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


14 Hands Merlot 2014
Washington State, Columbia Valley

14 Hands Merlot Rating



Benziger Family Winery Merlot 2014
California, Sonoma County

Benziger Merlot Rating


Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot 2014
Washington State, Columbia Valley

Columbia Crest Grand Estate Merlot Rating


Menage a Trois Merlot 2015

Menage a Trois Merlot Rating



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

Chateau Ste Michelle Merlot Rating



Clos du Bois Merlot 2015

Clos du Bois Merlot Rating



Ecco Domani Merlo 2015

Ecco Domani Merlot Rating



Casillero del Diablo Merlot 2015
Chile, Central Valley

Casillero del Diablo Merlot Mating



Two Vines Merlot-Cabernet 2014
Washington State, Columbia Valley

Two Vines Merlot Rating



Francis Coppola Blue Diamond Merlot 2015

Coppola Merlot Rating



Radius Merlot 2014
Washington State, Walla Walla Valley

Radius Merlot Rating



Rex Goliath Merlot 2015

Rex Goliath Merlot Rating


(Click here to see the results of all of our other Value Tasting Challenges!)

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

  1. Pingback: VinCrush Cabernet Sauvignon Value Challenge Results! Finding the Best Cabs for Around $10 at Total Wine & More!

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