Merlot on FIRE

I don’t think I would have necessarily pegged this blind for a BDX. At least initially. Crazy burnt rubber, asphalt ire in the nose far more reminiscent of Southern Rhone or France-Sud. It blows off to a certain extent decanted, but remains an over-powering nuance, though egg-yolks and chalky minerality DO come forth with air. The dark fruit seems a bit toasty–burnt, even–while plentiful barnyard and a touch of brett modifies the rather rich berry. Medium garnet in the glass with a definite brick at the rim. Otherwise, it feels young and bright–almost *barrel-samply*–with incredible rasp and a bit of sulfur.

Both 15 and 16 are rather good vintages for Bordeaux, though I have trouble keeping them straight: I *think* 16’s you’re supposed to drink sooner than 15’s–or maybe I have that backwards. Not a huge rotisserie-geek when it comes to years, but I do feel it matters more in France than anywhere else in the world. And: this being a quite inexpensive wine toys with those opinions considerably. At the lower levels, I just don’t think it matters all that much to the consumer. But it’s Medoc, so naturally you expect a bit more structure than satellites or superiore. Decanter’s “95” sticker means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to me. Nor should it to you.

Tasting it is influenced by that last gasp of ashtray you smell before it hits the tongue. Crisp and tight, abrasive acids controlling the fruit-intake. It’s rich and concentrated, but nowhere near Napa levels. Chubby and one-dimensional over the palate, it does manage plentiful spice and briar along citrus corridors of old world charisma. Ridiculously sharp in finish: an abrasive Vit-C pungency introduces tannin, but still surrounded by thick, toasty, black cherry.

2016 CHATEAU DE PANIGON ME/Cab/PV 50/45/5 Medoc AOC Cru Bourgeois Bordeaux 13.5

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