2011 Michel-Schlumberger Merlot

California; 14.2% ABV
$7 at the Oakland, CA store on 16 May

(I recycled the bottle before I took a photo, but it looked a lot like this M-S label.)

I generally don’t like the soft unstructured nature of Merlot, but this one is pretty good, both more emphatic and more elegant than most.  It needs about a half hour of air, continues to develop for a while after that, and is still fine three hours later.  It shows classic Merlot flavors of ripe blackcurrant, purplish red cherries, and ripe red currant, with good acid of these fruits, and a little vanilla / oak.  I wouldn’t get more because I’m not that wild about Merlot, but I think this is pretty good for the price.


6 thoughts on “2011 Michel-Schlumberger Merlot

  1. TheConnasewer

    I did not taste this wine but have one bottle sitting in my kitchen. Interesting how anyone might compare a St. Emilion bordeaux for a run of the mill CA merlot. No disrespect to MS but really….French bordeaux even ordinary village commune stuff might be more interesting. Firrt clue, lower alcohol which makes most French bordeaux more food friendly. I see a lot of low end red bordeaux coming through G.O lately. I’m not biting since a lot of it is plonk. I know from good bordeaux since I have some classified stuff in the closet going back 10 years. California wine drinkers think there is something wrong with French bordeaux since most are well balanced, lower alcohol than CA cab/merlot. Thats what happens when your palate is burned out with ripe, extracted CA red wine. Wines that you can stand a pencil up in. My point here is…..don’t compare California reds to French bordeaux. Different animal.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi TC. At least among the regular commenters here, you’re preaching to the choir! Alan is knowledgeable and quite picky and said of course it’s not a Saint-Émilion . I’ve also avoided most of the Bordeaux that’s showed up lately, but please let us know what you think if you happen to try one.

      1. Rondo

        Hi BW. Thought I’d get back to you regarding the 2008 Michel Schlumberger La Cime Cab that you stashed in your cellar. Recently opened a bottle and drank it over 4 days. It has gained volume and complexity since last reported over a year ago. Still has briary tannins that still needs to be resolved and will wait on the other bottles.

  2. GOWineLover

    Couldn’t agree more. Bought 6 bottles at the sale. Well made wine that drops off on the finish a bit.

  3. Alan

    I’m not a Merlot lover either, but this one was good enough to get me to buy a case and my wino friend likewise. It’s a good red wine. Is it a St. Emilion? Of course not. But it’s good and the price is right.


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