Columbia Crest Grant Estates Merlot 2001 Real-Time Wine Review (NW)
Opens on the nose with black cherry, then blueberry and some earthiness
Rich and smoot on the palate, with some anise
Smooth finish, with lingering cherry and vanilla
I am sipping on this wine as I post this review. Interestingly, it has evolved while sitting in my cellar. I bought a case about two years ago and have taken notes on each bottle. For a while, they were very consistent reviews from bottle to bottle. Because it's been six months or more since I last opened one, I decided to give it a try with Swedish meatballs (heavy on the carroway). The pairng was pretty good, but what struck me was how the wine has changed.
While this wine used to show lots of black cherry and vanilla, it now shows some added blueberry and an interesting earthiness on the nose. Another layer that is more pronounced than it used to be is the anise on the palate. I find this really intriguing, partly because I wouldn't assume this wine has much ageing potential. Actually, it might be starting to fade just a little but is showing a smooth integration of layers that makes it seem more elegant on its way out.
I still have a couple of bottles, and will wait a while on those to see what happens. You just never know. Right now, this is a really nice wine that I wouldn't guess to be just $11 (actually, I paid a case price of $8.50 per bottle). Raise a glass!