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2009 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot
March 15, 2013 - Norman Bentley
It seems like year after year the Columbia Crest folks come up with a quality Merlot at a good value price, and the 2009 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot is no exception. We opened a bottle the other night with before dinner appetizers for some guests at our house, and everyone was quite pleased, and surprised to find a wine of this quality in the under fifteen category.
The Columbia Crest brand is a secondary label For Chateau Ste. Michelle, and the wine comes from the Columbia Valley in Washington State. The Wine Spectator liked this one well enough for an 88 score, and had this to say; "Lithe, polished and approachable, with generous raspberry, cranberry, floral and white chocolate flavors that linger easily against refined tannins." The alcohol content is 13.5%.
I noticed cherry, raspberry, and blackberry highlights among the rich fruit flavors swirling throughout the wine, but did not detect the presence of cranberry. The finish is strong with subtle tannins, and the taste lingers in anticipation of another sip. Norm's score would be 89.
While we enjoyed the wine with cheese and other appetizers, it would be a good companion for grilled meats, preferably steak, or a hearty pasta dish. It is easy to see why Columbia Crest maintains such an elevated reputation, while others struggle to produce wines of this quality, even in the twenty dollar range.
Price: $12 - $16
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