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A Bordeaux red that wont break the bank!

A Bordeaux red at its finest!

Bordeaux‘s signature grape varieties have traversed the globe, to the extent that cabernet sauvignon and merlot have risen to the summit of the world grape planting league in the past two decades.

What’s in a Bordeaux red? A Bordeaux red usually combines two or more of the classic Bordeaux varieties: merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec, petit verdot and carmenère. There are no specific rules on percentages in the finished wine, yields when growing or planting regulations as found in Bordeaux itself. It is simply a term for the grapes used. So let’s focus on the two main grapes of this blend, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. The earliest recorded mention of merlot was in the notes of a local Bordeaux official who in 1784 labelled wine made from the grape in the Libournais region as one of the area's best. In 1824, the word merlot itself appeared in an article on Médoc wine where it was described that the grape was named after the local black bird who liked eating the ripe grapes on the vine. By the 19th century it was being regularly planted in the Médoc on the "Left Bank" of the Gironde.

After a series of setbacks that includes a severe frost in 1956 and several vintages in the 1960's lost to rot, French authorities in Bordeaux banned new plantings of merlot vines between 1970 and 1975. In the 1990's, merlot saw an upswing of popularity. Red wine consumption, in general, increased in the US following the airing of the 60 Minutes report on the French paradox and the potential health benefits of wine and, possibly, the chemical resveratrol.

The popularity of merlot stemmed in part from the relative ease in pronouncing the name of the wine as well as its softer, fruity profile that made it more approachable to some wine drinkers.The taste of merlot hinges on where it is grown. It straddles the fence between lightweight and something a bit bigger. Well produced merlot is like a big old comfy chair, and is packed with ripe mouth filling fruit and very little tannins. So when you are looking for a merlot or a blend do yourself a favour and buy from where the original merlot clones came from, Bordeaux France. Cabernet sauvignon is one of the world's most widely recognized red wine grape varieties. Cabernet sauvignon became internationally recognized through its prominence in Bordeaux wines where it is often blended with merlot and cabernet franc.

For many years, the origin of cabernet sauvignon was not clearly understood and many myths surrounded it. The word ‘sauvignon’ is believed to be derived from the French sauvage meaning ‘wild’and refers to the grape being a wild vine native to France. The grape's true origins were discovered in 1996 with the use of DNA typing at the UC Davis Department of Viticulture. The DNA evidence determined that cabernet sauvignon was the offspring of cabernet franc and sauvignon blanc and was most likely a chance crossing that occurred in the 17th century. Cabernet sauvignon has been mentioned as the ‘ruler of the reds’ by Matt Skinner. The great examples of this wine display the finesse, elegance and the ability to age!

The most common aromatic and flavour components found in cabernet sauvignon are dark fruits like plum, black cherry, and blackberry along with warm spice, vanilla, liquorice, and black pepper. You will frequently whiff aromas of tobacco and leather.This is a full bodied red and is suited to full big flavours. Beef is a great match as the tannins of the wine will work to cut through the texture and fattiness of the meat. The Chateau Robert Cotes de Bourg 2016 rated 94/100 is blended with 55% merlot, 40% cabernet sauvignon and 5% cabernet franc. It is no wonder that this wine was a standout as the family have been making wine for 4 generations! It has been blended so well and the dark berries that you get on the nose and the smooth tannins are joyous to the taste buds! This is a really charming Bordeaux that won’t break your budget. It can be matched with so many everyday meals. Just because you have a casual meal doesn’t mean you have to have a casual wine. Popsy & JJ matched it with a cheeseburger with brioche bun and special sauce!