I haven’t done a head-to-head in awhile. It’s time for some competition. Both brands have a reputation for price-to-quality ratio. Both are under $10. The Columbia Crest is the Grand Estates 2010, the Bogle a 2011.
Tasted semi-blind (I knew what I was tasting but not the order) there was a clear winner. The Columbia Crest was satisfying, the Bogle only passable.
The Columbia Crest was full of flavor. Blackberry, mild baking spices, herbal hints, and pronounced vanilla on the nose—more complexity than is typical of a budget wine. Chocolate flavors develop on the soft, round, medium weight palate. Low to medium acidity and very little tannin on the short finish. This is no powerhouse but there is an impression of opulence.
The Bogle has a cherry nose truncated by vegetal notes and coffee on the medium-bodied palate. Medium acidity and a pleasing earthy character on the short finish but the flavors lack depth and intensity. A decent wine but a little thin and unremarkable. Bogle makes some good wines for the price, but this Merlot is ordinary.
If I’m going to drink Merlot I want it to be lush and a little hedonistic. That is what Merlot does best. The Columbia Crest wins on style points.
Scores: Bogle Merlot: 84, Columbia Crest: 87
Price: Bogle: $9, Columbia Crest: $9