Value Wine of the Week – 12/1/2014

Price:  $10.79

Wine:  Columbia Crest, H3 Merlot

Vintage:  2011

Appellation:  Horse Heaven Hills

My first choice for Value Wine of the Week won’t shock anyone in the wine world.  It is the 2011 Columbia Crest, H3 Merlot from the Horse Heaven Hills AVA.

I picked this up at Total Wine and Spirits for $10.79 after the “mix six” discount.  Online research shows the average price is about $14.

This wine shows the great character of Merlot, without breaking the bank.  The balance and structure is above average, with a nice finish that helps it stand above most other cheap stuff.

Columbia Crest has a well established reputation as a value brand.  They are one of the largest producers in Washington State and are part of the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates family of brands, which together are by far the largest producer, at over 14 million gallons of wine per year.  This mass volume of production is great for us value minded folks because it allows them to sell to us at lower prices.

More than just a value brand, Columbia Crest has established itself as a high quality wine maker, winning accolades for their wines again and again.  The 2007 vintage of this same H3 Merlot landed on spot #43 of Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list in 2009.

The Horse Heaven Hills AVA is a great growing region in Wasington that produces tons of wonderful wines.  The second largest appellation after the Yakima Valley, HHH is known for its hot, dry, windy conditions during the growing season yielding ripe and consistent fruit.

Tasting Notes

On the nose this wine has some chocolate or cocoa notes, dark berry, and some slight vanilla and tang from the oak.  In the mouth it is full bodied and nicely balanced.  The mouth feel is silky with rich overtones, soft tannins and decent acidity in the back.  The finish is long and buttery.

Great with food or just on the couch.  This stalwart wine will serve you well and is a safe buy, vintage after vintage.  Enjoy!

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Published on: May 6, 2014

Filled Under: Value Wine of the Week

Views: 4162

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