The wine for a dirty mind
by: Vino Joe (e-mail)
Though many Americans might think Merlot was invented in California, the truth is that it is a grape that has been known for centuries as one of the main grapes in Bordeaux. While many Bordeaux wines are very costly and require several years of cellaring, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a Merlot from its native land.
One example that typifies French Merlot and won’t empty your wallet is Christian Moueix Merlot. Those who are familiar with the mild, jelly-flavored, inexpensive “New World” (California, South America, Australia) Merlots may be put off by the earthiness of this example from Bordeaux. In France, the goal is to allow the grapes to express the vineyard, so in many cases you get a taste of the actual earth and minerals that compose the ground of the vines. The wine won’t taste like a mud pie, but you will definitely get earthy hints, and believe it or not this is an attractive element.
Christian Moueix Merlot most definitely expresses this earthiness, beginning with a nose that smells of dirt, dirt and more dirt, as well as some mineral and black fruit hints. However, this dirty nose is not entirely representative of the wine’s taste. In the mouth it is a lot more pleasant, with a fairly smooth texture and open, forward flavors of black and red raspberry, and black cherry, with mild notes of earth and tar. If you can get past the earthiness, it’s quite enjoyable, and for that reason I recommend you do NOT drink it alone, but matched with food. Beef, ground turkey, cheese and barbecued dishes should all go well with this bottle.
So next time you’re feeling a little dirty, try a Bordeaux such as this one from Christian Moueix.
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