Please The Palate Wine of the Week: 2016 Les Cadrans de Lassègue, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux, France

October is “Merlot Month” and November 7th is #InternationalMerlotDay” so in celebration, today’s wine of the week is the 2016 Les Cadrans de Lassègue, from Saint-Émilion, France.

Poor Merlot is a grape that was maligned. In the 1990s, it was such a popular grape that it was planted everywhere in California, even places where it wasn’t well suited. The wine produced was overripe, over-oaked and high alcohol. It was mass produced. And then in 2004, the movie Sideways came out and put a nail in Merlot’s coffin. Sales plummeted and instead, people began to turn to Pinot Noir.

Here’s the irony. Throughout the entire movie Sideways, Miles made derogatory remarks about Merlot. But at the very end of the movie, he enjoyed his prized Cheval Blanc with a hamburger. Well, Cheval Blanc is a Premier Gran Cru Classé wine from Saint-Émilion, which means that it was a Merlot-based wine.

Saint-Émilion is located on the Right Bank in Bordeaux. Merlot is the dominant grape in the Right Bank and beautiful Merlot-based Bordeaux wines have been produced for decades.

The 2016 Les Cadrans de Lassègue comes from Saint-Émilion and is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. This wine is the second label of Chateau Lassègue and is made by father and son Pierre and Nicolas Seillan. A well-made Merlot is sexy and seductive with red fruit aromas and silky tannins.

The 2016 Les Cadrans de Lassègue has notes of cranberry, cherry and violets with a hint of spice and vanilla. On the palate, the wine is round with silky tannins and fresh acidity.

It is time to celebrate Merlot, not just because it is Merlot Month but because it is a delicious wine and at $27, the 2016 Les Cadrans de Lassègue is very affordable.