Columbia Crest samples, I received three wines from fellow H3 winery Red Diamond Winery, all priced in the $10 value range.The Merlot was sourced from Washington State fruit, whereas the Pinot Noir consists of California grown grapes and the Temperamental several grapes imported from Spain. And all three are priced to appeal to most wine consumers.
Red Diamond 2012 Merlot ($10, 13.5%) is a 90% Merlot, 10% Syrah blend of grapes harvested from eastern Washington state. The wine was aged 12 months in French and American oak barrels. The Merlot starts with subtle earthiness and spice on the nose, moves on to a dusty and blackberry - dark cherry flavor, and finishes easy with decent acids and lingering spices. Very nice.
Red Diamond 2012 California Pinot Noir ($10, 13.5%) is a blend of 80% Pinot Noir, 10% Petit Sirah, and 10% Petit Verdot. That's an interesting combination and interestingly the wine starts with a peppered spearmint aroma. The cherry flavors evaporate quite rapidly as the wine races to a smooth finish. Prefer others.
Red Diamond Temperamental ($10, 13.5%) is a blend of 90% Tempranillo, 4% Graciano, 3% Garnacha, and 3% Mazueloall imported from Spain. This was easily my favorite wine of the trio, with chocolate cherries on the nose, followed by a slightly elevated blackberry middle, and finishing very smooth. At ten bucks, this is quite a deal. Cheers.