I was gifted a bottle of Merlot in the $10 price range & asked if I wouldn’t mind reviewing it…of course not!
So this is for you, Dominick…Thank you!
I decided to compare it with 2 other Merlots in the same price range and see how they stood on their own and up to food.
#1) 2011 Columbia Crest Grand Estates, Columbia Valley, Washington.
Smell: dried cherries, green herbs, vanilla.
Taste: cedar, dark chocolate, vanilla with a hot, dry tannic finish that lasted awhile on the palate. This wine was made to go with food.
#2) 2012 14Hands Vineyards, Columbia Valley, Washington.
Smell: very faint cedar, vanilla, cranberries.
Taste: assorted dried red/black fruit & smoke with a round mouth feel and soft tannins and short finish. Very drinkable on its own.
#3) 2011 Bogle Vineyards, California.
Smell: dirt, dark chocolate, dried cherries.
Taste: cherry, eucalyptus, with some earthiness in the soft, short finish. I was ambivalent about this.
I paired the wines with Bertolli’s Chicken Marsala & Roasted Redskin Potatoes. I love Bertolli! It’s so convenient to cut open a bag, pour the ingredients in a pan and heat it on the stove top. You are done in 15 minutes. Very good “sporkable” food.
The Columbia Crest went well with the dish. The wine actually made the Marsala sauce a little sweeter (what’s not to like about that). I think that was from the vanilla aspect I kept tasting from the wine.
The 14Hands really did nothing to the food. I was a bit disappointed.
Bogle was a good pairing because it give the food a more earthy, robust flavor.
Overall, I would take Columbia Crest & Bogle to a pizza party and everyone would like them.
The 14Hands, I would just enjoy on its own. It’s definitely for relaxing. I would even consider this a good Summer red wine.
Lori – Your Twisted Sommelier