there is indeed a lot of variation. Perhaps bottle variability? :)

  11. Thank you for the reply. I enjoy reading what people taste and then try to find that note in the wine. I do enjoy this CMS 07, but finding I enjoy a lot others more. New at this, maybe 20-30 bottles since Thanksgiving... Finding myself seeking out wines from the Washington area.

  12. The Washington wine I suggest would be (try that!)...whatever you find on the shelves. A politician's answer indeed. Seriously though, Washington wine does make it to Minnesota. Company's I would expect to have significant distribution there would be Chateau Ste Michelle (Indian Wells Cabernet was a recent favorite, others are good as well), Columbia Crest (Grand Estates Merlot, Cab, Syrah, Two Vines Cabernet, Merlot),and Snoqualmie (Merlot, Syrah). The March Virtual Tasting, Magnificent Wine Company's House Wine, might also be there. However, these are just the wide distribution wines. While they are enjoyable, many of the gems are in the smaller production wineries. For these, I suggest looking for a large wine shop and asking what they carry for Washington wine. Washington wine is receiving continual excellent press so the footprint widens across the country and internationally. Take a look and let me know what you find. I will be happy to offer thoughts on what you see on the shevles there. Also, you can always ask a wine store to order something for you as well if there is something you are particularly interested in trying. Good luck!

  13. Indeed, one of the things I enjoy most is hearing what people get on a wine and then trying to get the same thing or determine what it is they are referring to. It is a great way to hone your palate as well as great fun for family and friends. That said, my friends and I recently went through the alphabet naming every Washington winery we could think of that started with that letter so my sense of fun may be a little strange. With 20-30 bottles in since Thanksgiving, you are well on your way. Let me know what Washington wines, or others for that matter, you are enjoying.