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Bordeaux, Cabernet Merlot

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Bordeaux



Maritime Bordeaux in the west of France is a large producer of quality wines. Although saying that there's a large gap between the top few who produce ultra-premium wines with hefty price tags (Lafite, Margaux, Y'Quem, Petrus….) and the rest of the field.

The Left Bank with its gravelly composition of soils is more suited to Cabernet Sauvignon while the Right Bank is made up more of clay and this is where Merlot and Cabernet Franc dominate (as they are earlier ripens and don't mind getting their feet wet). In the middle, the Entre Du Meurs provides a slew of whites and reds made for early drinking.

On the right bank outside of St Emilion and Pomerol, there are a lot of well-priced merlots made that are more for early consumption. These come from the satellite Bordeaux regions.
The English built up a thirst for the better Bordeaux reds which they have coined 'clarets'. These are often tucked away for a while in their cellars to age and drunk with a few years under their belts. But not all Bordeaux is built for aging, so choose wisely.

Styles
For whites, there are the crisp and easily quaffed whites from Entre De Meurs, or the more ambitious oak-aged Semillion Sauvignon blends from Pessac Legonan. The queen of dessert wines, Sauternes can also call Bordeaux home. French oak maturation is a common thread amongst the elite reds, whites and sweet wines.

Grapes

White:Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle
Red: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot

Some of the most highly rated recent vintages are 2005, 2009, 2010, 2016 and 2018.

Favourite Producers
Montrose, Pichon Lalande, Poitevin, D'Yquem, Coutet,
 


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  1. La Fleur de Bouard 2010 375ml
    La Fleur de Bouard 2010 375ml

    The 2010 La Fleur du Bouard (80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon) is bottled unfined and unfiltered and hit 14.5% natural alcohol. The wine offers up notes of black raspberry and blueberry pie intermixed with incense, lead pencil shavings and plenty of underlying floral notes. Some background oak is also present. The wine is medium to full-bodied, beautifully pure, voluptuously textured, rich, long and hedonistic and satisfying. Drink it over the next 10+ years. The other cuvee, a limited production wine, can be absolutely magnificent with some bottle age, as the 2000 is certainly proving to be.

    The standard of excellence for Lalande de Pomerol is Hubert de Bouard’s 50-acre property, over half of it located on the highly prized Neac plateau, which consists of clay, sand and gravel sub-soils. ROBERT PARKER, 2013

    2010
    Cabernet Merlot
    France
    356
  2. Chateau Rouget Pomerol 2017
    Chateau Rouget Pomerol 2017

    Pomerol
    12 BOTTLES remain at time of offer
    The 2017 Rouget is a total knockout. Aromatically explosive, deep and just so compelling in its beauty, the 2017 has so much to offer. A rush of inky dark fruit, lavender, bittersweet chocolate, spice and licorice build as this sumptuous, exotic beauty shows off all of its allure. The 2017 is not at all subtle, but it sure is gorgeous. Rouget was stellar en primeur. It is every bit as impressive from bottle. (95) ANTONIO GALLONI

    2017
    Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Merlot, Merlot
    France
    356
  3. Chateau Montlandrie 2016 1500ml
    Chateau Montlandrie 2016 1500ml

    CASTILLON-CÔTES DE BORDEAUX

    The 2016 Montlandrie is a blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon picked between 3-17 October. It was picked at 40 hectoliters per hectare and raised in 60% new oak (although my sample was from a one-year-old barrel). It is the first vintage to include more than 80% of the vines that were planted by Denis Durantou after 2008. This has a more broody bouquet than the two Lalande-de-Pomerols, just a touch of leafiness originating from the Cabernet Sauvignon that enhances the complexity. The palate is medium-bodied with fine structure, more saline than the Les Cruzelles, backward at the moment, but the Cabernets impart some lovely graphite notes on the saline finish. Superb. Expect this to land towards the top of my banded score once in bottle. (91-93) NEAL MARTIN

    The 2016 Montlandrie is powerful and bold to its core. Layers of dense, dark fruit, chocolate, lavender spice and sweet oak saturate the palate. Dense and voluptuous, this racy wine from Denis Durantou is packed and ready to deliver maximum pleasure upon release. Tasted two times. (88-91) ANTONIO GALLONI

    2016
    Cabernet Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
    France
    356
  4. Beychevelle 2015 375ml
    Beychevelle 2015 375ml
    SAINT JULIEN 4th Growth Cru Classé 
    The 2015 Beychevelle was picked between 22 September and 8 October, a blend of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot that will be matured in 50% new oak. It has quite a high IPT at 81, a pH of 3.72. It has a clean and crisp bouquet, tightly-wound at first, then unfurls with redcurrant, cranberry and raspberry scents, leaning towards the red spectrum rather than black. There is impressive delineation here, no frills, almost clinical in its "aromatic efficiency." The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin. This is a suave Beychevelle in the making, harmonious in the mouth, supple even, gently building towards a lightly spiced finish. Among the Saint Julien wines, this is clearly one of the more understated 2015s. It is only when you swallow the wine that its lingering flavors remind you that this could evolve into one of Philippe Blanc's great Beychevelles. While it is not a headline-grabbing wine, a decade in bottle will be handsomely rewarded. (92-94) ANTONIO GALLONI
    2015
    Cabernet Merlot
    France
    356
  5. Sociando Mallet 2015 1500ml
    Sociando Mallet 2015 1500ml
    One of the standouts of the vintage, the 2015 Sociando Mallet is all finesse. Light on its feet, gracious and super-expressive, the 2015 speaks to class above all else. The flavors are bright and beautifully lifted in this polished, sophisticated Haut-Médoc. Although a touch light, the 2015 is very pretty. The blend is 50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. 90  ANTONIO GALLONI
    2015
    Cabernet Merlot
    France
    356
    Special Price $195.00 Regular Price $230.00
  6. Clinet 2017
    Clinet 2017

    Pomerol
    9 BOTTLE remain at time of offer
    The 2017 Clinet was bottled at the end of June 2019. It has a more understated bouquet than the 2015 or 2016. Tightly wound, brambly black fruit with traces of pressed violet and iodine, gradually open with orange rind notes. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins. This is classic in style, firm grip and a little rigid in its youth, although it will flesh out with bottle age. I admire both the freshness and salinity in this Clinet, especially its linearity on the finish. Excellent. (13.2% alcohol) (93) NEAL MARTIN, vinous

    2017
    Cabernet Merlot
    France
    356
  7. Haut Bages Liberal 2016 1500ml
    Haut Bages Liberal 2016 1500ml

    PAUILLAC - 5th Growth

    The 2016 Haut-Bages Libéral has turned out beautifully. Rose petals, lavender and sweet red cherry are some of the notes that grace this fine, translucent Pauillac. Medium in body and precise, with exquisite finesse and nuance, the 2016 is incredibly expressive today. This is a fabulous showing from proprietor Claire Villars Lurton. (95) ANTONIO GALLONI

     

    2016
    Cabernet Merlot
    France
    356
  8. Malescot Saint Exupery 2010
    Malescot Saint Exupery 2010

    Margaux (3rd Growth)

    2010: This estate, which has been on a qualitative crescendo for over ten years, has made a prodigious 2010 that ranks alongside their 2009, 2005 and 2000. A gorgeous fragrance of spring flowers, cedarwood, black and red currants and hints of spice box and subtle oak is followed by a generously endowed, full-bodied, opulent wine with layers of concentration, a restrained yet exuberant personality, superb fruit purity and a long finish. There is plenty of tannin, no doubt elevated alcohol and wonderful freshness as well as delicacy. This beauty should drink well for 25 or more years. Drink 2011-2036. ROBERT PARKER

    The Malescot Saint-Exupery has a very well defined nose, very precise with good mineralité. Blackberry, cedar, graphite and limestone, great focus and aromatic "bravura". The palate has a ripe, fleshy entry, quite noticeable new oak but there is sufficient fruit to support it. Seamless texture with dark cherries, blackcurrant, a touch of graphite and cedar towards the finish that is more "classic" in style than the entry. This has great potential and could turn out to be better than the 2009. Tasted April 2011.(93-95+ points) NEAL MARTIN

    This is a 2005 Malescot in the making. And that was stunning. I love the blueberries, chocolate and nuts on the nose and palate. The finish lasts for minutes with so much . Goes on and on. I want to drink this! Wow. JAMES SUCKLING

    2010
    Cabernet Merlot
    France
    356
    $295.00
  9. Lynch Bages 2017
    Lynch Bages 2017

    Pauillac 5ème Cru Classé
    18 BOTTLE remain at time of offer

    This is a focused and tight Lynch with beautiful blackcurrants, slate, graphite and lead pencil. Medium to full body. Very fine tannins and brightness. Linear line of tannins that runs nicely through the wine. A blend of 70% cabernet sauvignon, 24% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot. (95) JAMES SUCKLING

    The 2017 Lynch-Bages is such a pretty and engaging wine; as always, it is a wine of pure and total seduction. Lush, open-knit and very pretty with ripe red and purplish fruit. There is a slight bit of edginess in the tannin that needs to be resolved, but cellaring should take care of that. (94) ANTONIO CALLONI

    The 2017 Lynch-Bages is aged for 18 months in 75% new French oak. It has a very pure bouquet with blackberry, bilberry, freshly picked wild mint and a touch of iodine. It feels very primal compared to its peers and certainly requires plenty of bottle age. The palate is sweet and generous on the entry thanks to the supple tannin. Moderate acidity, quite opulent for Lynch-Bages but that is reined in towards the finish. I would have liked a little more complexity and delineation overall, but it should drink well for 15 to 20 years. (92) NEAL MARTIN

     

    2017
    Cabernet Merlot
    France
    356
  10. Montrose 2017
    Montrose 2017

    Saint-Estèphe 2ème Cru Classé 
    13 BOTTLE remain at time of offer

    Extremely aromatic with currant, wild-herb and fresh-violet aromas. This is regal cabernet sauvignon at its finest. The palate has unwaveringly long and defined tannins that carry such fresh, piercingly pure, redcurrant and cassis flavors. A twin to the superb 2015? A blend of 76% cabernet sauvignon, 20% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.(97) JAMES SUCKLING

    The 2017 Montrose is a very pretty, polished wine that speaks much more to finesse than power. Expressive floral and spices notes add an attractive inner sweetness to a Montrose that in 2017 leans more into the red fruit spectrum. Gracious yet deep, with terrific overall balance, the 2017 Montrose is a total winner. What impresses most about the 2017 is its freshness and sophistication. I won't be surprised if Montrose turns out to be even better than this note suggests further down the road. Graphite, licorice, menthol and sage lead to a finish with real grip and freshness. The 2017 is such a classy and promising wine. (95+) ANTONIO GALLONI

    The 2017 Montrose was so impressive from barrel and now, bottled since July, it continues to put in a strong case for being one of the best Left Bank wines. It has a very pure and intoxicating bouquet with intense blackberry, light cassis, juniper and violet aromas, almost Margaux-like in terms of personality. Although there is a patina of new oak after bottling, it is in sync with the fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with gentle grip on the entry. Tightly wound at the moment but supremely well focused, this is a classic Montrose, "cool" and reserved, demonstrating impressive tension and precision towards the finish. It will require less time in bottle than the 2016 for example, so broach this superb Saint-Estèphe after five or six years and then it will give 25 to 30 years of drinking pleasure, and knowing Montrose, probably longer. Tasted twice with consistent notes. (95) NEAL MARTIN

    2017
    Cabernet Merlot
    France
    356
  11. Lynch Bages 2015
    Lynch Bages 2015
    PAUILLAC 5th Growth Cru Classé
    One of the finest Pauillacs of 2015, Lynch-Bages is rich, racy and voluptuous. A rush of dark red and purplish stone fruit, mint, new leather, spice and blood orange give the 2015 a very decidedly exotic character that is impossible to miss. Raspberry jam, mocha, new leather and expressive floral notes appear with time in the glass, rounding things out nicely. Even though the 2015 is quite forward and open at this stage, the wine has plenty of stuffing as well as the underlying structure to support many years of exceptional drinking. This is a stellar showing for Lynch-Bages. ANTONIO GALLONI

    They 2015 Lynch Bages is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot that was picked from 23 September until 2 October, matured in 75% new oak. There is an overwhelming sense of purity on the nose: perfumed, almost floral blackberry, wild strawberry, graphite and cedar scents, unmistakably Pauillac in style. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grain tannin, a keen citrus thread that impart tension and ample freshness. Tasting this as the first wine of the day, it instantly refreshes the mouth and leaves it tingling with energy after it has departed. This is an excellent, top-grade Lynch Bages that deserves 8-10 years in bottle and then will offer three decade of pleasure, maybe more.
    (93-95) NEAL MARTIN
    2015
    Cabernet Merlot
    France
    356
  12. Montrose 2017 1500ml
    Montrose 2017 1500ml

    Saint-Estèphe 2ème Cru Classé 
    4 MAGNUMS remain at time of offer

    Extremely aromatic with currant, wild-herb and fresh-violet aromas. This is regal cabernet sauvignon at its finest. The palate has unwaveringly long and defined tannins that carry such fresh, piercingly pure, redcurrant and cassis flavors. A twin to the superb 2015? A blend of 76% cabernet sauvignon, 20% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.(97) JAMES SUCKLING

    The 2017 Montrose is a very pretty, polished wine that speaks much more to finesse than power. Expressive floral and spices notes add an attractive inner sweetness to a Montrose that in 2017 leans more into the red fruit spectrum. Gracious yet deep, with terrific overall balance, the 2017 Montrose is a total winner. What impresses most about the 2017 is its freshness and sophistication. I won't be surprised if Montrose turns out to be even better than this note suggests further down the road. Graphite, licorice, menthol and sage lead to a finish with real grip and freshness. The 2017 is such a classy and promising wine. (95+) ANTONIO GALLONI

    The 2017 Montrose was so impressive from barrel and now, bottled since July, it continues to put in a strong case for being one of the best Left Bank wines. It has a very pure and intoxicating bouquet with intense blackberry, light cassis, juniper and violet aromas, almost Margaux-like in terms of personality. Although there is a patina of new oak after bottling, it is in sync with the fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with gentle grip on the entry. Tightly wound at the moment but supremely well focused, this is a classic Montrose, "cool" and reserved, demonstrating impressive tension and precision towards the finish. It will require less time in bottle than the 2016 for example, so broach this superb Saint-Estèphe after five or six years and then it will give 25 to 30 years of drinking pleasure, and knowing Montrose, probably longer. Tasted twice with consistent notes. (95) NEAL MARTIN

    2017
    Cabernet Merlot
    France
    356
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