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I’m cooking peppercorn steaks tonight and had a hard time deciding between three wines- this Merlot/Cab Franc blend won the honors.  It is opaque AF, inky purple in the glass with glossy legs.  The nose is spectacular- pronounced aromas of black plum, cassis, blackberry, vanilla, coffee bean, spice box, leather and iodine.  The palate is dry, fiercely tannic and has medium acidity.  It runs a hefty 15% ABV and shows off a full body.  The flavors are yummy.  Pronounced black and dark blue fruit with nicely integrated oak nuance alongside a sanguine thrust of iodine and iron.  This wine is young with a great tannic structure and the mouthfeel is beautiful, decant it if you like them a little softer.  The pro’s were all over the scoring map with this $50 effort, but I have to say the higher end wins.  93 points from me and 5 stars.  Drink till 2034 with hearty stews, well marbled steaks or a bold cheese tray.  Salut….

The three contenders