December: Chateau Barde-Haut 2014 Saint-Émilion

2018 has been a whirlwind of wine! I've explored NYC wine bars, discovered hidden gems in Poland, uncorked bottles in Italy, and wrapped up the year in Napa and Sonoma all while taking a million photos and notes to share back with you.

Traveling is filled with excitement, but the quiet moments here in Pittsburgh are my favorite. This is where I get to share stories, wine notes, and musings with you. That's what the "Wine of the Month" series is all about: a look into what I'm enjoying at home.

So, let's finish the year how we started it, with a glass of Merlot.
Here's a look back on the Wine of the Month series.

On the Right, We Have Merlot

I will spare you a lengthy overview of Bordeaux since it is, of course, one of the most well-known wine regions of the world. Are you up on your Saint-Émilion facts though?

The Saint-Émilion AOC is located across several communes, including the town of Saint-Émilion, on the Right Bank of the Dordogne river, which flows into the Gironde estuary in the Bordeaux region. Saint-Émilion wines feature the main three grapes of Bordeaux (Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon) with emphasis on Merlot. If you see Saint-Émilion on a label, there's a good chance it is either entirely or mostly Merlot! (You can assume the same for Fronsac and Pomerol, too.)
Primer: Bordeaux 101 from Wine Folly
The three highest Saint-Émilion classifications are Premier grand cru classé A (4 producers), Premier grand cru classé B (14 producers), and Grand cru classé (64 producers). Over 200 producers fall into the generic Grand cru classification. This month's wine is a Grand cru classé—a great category for bargain-seeking Bordeaux lovers.

A Baby Grand Cru Classé

Compared to some of the very old chateaux in Bordeaux, Chateau Barde-Haut is a literal baby. The property was purchased by Vignobles Garcin in 2000 and didn't receive its Grand cru classé classification until 2012, the most recent revision.

Vignobles Garcin's commitment to creating an environmentally conscious estate at Chateau Barde-Haut drew me to their wines. According to the Garcins, the estate was "created with the goal of being as green and environmentally conscious as possible." The fact that Hélène Garcin, a female winemaker, is at the helm caught my attention, too.

Tasting Notes

The 2014 Chateau Barde-Haut comes from a 17 hectare vineyard with an average vine age of 35 years, and is a blend of 87.3% Merlot and 12.7% Cabernet Franc. It is aged in 100% new French oak barrels for 18 months. The vineyard's soil is primarily clay with some chalk.

Wine: Chateau Barde-Haut 2014 Saint-Émilion Bordeaux Blend
Appearance: Clear, medium, ruby.
Nose: Clean, medium+ intensity, aromas of black cherry, red cherry, leather, vanilla latte, milk chocolate, clove, cardamom, and white pepper.
Palate: Dry, medium acid, medium fine tannins, medium body, medium+ flavor intensity, flavors of red cherry, black cherry, leather, white pepper, green tobacco, vanilla latte, dark chocolate, and toast.
Finish: Medium+.
Quality: Very good. Elegant and silky style of Merlot. More spice on the nose. Cabernet Franc qualities more pronounced on the palate. Drink in 5-10.
Price: Purchased from for $31.99.

What would you like to see from Meg & Merlot in 2019? Contact me!