Château du Bois Chantant Bordeaux Supérieur 2015, Bordeaux, France

It is time for #MerlotThursday. Here is a nice surprise from the Right Bank of Bordeaux.

Dark ruby in color with a brick rim.

Earthy nose of blueberries, plums, currants, oak, vanilla, cloves, spices, earth, wet leaves, herbs, barnyard, black pepper, vegetables, bell pepper, black tea, graphite, leather and tobacco.

Full bodied with medium acidity and nice legs.

Dry on the palate with black currants, blueberries, wood, earth, light vanilla, vegetables, tobacco, black pepper, spices, dark coffee, wet leaves, bitter herbs, pencil lead, bell pepper and earth.

Medium finish with round tannins and tangy cherries.

This is a nice Merlot blend from Bordeaux. Earthy and nicely balanced, with a nice mouthfeel.

This 4 year old is drinking very nicely now, but not one for long term aging, even though it is from a great vintage. Tastes much more aged than a 4 year old.

Good right out of the bottle and better as it opens up and shows some tannins (2 hours).

Wine Enthusiasts 89 points.

I paired it with a charcuterie board of meats and cheeses, nuts and crackers.

A blend of 63% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Cabernet Franc.

14% alcohol by volume.

89 points.

$15.

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Orin Swift Cellars Machete 2012, California

Deep ruby in color with a short purple rim.

Strong nose of cooked blackberries, sweet plums, cherry pie, dried figs, tobacco, spices, cedar, vanilla, cinnamon, coffee, mocha, tobacco, earth, peppercorn and leather.

Full bodied, rich, extracted and bold, with medium acidity and nice legs.

Dry and extremely fruity on the palate with blackberries, cooked cherries, figs, raisins, vanilla, oak, licorice, spices, chocolates, smoke, mocha, light vegetables, dark coffee, pencil lead, earth, leather, coke, tobacco leaf and peppercorn.

Long finish with medium tannins and tangy raspberries.

This is a great Petite Sirah blend from the house of Orin Swift. Rich and fruit forward with great complexity and mouthfeel. Still shows some alcohol on the palate.

This 7 year old is good right out of the bottle and better as it opens up (90 minutes).

Spicy with a beautiful nose. Delicious and yummy.

Thank you Scott for sharing this with me.

A blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah and Grenache. Aged for 10 months in French oak barrels.

15.7% alcohol by volume.

94 points.

$50.

Rudius Wines Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, California

Dark ruby in color with a purplish rim.

Fruity nose of blackberries, sweet cherries, black currants, oak, vanilla, licorice, spices, chocolates, tobacco, mocha, coke, earth, light vegetables, pencil lead and black pepper.

Medium bodied with medium acidity and nice legs

Dry on the palate with plums, cherries, currants, oak, vanilla, licorice, tobacco leaf, spices, graphite, bitter herbs, black tea and black pepper.

Long finish with fine grained tannins and tangy raspberries.

This Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is very tasty. Nicely balanced with nice complexity and a nice mouthfeel.

Better after 2 hours of airtime, when it opens up and shows the tannins.

Wine Spectator 92 points. Robert Parker 90 points.

I enjoyed it, but expected more from this vintage. Although it could age nicely in the next 10 years, if you are expecting a Napa Cabernet taste, I’d recommend to drink it sooner rather than later.

Good by itself or with food. I paired it with a charcuterie board of meats and cheeses.

14.8% alcohol by volume.

90 points.

$70.

Bodegas Juan Gil Blue Label 2016, Jumilla, Spain

Dark ruby in color with a purplish rim.

Pronounce nose of blackberries, sweet cherries, black currants, cedar, earth, vanilla, licorice, spices, chocolates, tobacco, mocha, coke, earth, light vegetables, pencil lead and peppercorn.

Full bodied and bold with medium acidity and long long legs.

Dry and very fruity on the palate with blackberries, black currants, sweet cherries, raisins, vanilla, cedar, licorice, cloves, cola, earth, chocolates, tobacco, spices, mocha, vegetables, leather and peppercorn.

Long spicy finish with round tannins and tangy cherries.

A beautiful Monastrell blend from the house of Juan Gil. Showing nice complexity and balance with a great mouthfeel. Big bold and grippy.

Good by itself or with food. Good right out of the bottle and better as it opens up and shows some tannins.

I love anything Gil makes, and this is a delicious example.

Still young and could use a few more years in the bottle to mature, but already drinking very nicely.

I paired it with Brie cheese, almonds and crackers.

A blend of 60% Monastrell, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah. Aged separately for 18 months in French and American oak barrels.

16.5% alcohol by volume (watch out)

92 points.

$32.

Domaine Saint Préfert Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve Auguste Favier 2012, France

Dark ruby in color with short brick rim.

Strong nose of blackberries, blueberries, plums, light vanilla, forest floor, tobacco, earth, light oak, dark chocolates, black pepper, spices, wet leaves and graphite.

Medium plus in body with medium acidity and long legs.

Dry on the palate with blackberries, sweet cherries, plums, over ripen strawberries, raspberries, earth, light vanilla, wood, leaves, river rocks and spices.

Long finish with fine grained tannins and tangy cranberries.

This is a great CDP from a good vintage, that is drinking very nicely now. Very tasty and easy to drink. Well balanced with a nice mouthfeel and nice complexity.

Needs a couple of hours to open up properly. Tangy, tasty and interesting.

At the beginning of its drinking life, and will age nicely in the next 10 to 15 years. If you can find the 2015 vintage, grab it.

I paired it with cheeses, meats, olives and light appetizers.

A blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Cinsault and 10% Syrah.

15% alcohol by volume.

92 points.

$70.

Robert John Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Bold 2016, California

Dark ruby in color with a short purplish rim.

Fruity nose with blackberries, blueberries, oak, licorice, vanilla, mint, vegetables, dust, chocolates, earth and peppercorn.

Full bodied, smooth and bold, with medium plus acidity and long legs.

Dry and fruity on the palate with blackberries, black currants, sweet raspberries, figs, vanilla, licorice, oak, earth, light vegetables, pencil lead, dark chocolates, coke and peppercorn.

Long finish with soft tannins and tangy raspberries.

This is a very enjoyable Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. Well balanced with nice complexity and a nice mouthfeel.

Bold and rich, yet elegant. Smooth with a tangy ending that makes it interesting.

Good right out of the bottle, and better as it opens up and shows some tannins. After 90 minutes of airtime, vegetables come in on the nose, but not much on the palate.

Still young, and needs a few years in the bottle to mature. Good by itself as a sipping wine.

Soft and yummy.

14.8% alcohol by volume.

91 points.

$55.

Hunt and Harvest Wines Rutherford Merlot 2013, Napa Valley, California

Time for my #MerlotThursday. Here’s a great one from Napa Valley.

A nice color of dark ruby with a wide brick rim.

Fruity nose of blueberries, blackcurrants, plums, vanilla, cedar, licorice, spices, pencil lead, peppercorn, chocolates, dark coffee, earth and light vegetables.

Full bodied and bold with medium acidity and long legs.

Dry and fruity on the palate with black plums, cherries, wood, cloves, vanilla, spices, espresso, cola, vegetables, leather, chocolates, tobacco, beef jerky and peppercorn.

Medium finish with fine grained tannins and tangy raspberries.

This is a very enjoyable Merlot from Napa Valley. Well balanced and spicy. Fruit forward and big. Showing nice complexity and mouthfeel.

Good right out of the bottle, and better as it opens up and shows some tannins (1 hour).

This 6 year old is drinking very nicely now. From a great vintage, and is peaking now. Will be good in the next 5 years.

Good by itself or with food. I paired it with a charcuterie board of meats and cheeses.

100% Merlot grapes were aged in 50% New French oak barrels.

14.5% alcohol by volume.

91 points.

$26.