I blind-tested a fragrant red blend last night, not sure of what grapes, vineyard, or region from which it originated. A fairly decent test of my wine tasting prowess, this red devil. Even as a wine neophyte, I could tell I was having no Cabernet, no Syrah, no Merlot, no Zinfandel or Pinot. It had a hint of vanilla and a bit of a tannic bite to it in the glass. What’s in the glass? I wasn’t sure if this was maybe a Malbec or a Bordeaux, but I could tell it had some initial sharpness that pointed me more to France than Argentina.
Sounds like a World Cup match, right? We’ll come back to the wine in a moment.
I sipped my glass of red along with a dinner of roasted shrimp, asparagus, and hash browns—the latter made with peppers and onions and mixed with shredded cheddar cheese, melted butter, sour cream, and cream of chicken soup. It was all delicious, and though conventional thought may have pushed me more toward a white for the shrimp, their spicy seasoning made me feel like the red was a better call. At least for this guy.
At this point, I’m fairly convinced I’m drinking Bordeaux and was pleased to see it was–in fact, the Chateau Marin 2010—a mix of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. The blend surprised me, as the Merlot was sort of overshadowed on that first evening. The Chateau Marin hails from a Right Bank vineyard (thus my surprise at the Cab’s forwardness) just 50 kms south east of Bordeaux and is supposed to show “ripe red fruit flavors on a sound and balanced palate.”
That didn’t come through Friday night, so I suspect we needed to either let it breathe for a longer spell or decant. On day two, however, the tannins had mellowed considerably and the 2010 probably showed its true colors and notes—even though we polished off the bottle long before a celebratory dinner. And, as you glance at the photo here, you’ll see it had company (the KJ Chardonnay I didn’t have myself and thus you’ll have to look up some other blog if you’re interested in that wine). Overall I liked the Marin and enjoyed learning a bit more about Right Bank flavors in preparing these notes for you. Enjoy…