VinCrush Merlot Value Challenge Results! Finding the Best Merlots for Around $10 at Total Wine & More!

Merlot Challenge Results Summary

Merlot Challenge Results

The Merlot results are in! At the bottom of this post, you’ll find the final rankings and basic tasting notes on each bottle.

I was delighted to find some really great wines at really great prices in this challenge.  In particular, both the 14 Hands and the Columbia Crest Grand Estates represent great values for really good wines. Either one will give you a ton of pleasure with a rich, smooth palate carrying delightful flavors that go beyond just the basic berries.

Take notes that both of these wines come from Washington state.  If you’re not familiar with Washington state wines, you should be! 

The Benziger was also a really great bottle with great flavor, but at a slightly higher cost.  For my money, no question that we’ll be drinking more 14 Hands and Columbia Crest Grand Estates in our house!

On the other hands, there were definitely some negative surprises this month.  I rated the bottom three bottles this month as “Skip It”.  I honestly thought the Radius and Coppola would perform much better, especially considering that they’re both very popular.  This could just be a preference issue… I found these wines to be far too sweet and heavily oaked to be a good representation of Merlot. But that’s not too say that some people wouldn’t love this flavor profile. If you like your reds to be a bit sweeter and oakier, dig in and give them a try!  Don’t let anyone tell you you’re wrong.  There’s nothing flawed with these bottles… they just don’t fit my mission of finding $10 bottles that best approximate $50 bottles.

Individual Wine Reviews

#1 

14 Hands Merlot 2014
Washington State, Columbia Valley
$8.97

14 Hands Merlot Rating

 


#2

Benziger Family Winery Merlot 2014
California, Sonoma County
$10.99

Benziger Merlot Rating


#3

Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot 2014
Washington State, Columbia Valley
$7.47

Columbia Crest Grand Estate Merlot Rating


#4

Menage a Trois Merlot 2015
California
$8.49

Menage a Trois Merlot Rating

 


#5

Chateau Ste Michelle Merlot Indian Wells 2014
Washington State, Columbia Valley
$10.97

Chateau Ste Michelle Merlot Rating

 


#6

Clos du Bois Merlot 2015
California
$7.47

Clos du Bois Merlot Rating

 


#7

Ecco Domani Merlo 2015
Sicily
$7.47

Ecco Domani Merlot Rating

 


#8

Casillero del Diablo Merlot 2015
Chile, Central Valley
$7.29

Casillero del Diablo Merlot Mating

 


#9

Two Vines Merlot-Cabernet 2014
Washington State, Columbia Valley
$7.29

Two Vines Merlot Rating

 


#10

Francis Coppola Blue Diamond Merlot 2015
Californnia
$11.97

Coppola Merlot Rating

 


#11

Radius Merlot 2014
Washington State, Walla Walla Valley
$10.49

Radius Merlot Rating

 


#12

Rex Goliath Merlot 2015
California
$5.47

Rex Goliath Merlot Rating


 

(Click here to see the Pinot Noir challenge results.)

(Click here to see the Zinfandel challenge results.)

(Click here to see the Malbec challenge results.)

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