That this wine is all Merlot is the reason both for its jammy richness and its high alcohol. It gives a wine that is out of balance, with pepper, spice and wood dominating the super-ripe black cherry fruits. It's unlikely to age for long.
Roger Voss covers Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, the Loire and South-West France as well as Portugal. His passion is matching food with wine, bringing the pleasures of the table to wine lovers. He has written six books on wine and food, and was previously national correspondent on wine for the London Daily Telegraph. He is based in the Bordeaux region.