You know how people always talk about the tremendous wine deals they found while vacationing in Europe? That’s what we have here – great everyday drinkers that will impress you and your guests, but won’t depress the pocketbook. As I have said before, it took us a while to develop our "French Connection," but once we did, we found incredible values.
First up is Lot 365 2010 Bordeaux. I just came from the Grand Cru Bordeaux tasting here in San Francisco, and I feel very comfortable saying that the 2010 Merlot-based wines (or the wines in which Merlot played a large part in the blend) outperformed Cabernet-based wines. For instance, the wines of Pessac-Léognan (where the percentages of Cabernet and Merlot are often just about evenly split) and those of Saint-Émilion (where Merlot is the star) just knocked my socks off. 2010 was a cooler vintage (or more “classic” in Bordeaux speak), and consequently, Merlot outperformed Cabernet in many instances. Our Lot 365 is 50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet, and 20% Cabernet Franc, so it’s no surprise that it piqued our interest last summer. The aromatics are shy at first, but after a few minutes, plump raspberries and chocolaty earth notes blossom in the glass. The palate is dry, but supple, with pretty red fruit notes and plenty of structure. The wine finishes with well-supported tannins and persistent fruit. Classically styled, this wine shows elegance and sophistication without austerity (and no, that is not a political statement). Drinks great now, but will cellar nicely, too.
For a more new-world approach to a Bordeaux blend, look no further than Lot 343 2011 IGP Pays d'Oc Meritage. A plumper and juicier style sourced out of the Languedoc in Southern France, this wine just sings right out of the glass. I had little expectation for the wine when the samples were first sent to me, but after I tasted the components I immediately had a case of samples sent over for Sam and Mike to play with. The result is a blend of 63% Cabernet, 19% Merlot, and 18% Malbec that’s chewy and rich without being overly weighted on the palate. The aromatics are ripe with blueberry fruit and cassis, and backed by a hint of olive. On the palate, the wine is juicy and rich, showing blue fruit essence and chocolate oak. Simply delicious, and a great everyday table wine to get by the case.
As always, if you have any questions, comments, or need assistance in selecting the right wines for you, please do not hesitate to email us or call 1-800-805-1971.