I know there are a lot of derogatory things said about Merlot, but frankly I don’t give a damn.  Merlot after all is one of the primary grapes of Bordeaux, you know think Petrus.

Gordon Brothers estate is located in Columbia Valley.  It is Washington states oldest AVA.  Known mainly for Chardonnay it is becoming more and more known for Cabernet and Merlot.  Merlot being the more flexible it has become the second most planted after Chard, with Riesling starting to get a foothold.  Gordon brothers Estate was founded by brothers Jeff and Bill Gordon  in 1980.  This boutique winery has a reputation for producing some of the finest wines coming from Washington.

Today is all about Merlot.  The wine is aged in French and American oak.   When you open the bottle the aroma of violets and roses erupt.  The silky smooth juice coats your mouth with the tantalizing flavors.  Black Cherry, Plum, spices that remind me of the Holidays.  The tannins are smooth- elegant.  The finish is long and filled with fruit.  A completely beautiful wine.  Treat yourself to this wonderful experience.

$$

Enjoy

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Chateau Ferran is located in the Pessac Leognan., Graves.  This region is known for both red and white wines unlike most Bordeaux areas.  Most famous for being the home of Chateau Haut-Brion.  Being on the left bank, the predominant grape is Cabernet.

Chateau Ferran was a gift to me to sample.  I was not disappointed and will accept gifts as these any time. Thank You.  The nose emitted an air of old world mustiness.  Not in an off putting way though.  A typical aroma of wild ripe fruit that grows in the woods, berries of sorts, combined with an earthy truffle mushroom note.  Yea,  I know most of you are thinking WHAT? who would drink that, but believe me you will not be disappointed if you did.

The flavom hits you full force.  Front and center comes that earthiness immediately on its heels, the berries.  Rich and fruity.  Black berry, currant, cherry, a bit of coffee and chocolate are noted too, are all combined to make this an overwhelming mind blowing experience.  Slight hinders of cedar and smooth tannins with a long, long, long finish.   Very well structured with all the planes of flavor evenly spread.  A big dinner wine.

Enjoy

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You can almost taste the goodness from here.

The Chateau Cote Montpezat, located in the appellation Cotes de Castillon owned by the Bessineau family since 1989.  The history of the chateau goes back to the 16th century.  No doubt providing great wine since.  This 2010 vintage has achieved high ratings 90 or above from many reviewers.  The wine is majority merlot with remaining cab franc and cab sauvignon.

The fragrance of violets and ripe red fruits slowly lofts into the room after opening.  Pour the wine into the decanter and letting it sit for 30 minutes, leave the room and then come back.  The aroma overtakes you as you re-enter.  Starting out soft and easy then the power hits.

The mouth is coated with a soft velvety liquid.  The rich-ripe fruits caress your senses.  Your brain is reaching trying to distinguish all of the flavors.  Besides the dark cherry notes I distinguish a certain fig too.  Soft and elegant throughout.  A lingering spice that makes your mouth water continuously.  Concentrated and full bodied, oh the gorgeous drink.

Enjoy

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Over the past few weeks I have not written much.  Just not inspired, and also enjoying some research.  I have been enjoying some Bordeaux under 10 dollars.  Yes, Bordeaux under 10.  Some call these wines Bordeaux superior.  Whatever you call them, these four are good.  These  are Merlot based easy drinking wines made for the table.  They also are great gifts, give these wines to friends who are not winos.  I mean when you give someone a Bordeaux they all think what an expensive bottle of wine.

Chateau Bellevue

A Merlot based wine blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cab. Franc.  Smooth and tasty, light tannins that ad a little structure.  A very soft nose with floral hints and spice.  The wine is a crowd pleaser as I like to say.  Made to enjoy with an evening meal.  Perhaps not an award winner at wine expos, but a winner in my book.  I have enjoyed this wine for years.  And, I hope to continue.

Chateau Bellevue,  an enjoyable evening bottle
Chateau Bellevue, an enjoyable evening bottle.

Chateau Bois Redon

I spent a wonderful evening with Comte de Bosredon last year, listening to stories of his grand mother and family.  This wine is one of my favorites.  I have enjoyed this wine for many years.  Fruity and medium bodied.  The nose exudes fruit with hints of violets and spice.  A Merlot based wine that erupts in a pleasure for the senses.  This is one I keep on hand to impress guests.  You know pulling out a Bordeaux for dinner really suggests something.  They do not need to know it only cost 10 dollars.

just amazing for under 10
just amazing for under 10

Our next up is Chateau Belingard

A nice fruity wine. Light bodied.  This wine is in the Bergerac vineyards, and is exceptional.  Another under 10 bottle, Merlot based with some structure and depth.  Light tannins give it that extra bit.  Another wine from the bosredon family that give it that edge in quality from other wines of the same category.

Belingard, fresh and fruity
Belingard, fresh and fruity

Now for the last of the evening.  Chateau Bel Air Esperance

Of the four from the evening this one seems to be the hardest to find and perhaps the most popular.  Smooth and elegant, rich and full bodied. Fruit forward lots of structure, tannins that follow though.  A very long finish.  A real French table wine that will go with any good meal.  I tend to think of this wine to pair with hearty meals, country cooking seems stick in my mind. Merlot based again, this blend is indeed excellent.

oh yes it is good
oh yes it is good

So tonight I offered 4 wines, all Bordeaux and all under 10.  All quality wines that you would not be apprehensive in serving.  I say go for it and try these wines, come on 40 dollars is not going to break the bank.

Enjoy

These wines sat in my cellar for months.  I saw them every week when I was planning and studying, but they sat there. I did not have any notion about the wine or any desire to pull it down and try it.  I had two bottles a Merlot and a Cabernet. I had been asked to try them and give my opinion. 
Well slap me down.  What had I been thinking.  These wines were gorgeous.  A result of detailed wine making showing forth the passion apparent here.
Joseph Carr is the founder and vintner. Aaron Pott the winemaker.  Carr has had a long history in various positions in the industry culminating in the Joseph Carr winery.  Pott, a former winemaker of the year, puts all of his knowledge and experience into this venture.
The Napa Cabernet a 2011, not the most noted year, but in this case ooh la la.  Taking out the cork was delightful.  The bounty that plumed forward was extraordinary.  Deep cherry, violet, rose. Wow.
My mouth was watering even before the dark rich liquid touched my tongue.  Every centimeter of my mouth was quivering with delight as the flavors bombarded my senses. Again the rich ripe fruits, hints of spice, wood and smoke.  Soft elegant tannins that tantalize and stroke the desire for more.
A few nights later I indulged myself with the Merlot.  Needless to say I was not disappointed.   Now I must also admit that I am a big merlot fan and this one made me want to grab some pom poms and do a cheer.  A bouquet of complex aromas, berries and floral scents astound the nose.  The velvet touch that coated my mouth was comforting, like sitting in the most comfortable chair and relaxing.  A peace and calm overtook me and all I could think was how good and enjoyable this is.  So  much flavor, fruit forward and rich. Soft smooth and silky finish.  Just a pleasure.  
Both wines are complex and very well balanced that remind me of some of the best Bordeaux made.  So

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Cabernet and chocolate covered chips. Yummy

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Enjoy