2012 Wines of Substance Merlot

Columbia Valley, WA
13.9% alc.
$8 at Renton, WA (purchased 3/21/14)

20140324_180806_resized (2)Lim13 reviewed the 2010 Syrah a while ago and it was disappointing as I agreed in the review. However, knowing the pedigree of the wineries behind this label I decided to give this a try, especially since the 2012 vintage was a good warm vintage in WA. Wines of Substance is a joint venture between Waters and Gramercy wineries to produce mid range value wines.

Medium red color. Cherry fruit, cocoa powder, and herbal notes in the nose. Very lean and tight on the palate. It took a good hour for this wine to give up its hidden treasures. This is a subtle wine with light cherry, bittersweet chocolate, and sweet touches of vanilla oak, anise, and herbal notes. Nice minerals with soft tea like tannins in the finish. A very stylistic wine that some may not like. A thumbs up for Me and a decent price, even better if its around for the sale.


6 thoughts on “2012 Wines of Substance Merlot

  1. bin5 Post author

    I tried this again and I am happy to say it was just as good as the first bottle. I’ve had many experiences of liking a wine, buying some, and then trying it again and wondering what I found to be so good. Even the non-sale price is well worth the tariff.

  2. KathinOregon

    Hi, anyone see this or ANY of the Wines of Substance wines in Oregon? I know that these have been spotted (cab, merlot, syrah) in Wash around Seattle area and beyond. I’ve had a few of the prior vintages (paid full price) in Walla-2 a couple years ago. Good cellar defenders for sub $10, not the case for $20ish. Would appreciate any Oregon source info at GO pricing. Thanks!

  3. lim13

    Sounds tastier than I would have expected, bin5. I passed it by because for eight bucks and the fact that this red has likely spent only about a year in bottle (very unusual for WA state reds…most (not all) are three years old on release), I anticipated a very light, fruity Merlot with little “substance”. This (and the Cab Sauv that also showed up) have got to be cash flow wines for the Waters and Grammercy labels that you mentioned and that I can’t afford. Maybe I’ll give it a try, but will likely hold out until the sale. BTW, the Cab is $9.99 and is also a 2012.

    1. lim13

      Didn’t make it until the sale…damn! I picked up two bottles today based on your review above, b5. There are only about three cases left at Silverdale as of 3/28/14.

      1. lim13

        Finally decided to open a bottle of this wine tonight and it’s a steal at the $7.99 I paid for it. Clear dark garnet with a pinkish rim; nose of dark cherry and tar; light on oak; in the mouth it’s very soft, but shows moderate tannins; more dark cherry, tar and some plum in the flavors; medium body and lots of fruit with oak in the background; perfectly integrated, well-balance and very, very tasty and varietal. An excellent buy. Bin5 was absolutely right! Too bad it’s likely not to be found anywhere a year later.

  4. jwc

    Thanks Bin5, sounds like a wine of interest, I’ll be on the lookout for it in Portland. Gramercy/Waters are wineries with solid wines, especially Gramercy IMO. Nice score, and like you mentioned, should it be around for the sale, even better.


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