Blend: Merlot, Cabernet Franc
From: St. Émilion, Bordeaux, France
“From an up-and-coming “satellite” appellation of Saint-Émilion, this Merlot-dominated Right Bank blend is classic Bordeaux through and through.” -Ian Cauble, Master Sommelier
Also spelled “Puisseguin,” this is one of four village-appended AOCs that extend to the north and northeast of Saint-Émilion itself. The soils are effectively the same clay/limestone mixture found in Saint-Émilion, and Merlot covers 80% of the vineyard area in the appellation. Of those four satellite villages (others include Lussac and Montagne), Puisseguin has the strictest quality-control regulations for its wines.
Taste: Containing 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, this ’18 is concentrated without being too weighty, with black fruits (Damson plum, blackberry) layered with notes of tobacco, herbs, and licorice There’s a surprisingly fresh strawberry note here as well, which adds lift and freshness to the overall feel. Tannins are silky, with crushed-stone minerality balancing the saturated fruit. Terrific old-school character!
Pairing: Though you could totally do a classic Steak au Poivre with this, maybe lighten it up a bit for summer with a Skirt Steak with Lentil Salad from Pierre Franey. If you don’t have the hour to spend, you could simplify by buying Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils, which is one of my favorite shortcuts.
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