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Wine of the Week 

Bordeaux's classic red blends are perhaps the most imitated and desired wines in the world. Meritage, a California term combining "merit" and "heritage," identifies wines made with the traditional blend of French grapes. Rodney Strong Vineyards blended 71 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 19 percent Merlot, 8 percent Malbec and 2 percent Petit Verdot for this vintage. Aged more than two years in predominantly French oak with another year of bottle aging before release, this rich wine is a powerhouse, exhibiting both muscular and elegant character. In the glass, voluptuous aromas of ripe, dark fruit are prevalent with lush flavors of cassis, plum, blackberries and nuances of spice amid the big, even tannins and lengthy finish. You can decant it and enjoy it now or cellar it for eight-to-15 years for even greater rewards. It's good with rare steak, grilled meats and chops. Where to buy it: Rouses in Mid-City and Metairie and Winn-Dixie in Destrehan. Where to drink it: Brennan's, Commander's Palace and Broussard's. (Listings current at press time.)
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