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  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine François Merlin 2012 Saint-Joseph

    Domaine François Merlin
    2012 Saint-Joseph
     

    $27

    This is a robust Saint Joseph, strong and firm, particularly when compared to Pichon’s Saint Joseph. We advise giving it a little time in the cellar before drinking.

    • Deeply colored and intensely perfumed with dark fruit scents, mixed with Chinese herbs, wood, ginger, soy, leather, and musky, meaty scents. Bright, clean, but intense fruitiness on the palate, nicely balanced by tannin and a streak of brisk acidity, especially on the mid-palate. Lingering, concentrated, dark cherry flavors on the finish. Delicious.

      Food pairing: Lamb; sausages; grilled or barbecued meat; pungent stews; pepper steak; dishes flavored with olives

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine François Merlin 2011 Saint-Joseph

    Domaine François Merlin
    2011 Saint-Joseph
     

    $27

    This is a robust Saint Joseph, strong and firm, particularly when compared to Pichon’s Saint Joseph. We advise giving it a little time in the cellar before drinking.

    • Blood, roasted meat, tapenade, black truffles, coffee grounds, pepper and other savory spices, boysenberry and other dark fruits, and something earthy combine to create a complex, evolving nose. Full-bodied, with slightly jammy blueberry and other dark fruit flavors, this wine coats the mouth with violets, pungent spice, and gamey, meaty flavors. Massive structure with a lengthy, fruity finish that builds in intensity then recedes, leaving concentrated blue and black fruit flavors lingering. A baby, but already stunning! A wine possibly at peak in 2019. Calls out for wild boar or other game.

      Food pairing: Game or wild boar

  • French White Rhone Wine, Domaine François Merlin 2011 Condrieu Terroirs

    Domaine François Merlin
    2011 Condrieu
    Terroirs

    $50SOLD OUT

    This classic Condrieu, assembled from several Viognier vines, bears the trademark of François Merlin’s taste: not too cloying and sweet, with vivacity and minerality.

    • Dreamy and seductive on the nose, with suggestions of white flowers, wet stone, chalk, stone fruits, and confectioneries. Of medium body on the palate, which features white flowers, honey, perfume, and intense, ethereal apricot flavors that lead into a clean, delicate finish. The high level of alcohol is apparent—and part of the charm.

      Food pairing: apricot tart; chicken in an apricot sauce

  • French White Rhone Wine, Domaine François Merlin 2012 Condrieu Terroirs

    Domaine François Merlin
    2012 Condrieu
    Terroirs

    $50LIMITED QUANTITY

    This classic Condrieu, assembled from several Viognier vines, bears the trademark of François Merlin’s taste: not too cloying and sweet, with vivacity and minerality.

    • The nose on this wine is very intense. I want to wear this as perfume! It smells rich, seductive and a tiny bit sweet (lots of ripe apricot) but the mouthfeel is anything but. Very rich and dense, with a dry finish. If you want to impress your friends during the next wine-and-cheese party, bring this bottle with a good camembert.

      Food pairing: Stinky French cheese, camembert

  • French White Rhone Wine, Domaine François Merlin 2011 Condrieu Cuvée Jeanraude

    Domaine François Merlin
    2011 Condrieu
    Cuvée Jeanraude

    $60SOLD OUT

    The domaine’s top cuvée, this is François Merlin’s “keeping wine”, the one he takes out to show off to guests. “A definite cut above” Merlin’s other Condrieu, according to Rhône expert Livingstone-Learmonth.

    • Sweet spice predominates on the nose. The palate is rich and heady, with intensely concentrated stone fruit and floral flavors leading to a dry finish characterized by chalky mineral notes.

      Food pairing: Thai food; fruit tarts

  • French White Rhone Wine, Domaine François Merlin 2012 Condrieu Cuvée Jeanraude

    Domaine François Merlin
    2012 Condrieu
    Cuvée Jeanraude

    $60

    The domaine’s top cuvée, this is François Merlin’s “keeping wine”, the one he takes out to impress his guests. “A definite cut above” Merlin’s other Condrieu, according to Rhône expert Livingstone-Learmonth.

    • This wine has a definite barrel smell at first, lots of vanilla and some toast. As it opens up, the stonefruit starts to show. This is a dry-style wine but it is not crisp — it is robust and intense.

      Food pairing: Lobster

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine François Merlin 2010 Côte-Rôtie

    Domaine François Merlin
    2010 Côte-Rôtie
     

    $65

    Originating from the Cognet lieux-dit, this Syrah is a robust yet elegant Côte Rôtie. The 2010 vintage is considered one of the best vintages in Côte-Rôtie since the legendary vintage of 1978.

    • It’s old-fashioned to compare wine to women, but this extraordinarily delicious wine reminded me of a beauty I once knew who had done years of aikido—mesmerizing but with an aura of authority stemming from her long training. The 2010 François Merlin Côte-Rôtie is a similarly quiet powerhouse in a beautifully elegant wrapper. Deep purple, redolent of violets and perfumed with wood, peaches, toast, cinnamon buns, and an undercurrent of iodine seemingly wafting in from the ocean. Vibrant, powerful, and youthful yet surprisingly delicate with fine-grained tannins masking a deep core of intense, layered fruit. Seductive and delicious already, but likely to improve for another decade or more.

      Food pairing: Steak with black pepper, olives, or shiitake or porcini mushrooms; venison; duck; other game or fowl—pigeon, perhaps?; terrine; grilled eggplant; lamb; veal chops with morels

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine François Merlin 2012 Côte-Rôtie

    Domaine François Merlin
    2012 Côte-Rôtie
     

    $65

    Originating from the Cognet lieu-dit, this Syrah is a robust yet elegant Côte Rôtie. One of our most stunning wines, we bring out this bottle whenever we want to dazzle a guest or a friend!

    • Quite robust with gobs of blackberry, mocha and a bit of earth. Rich and savory, this Syrah has great structure and will age well.

      Food pairing: Bacon

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