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The French appellations of Saint-Émilion and Pomerol in Bordeaux are home to some of the world’s most expensive and sought-after red wines. These denominations are located in what is known as the “right bank” of Bordeaux, where merlot is usually the dominant grape in red blends. Although wines from Saint-Émilion and Pomerol can be quite pricey, they both have neighboring “satellite” appellations that produce some very good bargains. The following two examples would both go well with steak and other red meats.

Château Petit Clos du Roy 2016 Montagne Saint-Émilion, France

Bought • World Market, 24 Brentwood Promenade Court, in February for $11.99 with free membership, promotions

Description • Grapes for this aromatic red come from vineyards at the crossroads of the communes of Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Néac and Montagne. Made mostly from merlot with a lesser amount of cabernet franc, this is a medium- to full-bodied red that’s lively, well-balanced, and has lots of character. It tastes of bright, fresh fruit with hints of vanilla and black pepper. It’s by far the best buy of the two wines reviewed.

Château de Bertineau Saint Jean 2017 Lalande de Pomerol, France

Bought • World Market, 24 Brentwood Promenade Court, in February for $14.79 with free membership, promotions

Description • Merlot is the main player here along with smaller amounts of cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc.This is a very young, medium-bodied wine that’s dry, tannic and a bit austere, especially when compared with the lively Montagne Saint-Émilion. Letting it breathe for about 30 minutes allows flavors of blackberries, plums and other dark fruits to develop and the tannins to slightly soften. It will probably improve after aging two to three more years.

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