Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot 2001:
Cherry, plum, and sweet spice on the nose
Vanilla and oak layers
Smooth and soft
Easy drinking and full of flavor! I am consistantly impressed with Columbia Crest. Here is a wine that is around $11 (I got it on sale for $9) that is absolutely delicious. I don't drink a lot of Merlot, but I'm going back for more of this. I like it because there are so many layers and it is so smooth. As a word of caution, though, you have to be in the mood for this soft and sweet character to really enjoy it.
I've written about Columbia Crest numerous times before. For the past two years, I've been really impressed with their affordable wines. Apparently I'm not the only one, as Wine Spectator recently named Columbia Crest as one of the great "value" wineries of the world. In fact, this particular Merlot earned a 90 point score from the taster. Raise a glass!