2008 Chateau Soubiran Merlot/Malbec, Cotes Du Marmandais, France $7.99

Silverdale, WA    14% alc.    (Purchased on 10/22/13)

IMG_1289I believe this is the first Cotes Do Marmandais I’ve ever had.  It’s in southwest France, just outside the borders of Bordeaux.  This red is 80% Merlot and 20% Malbec.

Pours a very clear medium garnet with a very earthy, mushroomy and slightly medicinal Bordeaux-like nose.  Very light and soft on the front of the tongue, but fills out considerably at mid-palate with firm, chewy tannins…then oddly softens again in the finish.  Flavors are more Right Bank due to the majority Merlot content and are again earthy, lightly medicinal, perhaps a little black peppery, some cherry and licorice and a bit cardboardy.  Leaves a slightly drying feeling in the finish.  This is a very austere, old world style red that some of our readers may find appealing.  I read one online French site that suggested this particular vintage of Ch. Soubiran should be kept five years at most, which would be right now!  I concur.  $7.99 seems a bit steep for a GO red that few shoppers are likely to be familiar with.

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