Raise your hand (or glass) if you’ve heard Merlot is boring, or have had some that left you unimpressed. Both of mine are now straight up. Want your faith restored? Try this one. Produced on a single 12- hectare vineyard in the northern Medoc, Petit Manou is a delicious example of how concentrated, deep, yet focused Merlot can be. Key to this is the extreme attention to detail the estate takes to produce quality (not quantity) fruit. Their small size helps, as these vines
are vigorously pruned, and two green harvests limit yields to just three bunches per vine. The bunches are turned often throughout the season to
even out ripeness. All this is done manually, as well as final harvesting, three separate sortings to select only perfect berries, and even pressing, as the estate
uses a handmill to very softly extract the product of their hard labor. After 12 months in used oak, the wine is not fined nor filtered. 2015 is an exceptional vintage, and this just shines. A deep ruby color, with an evocative raspberry-vanilla-incense aroma, this wine brings fine, supple tannins and great depth of flavor. Raspberry, cedar, stewed plum, and bay leaf show on a medium-bodied palate. Very versatile, I could see it perfectly with a beef stew, a herbaceous roasted chicken, or pork tenderloin.