Processing Your Order...

Search for ""

Update your browser to enjoy all that Wine.com has to offer.

It's easy to update and using the latest version
of Internet Explorer means all your web browsing will be better.

Yes, Update Now
Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wineFront shot of wine bottle

Columbia Crest H3 Merlot 2015

Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • JS90
15% ABV
  • WS90
  • WS89
  • WS86
  • WS89
  • WS90
  • WS91
  • W&S90
  • WS88
All Vintages
Currently Unavailable $9.98
Try the
15
9 98
Save $5.02 (33%)
Ships today if ordered in next 8 hours
Limit 0 bottles per customer
Sold in increments of 0
Add to Cart
1
Limit Reached
4.0 29 Ratings
My Wine Share
Vintage Alert
Alert me when new vintages are available
Rate for better recommendations
(256 characters remaining)
Cancel Save

4.0 29 Ratings
15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Vineyards in the Horse Heaven Hills are the source and inspiration behind the H3 wines. The hills have been home to Columbia Crest winery for more than two decades. Winemaker Juan Muñoz Oca combines innovative and traditional winemaking practices to highlight bold flavors in the wines that capture the unique terroir of the region.

This medium-bodied Merlot delivers aromas of spice and blackberry with the perfect balance of earth, cocoa and ripe cherry notes on the palate. The complex flavors are followed by a smooth, velvety finish.

Try pairing with Grilled Salmon, Roasted Lamb, Wild Game, and Balsamic or Tomato-Based Sauces

Blend: 82% Merlot, 12% Syrah, 4% Malbec, 2% Other Varietals

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 90
James Suckling
Oak plays a reasonable role in adding spicy sweetness to this approachable, plum-fruited merlot. Soft easy tannins. Drink now.
View More
Columbia Crest

Columbia Crest

View all wine
Columbia Crest, Columbia Valley, Washington
Video of winery
Founded in 1983, Columbia Crest has grown from a small winery in a relatively unknown wine region to one of the most significant wineries in the U.S. and a major force behind Washington state's emergence as a world-class wine region. Over the years, the winery has remained committed to delivery handcrafted, small-lot wines, as well as affordable, superior quality everyday wines. In 2009, the winery reached a milestone when Wine Spectator named their 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon "Wine of the Year," the first time a wine from Washington state has received the ranking. This accolade was not only a historic moment for Columbia Crest, but for all wineries in Washington and reinforced the belief that the region is among the best wine-producing areas in the world.

Columbia Valley

View all wine

A large and geographically diverse AVA capable of producing a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington state’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA even extends into northern Oregon!

Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the entire year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. But the grape also has enough stuffing to make serious, world-renowned wines. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, in St. Emilion and Pomerol, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc. On the Left Bank in the Medoc, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot with Cabernet Franc.

SWS183019_2015 Item# 355148