Sep 07, 2007
I have been consistently impressed with the quality at Columbia Crest, particularly for the achievements with the Grand Estates wines.
The most recent to cross my tasting desk, a Merlot, is a worthy successor to to the long string of excellent values produced by this well known Columbia Valley Estate. In prime vintages these wines offer a tremendous amount of quality and they don't cost a ton of money.
This Merlot is a dark, saturated ruby hue. Upon aeration for 1 hour and 30 minutes (If you're not doing this with your young, tannic red wines then you're wasting them), the perfume that jumps out of the glass is of ripe plums, dark cherries, chocolate, espresso liqueur, and exotic spices. The wine is weighty, rich, and opulent, yet still soft and voluptuous. The flavors fan out tastefully across the palate leading to a long velvety finish absolutely packed with crushed cherries and dark chocolate.
A very impressive wine with enough guts to cellar for 8-10 years. A fantastic value at $15, there is enough of this made (about 10,000 cases) you may be able to buy it at a discount. (Just be sure it is the Grand Estates, and not the "regular" Columbia Valley bottling which is decidedly less exciting). Considering how much of this was made and the price, the level of quality present is almost frightening.
— Captain Caveman