Just okay. Received this bottle as gift recently. Aging has helped this wine, as my previous tasting note indicates, we didn't care for it all that much. Even though it improved, there are still better choices out there at this price point.
Flight 2, USA, Wine 7 (blind): The wine was dark ruby in colour and offered dark berries, blackberry and noticeable oak on the rather tight nose. On the palate the full-bodied, meaty wine showed dark berries, blackberry, dark cherry, some plum, spices and an interesting leafiness adding to the overall complexity, paired with medium-level acidity, medium-plus ripe, very fine tannin and very good length. Very good QPR. Drink now.
It's an inky purple wine with a medium body. The nose is surprisingly non-descript, with blackberry, earth and tea notes. Wow! This is definitely soft and lush, with tastes of highly extracted blackberries, tea, a pronounced spicy pepperiness and oak and earth lurking more as deep undertones. The blackberry and pepper hang in there on the finish, braced by the oak. Ultimately, it's too much of a fruit-bomb to hold your attention much beyond the first glass, unless you are a fan of that style.
As I drink my fourth bottle from the same vintage, I realize my first experience was by the far best. Every subsequent bottle has lacked the soft, smooth, and well balanced finish that I first observed. Nevertheless, this wine remains a good QPR.
Pleasant surprise. Rich purple color with medium to full body. Nose is floral but I can't place the flower - something dense with a fairly long bloom. Palate Is very rich in vanilla with medium mouth feel and modest earthy tannins. Medium vanilla finish. 5+12+15+7=89
Nose was pleasant - chocolate, blueberries, some dust, and oak. On the palette - heavy, coating, somewhat simple extracted dark fruit with a very smooth vanilla derived from the noticeable oak. The finish was very smooth with hints of chocolate. This wine is not particularly complicated, it is a bit over-extracted, slightly sweet, but finishes very smooth, and has enough tannins to keep it interesting. In its class, it is very good and is very easy drinking. I do not detect earth, violets, minerals, leather, or anything associated with a more complex and sophisticated wine. Nevertheless, it's delicious and a great QPR. I will certainly keep several of these on hand.
nice balance of fruit, tannin and some acidity. A little earthiness which I like. Not the fruit bomb I was expecting. considering the price, and excellent value. The wine looks Violet colored. The legs are Slow. It smells like Dust, Flint, Plum, Medium Toast, and Lead Pencil. The body is Medium/Full. The wine has Silky texture. The wine finishes Medium.
PNP. Color dark garnet. Nose simple berry fruit with spice and some alcohol. Swishing reveals decent acid structure with soft tannins and monolithic fruit that seems a touch sweet. Sipping gushes fruit with more fruit than structure and medium length finish. Easy to drink
Nose: spices, blackberry jam. Aroma dominated by sweet oak after opening up for a few minutes.
Body: medium body, smoother than the nose suggests. Velvety spiced chocolate and cherry with an extra grind of spice going into the finish. Lingering tart cherry. Finish is slightly too 'puckery' for me, but still enjoyable.
Delicious wine! A very good deal. Went surprisingly well with a freshly sliced tomato, and then goat cheese spinach sandwiches.
Another interesting and great buy from Columbia Crest. Enjoyed the complexity of this merlot at this price point. With it's earthy base combined with notes of blackberry, spices and a nice finish, makes this an excellent everyday drinker. Nice smooth tannins while not being overly fruity make this a well balanced and uniquely different merlot that should be drank now.
Very dark tint, purple/ruby on the edge. The aroma was hard to grasp, mostly dark berries, a touch of blueberries. The tasting profile was rich, blackberries on the front, a bit of spice on the back end.
Really good value for $8.99. Picked up for a red wine reduction sauce and was enjoyable to sip on it's own too. Lots of chocolate, black and blue fruits, an herbal edge and good balance. Not a thinker but enjoyible for what it is.
Popped and poured. Dark ruby. Medium-bodied, with plum, cherry, vanilla, caramelized oak, chocolate and nicely integrated tannins. Finish comes up a little short. Still, this is a solid 90 and is slightly better and with more structure and complexity than the more extracted 2008 vintage. At under $12 a bottle, the QPR is outstanding. Tasted multiple bottles in 2013 with consistent notes.
Fruit bomb. If you like intense wines, this may interest you. For me, it was over-extracted and in your face. Not what I'd consider a typical Merlot. On the other hand, this would certainly stand up to grilled meats and strong flavors. Might make an excellent picnic wine.
The Columbia Crest H3 Merlot is a purple, teeth- staining wine with a medium body. It's highly extracted, you feel that with the first sip as it coats your palate. The nose has blackberry, a little peppery zing, and mere hints of oak. Deep tastes of blackberry, rich and nearly cloying, and a little sour berry that tries to counter the predominant blackberry, and is ultimately insufficient for the task. The finish features blackberry, but it can get overwhelming beyond the first glass. The deep extraction of the fruit leaves it unbalanced, as there is nothing to hold it in check.
Recommended as a "real merlot" it delivered dark fruit, strong vanilla at first that diminished later. Good dark red, astringent fruit, maybe sour cherry. Good body, drinkable now, but enough tannins to last a bit.
Dark purple color. Classic merlot aromas of plums, chocolate, a bit of licorice. It's very lush on the palate, with sweet tannins, jammy plum fruit, along with flavors of toast, mocha and a bit of earth. It has a lot more depth than the Grand Estates or Two Vines merlot bottlings. With an hour or so of air, the wine got even softer and more elegant, showing a bit of cassis flavor as well. Val really liked the smoothness of this wine. Drink or hold til 2014.
The cumulative ratings on this wine are brought down by those who apparently didn't care for it at all. Ignore them. This is a nice, solid Merlot, with an excellent bouquet, and all the chocolatey that a Merlot ought to have. I couldn't resist the sale price (it was $11), and picked it right up.
It's an excellent wine for two or three times that price.
WSET Intermediate Course (San Francisco): deep clear ruby; clean, medium intensity, red cherries, baked plum, ripe, vanilla/oak; dry, medium acidity, medium ripe tannins, medium body; blackberry jam, black pepper, raspberry, some heat, short finish; good. 84
Let's get something straight: this is no mind-blowing, out of this world wine! What it is, is a very nice, moderately complex, interesting and so, at the price point, a fantastic QPR. Crimson purple in color with slight opacity. The aromatics are a tad non-descript but pleasant. For the first time in my life, I'm sensing prominant hints of chocolate/cocoa powder in the flavor profile; more so towards the transition between the mid-palate and the finish. Not quite as impressive as the Cab but every bit as amazing a QPR. This winery's doing a lot of things right! And so, I'm a fan. (note: deserving of a couple extra points for its value but withheld to reflect my overall impression; price not considered)
Solid QPR; never fails to please. Always a better bottle on night 2 which is a testament to CC's ability to make a mass produced wine well. Smooth tannins lead way to cinnamon spices, mocha, and dark fruits which dominate the mid-palate...nice medlum length earthy finish.
Drank over two evenings. Found it to be just fair and rather uninteresting. The first evening the wine was rather unbalanced, its finish too acidic. On evening two it mellowed out somewhat, but it was still just lackluster and nothing special. Will not buy again.
Another crowd pleaser from Columbia Crest! Lots of dark fruit aromas coming from the glass; plums, cherry, spice, and oak notes along with a medium finish. IMO more of a sipper but would probably be a good burger or barbecue wine.
Nice color. I will skip to the point; this is as ordinary and neutral a wine as I have had in a while. No complexity, weak finish with really nothing there. I dumped 1/2 a bottle while grilling and used the glass I was drinking for sauce. Absolutely not a re-buy.
Perfect middle of the weeker. Love this wine. Every vintage is a little different but never fails to impress. Great QPR. Better on day two than day one which leads me to believe it could use a couple of years. More earthy notes / bordeaux qualities than Cali merlots (or even other Wash merlots), but good big dark fruits on the nose and mid palate, hint of chocolate, graphite, cassis on the finish.
Rich, well-balanced and easy drinking. Very nice nose, with blackberries, plums, currants and blueberry syrup, some vanilla and a spearmint note; luscious, almost sweet, dark fruit flavors, a bit of mocha and smooth well-integrated tannins; nice fruity finish. A great sipper, not bad with food, and a likely crowd pleaser.
12/6/11 (89) A Medium bodied with garnet hue, the Columbia Crest H3 Merlot has a nose of rich blackberry aromas, oak and a hint of cloves. Plush in the mouth with tastes of ripe blackberry, cedar and tea notes. There's tannins with decent structure on the medium finish with blackberry, minerals and a hint of mocha at the end, that lingers on with pleasing tenacity.
Very dark and purple. A vanilla explosion on the nose, only after 1-2 hours did this dissipate and transition over to ripe dark fruit. Solid and active tannins, substantial acidity too, with reasonable fruit balance on the back end.
An easy-drinking merlot. Plum, floral, with a hint of earth on the nose. Upon tasting, lots of fruit with a moderate length simple finish. The wine paired very well with butternut squash ravioli and broccoli. A solid daily drinker, but nothing more.
I loved this H3 Merlot in 2007 & 2008. Was one of the regular purchases. Would have given those years a 90+ rating. Such a great QPR at $15. Chocolate, cocoa bean/coffee, brown sugar, caramel, & black fruit. Yum. BUT the 2009 is just not doing it for me & is all that is available. Same flavors but so sweet & overpowering it makes my teeth hurt. Jammy. Have tried decanting, not much change. Don't know if it needs more time in the bottle or it's just a lesser year.
Dark purple color. Nose of dark fruit and vanilla. Sweet blackberry and cherry on the palate, with chocolate, caramel, and brown sugar. We get at least one bottle of this every trip to the wine store. Very good effort, especially for the price.
Outstanding QPR. A little bit of a fruit bomb on the attack with a flood of blackberry and blueberry, but nicely tempered with some earthy, forest floor aromas and taste. The tannins are mild and well integrated allowing some secondary flavors, notably chocolate and something akin to pickling spice, to be noticed. A decent 20+ second finish, very unexpected for a $11 bottle. Screams house wine as it has something for everybody.
Dark red color. Nose has some nice fruit, ripe plum, blackberry, taosted oak. The palate is a little thin, tannic and some alcohol is coming through. I like the mid palate on this, but it is a little disjointed at the end. If this comes together it could get better Had this at a restaurant so no idea where this was at.
An enjoyable wine, and not in the vacuous way I'd anticipated. There's a very Washington smell to the cedary nose. I love the blueberry palette and elegant texture. There's enough tannin here to keep it from crossing the border into insipid cheap Merlot land. Am going to the store to get more right now.
Nose: Fresh nose with cherries and a hint of white chocolate.
Taste: Deep fruit, big mouth feel, chocolaty. Moderate to weak tannins that are nicely integrated.
Finish: The tannins show up on the finish with a splash of dryness throughout the entire back palate that lasts about 30 seconds.
In conclusion, I found this to be a good and well balanced Washington merlot. This wine reminded me a lot of the 2005 and 2006 vintages and seemed to have a lot of the same traits common to those two years, particularly the dark chocolate notes that were not entirely apparent in the 2007 and 2008 vintages.
I think at the $12 I paid, this works, but I would drink this now as I don't think the weak tannins warrant a long cellaring period (maybe 1-2 years), but who knows....