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Monday, March 26, 2007

Le Bon Vin Merlot 2004

Don Sebastiani is doing a great job with his various brands -- Smoking Loon, Pepperwood Grove, Screw Kappa Napa, Aquinas, Plungerhead, and LBV (le bon vin de la Napa Valley) among others. They all serve as examples of how good négociant wines can be.

The Le Bon Vin Merlot is very good -- it has a fragrant nose, plenty of body, soft tannins, and is easy to drink. (It has a great label, too. ) The Syrah and Petite Sirah that are blended into it give it a character similar to but different that such blends as Pillar Box Red or Sarah's Blend.

For an under-$15 red wine, it's a great choice -- I'll definitely buy it again, because I like Petite Sirah. It's a bit uncharacteristic though, so if you have a specific hankering for a Merlot you might be happier with something else. But if it's just a good, satisfying, quaffable red that you're after, this wine delivers.
M. Zane Grey, 9:22 PM