By Kori ~ April 15th, 2010.
Would you like a quick suggestion for a good wine to drink tonight (or this weekend) that wonâ€™t break your budget and is widely available? Many of our readers have said this is something they would like, so here is this weekâ€™s selection, the 2007 Columbia Crest H3 Merlot from the Horse Heaven Hills of Washington State.
Our selection criteria include:
- A very good Quality rating of >=3.5 stars (out of 5)
- A price tag of <=$15
- Must be widely available
Columbia Crest, located in Paterson, Washington, has been one of our favorite sources of value wines for many years. Head winemaker, Ray Einberger, took the reins in 2002 from Doug Gore who had been the winemaker since Columbia Crest was founded in 1983. Under Gore and Einbergerâ€™s leadership, the Columbia Crest winemaking team has produced more 90+ scoring bottles of wine than any other winery in the world. For those of us who live in Washington State, it is nice to have such a consistent, affordable producer in our own backyard.
H3, an abbreviation for Horse Heaven Hills, is the newest tier of wines in the Columbia Crest portfolio and was created to showcase the region in which their winery is located. All of the fruit used to produce H3 wines come from the Horse Heaven Hills AVA.
â€œThe H3 Merlot entices the nose with spicy blackberry aromas and then explodes across the palate with slight dusty, earthy, and rich berry notes which cumulate in the seductive, velvety, cocoa finish.â€ â€“Winemaker Ray Einberger
2007 Columbia Crest H3 Merlot (Horse Heaven Hills, Washington): 79% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Syrah. Medium-deep ruby red. Earth, wood, vanilla, and a hint of barnyard come through on the nose; lots of black cherry as well as earth on the palate. Medium-bodied with good acidity and medium, drying tannins. Complexity shows through the longer it is open. A long, slightly bitter, finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, Washington), $11; Available elsewhere, $10 to $14
Filed under: A Wine for Tonight, American Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Merlot, Red Wine, Washington State Wine, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25