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Nicely balanced and ripe-tasting, but is not yet showing typical St. Emilion goutte de terroir. While this has just entered its drinking window, it should really hit its stride in 2016 or 2017.
Trader Joe's - Meritage Napa Valley
Big, supple and fruity with barely a hint of residual sugar, but not enough to compete with the food with which it was paired. While this tasted fine, a little more tannin and acidity would have improved it.
Auguste Bessac - Crozes-Hermitage
Really quite lean and peppery. Decanting for 45 minutes resulted in a fuller flavor, but did not add depth or make the finish longer. Additional bottle age won't help. Disappointing.
Tablas Creek - Patelin de Tablas Blanc
This bottle showed a stronger flavor profile and bouquet than the last. The three varietals used (grenache blanc, roussanne, marsanne) were well balanced and harmonious. Getting better with age, would like to try another bottle in six months or so.
Leon Barral - Faugeres Jadis
While I like a little brett in my Old World wines (to me, it lends character), this had a little too much and was too obvious. Otherwise, this bottle was fine, and showed the producer's trademark smoky, dark fruit flavors. It was light on the palate with moderate tannins and acidity, and the finish lasted for approx. 25 seconds. Paired well with grilled lamb sirloin tips seasoned with crushed garlic and Herbes de Provence. I prefer the producer's regular bottling over this one.