This Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot is very dark in the glass; I'm slowly beginning to realize that that's maybe a Merlot thing. On the nose, this is mostly dark cherry and blackberry, and a hint of something . . . well. Else. It's a little closed, even a good twenty minutes after opening. The first thing I noticed on tasting this Merlot was a startlingly robust fruit fullness. Just on the safe side of not being so fruit dominant that it drowns out the hint of chocolate. It's a 13.5 % ABV, and yes, this is the basic mid-tier wine for Columbia Crest. The 2006 is this year's release, so I don't know but what it might be very different by, say, June. I plan on trying it again though; this was tantalizingly promising, and, well, I'm a die-hard Columbia Crest fan. I note that Sean Sullivan has some fairly positive things to say about the Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot 2006; do read the comments as well. I'm thinking about trying including this particular Merlot in a casual Washington and California Merlot comparison with a California Merlot fan. I'd also like to try comparing it with Columbia Crest's base tier equivalent, the Two Vines Merlot. Two Vines is generally available at around $5.99; the Grand Estates at around $10.00.
Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot 2006 Washington
Glad to hear you got to check this wine out. Among my favorite high QPR wines generally, particularly if it is on sale for $8-9. Some years it is outrageously good and some just very solid, but always a good value.
to trying these wines in different years. Columbia Crest seems to be fairly reliable in terms of both their consumer tiers all the way to the top tiers.
Fine wine is only as good as the palate it's gracing. This Merlot is a crowd pleaser. My personal favorite standby for any respectable occasion. Reliable, is a good word choice for this winery and it's label.