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2011 Chateau de la Metairie 

Bordeaux, France

Retail $10

Wine drinkers looking for an inexpensive red don't usually start with bottlings from Bordeaux, but this red blend is an easy drinking, uncomplicated, inexpensive find, and its character stands up well against pricier wines. The grapes — a blend of 30 percent cabernet sauvignon, 40 percent merlot and 30 percent cabernet Franc — were sourced from vineyards in Seyrac Marie-Claude. The area generally produces heavier, more tannic wines, but the vineyards here produce softer, more fruit-forward styles with finesse. The wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks and touched some wood before bottling. The merlot grape dominates and cabernet sauvignon and cabernet Franc add structure and complexity. In the glass, the wine offers aromas of red berries, a touch of spice and herbal nuances. On the palate, taste red currants, plum and cassis with soft tannins on the dry finish. Open 15 minutes before serving to aerate. Drink it with grilled meats, burgers, pizza, fried eggplant sticks, duck and sausage gumbo and truffled cheeses. Buy it at: Dorignac's. — BRENDA MAITLAND


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