Baker’s dozen of Northwest Merlot

By on September 22, 2013

Columbia Crest 2010 H3 Merlot, Horse Heaven Hills, $15

Columbia Crest in Paterson, Washington, is the Pacific Northwest's largest winery.Best Buy! Thirty years ago, Ste. Michelle moved to Paterson, Wash., and began making wine in this town overlooking the Columbia River from the Horse Heaven Hills. Several years ago, they launched this mid-level tier for Columbia Crest, and the wines under Juan Muñoz Oca continue to be among the best values in the Northwest. Enticing aromas of Nutella, black cherry, plums and toasted cherry wood evolve into rich and bold flavors of black cherry, blackberry and more plums. Its smooth midpalate, bright acidity and finish of chocolate-covered espresso beans make this a crowd-pleaser at any price.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 64,000 cases

Alcohol: 14.5%

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About Andy Perdue

Andy Perdue is the editor and publisher of Great Northwest Wine. He is a third-generation journalist who has worked at newspapers since the mid-1980s and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Eric Degerman and served as its editor-in-chief for 15 years. He is a frequent judge at international wine competitions. He is the author of "The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer's Handbook" (Sasquatch, 2003) and has contributed to four other books. He writes about wine for The Seattle Times. You can find him on Twitter and .

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