2005 Columbia Crest Merlot H3

Community Tasting Note


91 Points

Thursday, April 29, 2010 - After being impressed with prior vintages of the Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot ('03/'04) and also the '07 Columbia Crest H3 Cabernet I've been on the hunt for the H3 Merlot.

I found the '05 yesterday, which seemed like an old/back vintage of this wine so I was a little skeptical.

However, I think the bottle age of this wine is actually helpful and for my palate this wine is drinking really well right now. What I like about Columbia Crest wines (and this will play into whether you'll likely agree with my observations here and for what occasions this wine will be well-suited) is that they're so aromatic and flavorful from the moment you pop them open. No-fuss weeknight pizza/burger wine. Also great as a cocktail.

The flavor profile is very focused. Dark berries amply backed by bacon both on the nose and palate. The tannins are sweet- indeed the wine is probably too sugary for some. But it goes down dangerously easily.

I'm a big fan and consider Columbia Crest to be the premier value brand in the US market. For my palate, nobody delivers across all price points better than CC- and the good news it's available everywhere.

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2 comments have been posted

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    5/16/2010 3:10:00 PM - nice review, bob. wondering about the oak - i like the h3 cab, but found it to be a bit too oakey. do you think that about the cab? and, did the merlot have much oak on it? thanks!

  • Comment posted by RobertDwyer:

    5/16/2010 3:20:00 PM - Hey RJ! Hard for me to say. I think the flavor profiles of this Columbia Crest H3 Merlot and their Grand Estates Cab are actually quite similar. So if you didn't like the GE Cab you probably wouldn't like the H3 Merlot. Is the '05 H3 Merlot less oaky than the '07 H3 Cab? at this point in time? Probably, but the flavors are too similar for me to believe that you'd be impressed substantially more with the Merlot than the Cab. But I love 'em so I'd encourage you to try 'em again anyway! :)

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