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Wine Pick of the Week

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2015 Merlot

Columbia Crest

Columbia Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

Suggested Retail: $12*

”A very appealing style at a reasonable price. There’s more character than shown by many Merlots in this price range. The 2015 vintage was a very warm growing season in Washington. What effect that may have had in shaping this wine’s personality we don’t know, but this producer has a track record of consistency, so we presume that our 2015 Pick of the Week is very similar to prior vintages of this wine.  

“Columbia Crest produces several different bottlings of Merlot. This one, dubbed the ‘Grand Estates,’ is the least expensive. It shows a lot of blackberry and Bing cherry fruit, with some cocoa or chocolate in the background. There’s a rich mouth feel—neither too tannic, nor too acidic, yet not too soft, either.

Food Affinity: “Would be appropriate companion to more upscale dishes, but we think that something as homey as Swiss steak or meat loaf with mashed potatoes might really hit the spot.”

*Taste publications always attempt to quote the suggested retail price for wines as defined by the wineries themselves. However, lower prices can often be found. The consumer may benefit from volume purchasing by retailers or reductions from wineries needing to move inventories due to newer vintages about to be released, pending label changes and many other reasons. We think the 2015 Grand Estates Merlot from Columbia Crest is an excellent example of affordable Merlot at the full retail price of $12. We purchased this bottle at a supermarket for $4.99, which makes it one of our all time bargain finds.

Editor’s note: Wines reviewed at TASTE Publications are encountered by our staff in several ways. They can be discovered at trade tastings or visits to wineries. They may also be purchased by staff members for their own tables or be those sent by wineries for possible review. This is an editorial feature, not advertising, and appearance cannot be secured by payment. More information can be had by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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