Bordeaux, France; imported by AW Direct
70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc; 13% ABV
$12 at the Richmond, CA, store around 23 Nov
On opening and for a while after, this wine showed only hints of its full self. However, they were very pleasant aromatic hints, so if you like to “watch” a wine air, it would be fine along the way if you’re not eating strong foods. IMO, it needed 2+ hours in a decanter to open up, showing elegant and tasty flavors of black cherry, purple plum / almost blackberry, riper red currant / cherry, black pepper, and a little herbs, tar, and coffee. The body is rather light, but it does taste like St-Émilion, and its fresh fruit and lighter-weight but definite tannic finish seem to mean it will last for at least 2 or three years. On the first night, my reaction is this is reasonably tasty wine for the price, especially if you are fond of this region of Bordeaux, but not an amazing discovery.
The next day, the saved single-glass screwcap bottle still needed a bit of air to show similar flavors, a lot more forward, better integrated, and less overtly complex. I think about the same of it as I did on the first night: pretty good wine that tastes like it should, but not a great bargain for the price.