Wine | Even-Steven: Merlot Cabernet from Medoc
Finding good values in Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon blends continues to be a wine buying challenge, especially if you are looking at all the options available from Bordeaux, France. As a quick selection, let’s check out the Medoc part of Bordeaux. It’s always a good value, but with somewhat varied results. Choose carefully.
Why consider this type of wine? If you really like Cabernets that have been softened and made more elegant by blending in Merlot, this is what Bordeaux is all about. It’s a practice that is especially true in the “Haut-Medoc” sub-appellation, where they blend Cab and Merlot just about 50-50, even-steven.
One good way to get started with this evenly blended type of wine is to explore Total Wine’s “Winery Direct” selections from Bordeaux’s Haut-Medoc. One of the more consistent picks is from Chateau Maurac and comes from vines that are about 30 years old. This provides a vintage-to-vintage stability as well as a mature structure.
If you can find one of these for about $25, it’s a good deal!
Tasting this wine will reveal all the character of an “Old World Vin”. The bouquet has blackberry, toast, tobacco, and leather. In the mouth, there is a firmly structured blend of currant, dark spices, with grippy soft tannins and noticeable acidity.
Food pairing with roast chicken (rotisserie is wonderful) or lighter beef selections like London Broil works well. Please note that serving with food is what this type of wine is all about. It is expressly created as a condiment.
Serve slightly chilled at “European Room Temperature”, a little less than 60 degrees.