Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: **** $ Columbia Crest Two Vines Merlot Cabernet, 2006, Washington State

Find Two Vines Merlot Cabernet prices and retail availability. 

By way of background, original review, November, 2009: Two Vines is the value-based label from Columbia Crest, wines made from grapes of the Washington State area. The Merlot-Cabernet blend for 2006 consists of 75% merlot, 20% cabernet franc and 5% cabernet sauvignon. The Columbia Valley vineyards from which these grapes are harvested are located just east of the Cascade Mountain range in Washington State.

The "Two Vines" label is named from the trellising approach used within the Columbia Crest vineyards dedicated to these wines.

Two Vines Merlot Cabernet is aged in small oak barrels and finished at 13.5% alcohol.

In the glass: This blend shows as medium deep red in the glass, with hints of purple added to the mix.

On the nose: Aromas are bold, deep, oaky, charcoal and black-fruited.

On the palate: A rich even midpalate is the first impression. Quite lush overall - think of a velour robe. Clear, rich, sweet merlot fruit, wrapped in significant oak. Light tannins bring the dark berry fruit into the sides of your mouth, letting it slowly settle along your cheeks.

And the finish: Full, even, sweet and rich fruit flavors fade slowly, leaving an even sheen of red berry plus oak at the closing moment.

In summary: Remarkably full and robust experience overall. Although I could not see laying this down for aging, it does earn a surprisingly strong four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, due to its pleasure and rich potency. Incredible value.

Updated review, a year and a half later, May, 2011:  Now the color at the edge has migrated from purple towards brick.  Sweet, dark-fruited aromas, not quite as bold now.  Remains a simple, clean merlot fruit on the palate, with nice surround sound of ripe red berries and gentle tannins.  Held up remarkably well to time in bottle given the bargain price point. Following long decant, one day kept cool in partially-filled bottle:  Aromas remain sweet, dark and funky.  Palate holds its nice layered balance of red fruit and slightly darker oak.

Find Two Vines Merlot Cabernet prices and retail availability. 

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