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2001 Sieur D'Arques-Vichon-Merlot - Printable Version

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- marleyspud - 01-17-2004 08:26 PM

I found this bottle on sale, it is a French merlot. I opened it last night to find a very strong 'bardyard' smell. I have had some Pinot Noirs form France and they usually have some of this same scent, but less noticable. And I have enjoyed these wines quite alot.
This smell seemed to overpower anything else. We let it sit for a while and it did not tone down at all. BTW it was in a decanter for about 1/2 hour.
When I opened it back up today it actually smelled of some fruit. Perhaps plum or cherry. I havn't had a glass yet today, but will let you all know what I taste/think then.
Has anyone else had this wine? MS

[This message has been edited by marleyspud (edited 01-17-2004).]


- jackl - 01-19-2004 01:08 PM

No, haven't had this one myself. As I am getting to know different merlots from around the globe, I'd be interested to know what part of France this one comes from. And also how would you rate this one to other merlots you've had?


- marleyspud - 01-20-2004 02:19 AM

Compared to other Merlots from California, which tend to be pretty tannic and fruity(I think)I haven't had too many Merlots that really stood out. I really prefer the Cabs, and bolder reds like Zin and Shiraz. To my recolection I have not had a USA Merlot with the 'Barnyard" to it. Let me know what Merlot experiences you have/thought. MS


- marleyspud - 01-20-2004 02:21 AM

Also, can anyone recommend a good even great Merlot? MS


- wondersofwine - 01-20-2004 11:26 AM

I thought the Sebastiani Sonoma Cask Merlot was at least good. Also Snoqualmie Merlot from Washington State. And Bogle Merlot is pretty decent for a very inexpensive domestic wine. The wines of St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France tend to be at least 50% Merlot blends (often with Cabernet Franc). Angelus and Ausone and Figeac are some of the well known names. I had an opportunity to taste a small pour of the 2000 Angelus and really loved it but it is too expensive for my budget. I did order two bottles of La Source from Chateau de Sours. This is a micro cuvee of Merlot grapes picked bunch by bunch (winemaker the Italian Ricardo Cotarelli). The 2000 La Source was quite yummy and while not cheap, was not a "need to rob a bank" price at least as futures. (Around $40 a bottle).


- wondersofwine - 01-20-2004 11:34 AM

Forgot to include in the earlier post that sometimes the "barnyard" smell is from Brett (short for brettanomyces, a natural wine yeast known as a spoilage yeast because too much of its presence can ruin the wine). A little barnyard smell is sometimes attractive in a wine--too much can be decidedly unattractive and be a definite fault or flaw in the wine. It should not be present in most Merlot wines.


- marleyspud - 01-20-2004 12:26 PM

Thanks WOW, that was great info about the yeast. Perhaps I'll track some of the recommended wines down and try them. MS


- Innkeeper - 01-20-2004 02:57 PM

Other than the Bordeaux Blends primarily merlot from the East Bank that I have a number laid down at all times, I turn to Italy for my varietal merlot. Specifically from the region in northeast known as Collio. Two favorite producers are Bortoluzzi, Isonzo Del Friuli DOC, Merlot ($18), and Eugenio Collavini, Merlot, Riserva de Casa, Collio (DOC)($14). The former needs a year or two in the rack, and the latter is ready to go.


- jackl - 01-21-2004 02:50 PM

From your description of the wine it sounds like it could be from a region in the south of France known as Languedoc-Rousillion. If the bottle has the phrase 'Vin de pays' then it most likely is from this region. Another good region--some might say the best--for merlot, is the Bordeaux region, which is located roughly in southwestern France. While a good portion of these wines are expensive and worth it, you can find some nice varietal merlot wines for around $10. These are going to be the most basic of Bordeaux wines and will have 'Bordeaux' and usually 'Merlot' written prominently on the label. For these wines I would stick with the 'name brands.' some good ones include Michael Lynch, Lurton, and Christian Moueix. Compared to California merlots, these will be fairly light in body and have minimal wood aging. If anything they demonstrate the difference climate and winemaking styles can make in wines using the same grape.


- marleyspud - 01-21-2004 04:49 PM

I just checked my bottles, and I have one of the wines you mentioned. The Christian Moueix. Any suggestions on what to serve with it? MS


- jackl - 01-23-2004 04:26 PM

Merlot is pretty forgiving when it comes to food matching. I would think any hearty fare would work well. I would, however, stay away from anything very acidic, such as something made with a tomato-based sauce. The reason for this is that the acidity from the tomatoes would dull the taste of the wine. In that case you would a wine with enough acidity to stand up to the sauce. Hope that helps.