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Couple sub 20 dollar Merlots - Printable Version

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- oostexan - 08-11-2005 07:53 PM

Grilled the following vittles for guests:
Medium rare Fillets Mignons heavily dusted with salt and pepper. Grilled on very high heat and flipped once.
Twice baked taters with chesse, bacon, sour cream, and lots of spices.
Fresh corn on the cob.
Sour dough bread with some blue "stanky" cheese

Paired with the 2001 Atalon Merlot and Chateau St. Jean Merlot. The CSJ Merlot got a 90 from our good friends at Wine Spectacle. Not sure about the Atalon, but he is right there on par with the CSJ.
Both can be had for 18 to 20 of our fine American currency at Costco, The Wine Club, or winex.com. The Atalon is a few bucks more expensive than the CSJ.

I bought them both a couple years ago and have laid them down in the cellar for about 1.5 years. Decided to see how they were a-doin'.

The Chateau St Jean has nice fruit of plum and blackberry. Pretty good depth. This guy had the advantage because he was opened first and had plenty of air by the time the Atalon was corked and came into the picture. He drank very well, but is not the last word in complexity or concentration. Lighter than I expected, but a very nice bottle.

The Atalon had a little more fruit and depth. Nudged the CSJ with a flavor profile that was a little deeper and ready to tame a peppery fillet. Maybe it was the mineral or slight oaky nuance, but he just seemed to show a little better.

Ironically, the Atalon is about 5 percent more expensive, and he was just about 5 percent better. Listen, I RARELY like the more expensive wine, but this just happened to work out.

Both were very good wines, and I think that a year or two from now the CSJ will probably nudge the Atalon, who's upfront fruitiness will start to subside. But hey, who knows? Thats why we lay'em down...

I still have the 01 Turnbull, Flora Springs, Provenenace, St. Francis Reserve, and Pine Ridge Merlots that are a little more expensive and are resting peacefully in my cellar. I will post on them as they are corked.



[This message has been edited by oostexan (edited 08-11-2005).]


- wondersofwine - 08-12-2005 06:41 AM

Nice notes. I enjoy direct comparisons like that of the two wines.