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Wine Finds: Merlot in Haut-Médoc and Graves wines

Wine Finds: Merlot in Haut-Médoc and Graves wines

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When trying to decide which red blend to choose from France’s Bordeaux, the general rule of thumb is that wines from the region’s Left Bank are dominated by cabernet sauvignon and tend to be more tannic while Right Bank reds focus more on merlot and are often softer. However, there are exceptions such as the following two very good wines from the Left Bank appellations of Haut-Médoc and Graves.

Château Lestage Simon 2016 Haut-Médoc, FranceBought • Randall’s, 1910 South Jefferson Avenue, in August for $12.99

Description • Classified as a Cru Bourgeois, this complex, full-bodied red earned scores in the 90s from several critics including one who described it as an exceptional Haut-Médoc. According to Decanter magazine, the wine is made from 97% merlot with just 3% cabernet. It has very firm tannins that will soften in a few years. Aged in oak for 12 months, this is a smoky, spicy red that tastes of blackberries and ends with a long, elegant finish. It would be a delicious pair with rack of lamb.

Château d’Archambeau 2015 Graves, France

Bought • Randall’s, 1910 South Jefferson Avenue, in August for $12.99

Description • This soft, juicy red also received scores in 90s from wine critics. It comes from an estate owned by the Dubourdieu family, who also own Château Moulin de Segurat in Graves and Château Suau in Sauternes. A blend of 50% merlot, 45% cabernet sauvignon, 5% cabernet franc, this is an easy-to-drink lush wine with silky tannins. It’s a medium-bodied red that tastes of plums and red berries with just a touch of chocolate. This wine is ready to drink now and would go well with beef and grilled chicken.

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