An absolutely GORGEOUS nose on this one, grimy muddy boots and shoe-leather and maraschino and a sweaty spirit found only in horse-stalls after a good run or sticky midnight summertime sex. Almost too dirty, masking the fruit down into figgy reduction and nutty bruised cherry, but the full roundness of peat and weed funk are invigorating and lithe. Medium garnet–headed into brown–a little VA salts the mineral to make the whole package charming and eye-rollingly heady.

What is not to love about satellite wines? Bang-for-the-buck they please me on levels sometimes lower-level classified stuff fails to do at 3 times the price. *Probably* a heavy chunk of ME, sometimes CF, they can really sing.

Things fall a bit short in the mouth. Thin and fruit-fading, the watery substance of the body delivers little of what the nose promised. I’m going to go with lots of Merlot on this one, washed out as the variety can often be even at barely 10, and the CS and CF portions taking up the spicy reins to drive the tired wine home. Not much fruit to speak of–a still-fabulous food-wine: one I can relish with rich food or rustic fare but for most California sweet-tooth’s, will be deemed “awkward” and “sharp”. Anyone raised on Paso or Napa are going to go all *bitter-beer-face* on an offering of this, but fans of lighter, more acid-driven wines will be quite pleased. Deep down, the ripe candied cherry swells, but with a bit of a pruney tone to it–and a touch of burnt rubber–owing to the fruit distinctively fading. The color was the first warning, but the nose was heavenly.

A great wine: keep it under a decade, drink up, enjoy, don’t over-think it, laugh, smoke a cigarette, eat some food, laugh some more, if I ran into this wine again I would buy several in a heartbeat.

Plush and tannic in the finish, the nose and finish are easily my favorite parts… a classic *donut wine* (something Merlot does FAMOUSLY)–all substance front and rear with nothing in the middle.

2011 CHATEAU VIEUX MOULIN ME/CF 80/20 Lussac St. Emilion BDX France 13.0

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