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A see-through purple hue in the glass with some damson and leather on the nose.  The initial taste is super smooth with plum, tobacco, a touch of oak and very well balanced tannins.  The acidity is present, but only just showing itself.  The mid palate is interesting, with the tannins and acidity swirling around, mixing it up with more dark fruits and what appears to be the beginnings of secondary flavors.  I also get a telltale hint of violets.  When Bordeaux wines mature, the better made ones will start to lose the fruit and gain tertiary flavors that most claret drinkers love.  I am hoping this wine will evolve more as I have another 10 bottles and am going to enjoy the journey.  The finish is what I would consider ‘normal’.  Not long, not persistent but still showing off some of the fruit and tannins.  2010 was an exceptional year for Bordeaux, this wine is making the most of it.  The fruit is still ever present and the structure is great, holding the wine together and giving it a cellaring potential of another 7-8 years. In that timeframe I imagine some interesting things may happen.  I am going with 91 points and 5 stars for this $22 effort that is 30% Merlot, 60% Cab Sav and 10% Cabernet Franc (Which is probably why I like it so much!)  Salut….

chateau arnaud