Tuesday, August 14, 2012

2009 Michel-Schlumberger Maison Rouge, Dry Creek Valley

Randall Grahm 009Dry Creek Valley is quickly becoming one or our favorite slices of Sonoma County. This red blend from Michel-Schlumberger is a delightful example of why.
With a family reunion on the horizon, I decided I wanted a really interesting red wine that would appeal to many, but not batter the bank account. I closely watched the online sales and when a half-case of 2009 Michel-Schlumberger Maison Rouge went on sale on Lot 18, I pounced.

The Maison Rouge is a blend of what seems like every red grape in the vineyard: Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carmenère. One white (Viognier) is thrown in for good measure. Perhaps this is why the wine is so versatile.


At our reunion we enjoyed some traditional Syrian dishes like hummus, meat pies and kibbeh. We also had some nice barbequed chicken and ribs. The Maison Rouge has a nice structure that allows it to match well with the barbeque but isn’t off-putting when sipped on its own.

The body is medium light with some layers of red berries and blackberry. Thanks perhaps to the Syrah, there is spiciness in the mid-palate. It then rolls to a juicy, triumphant finish.
Michel-Schlumberger has captured the sense of place in this wine. Dry Creek Valley has a relatively cool growing season, which allows the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly. The vineyard is only 17 miles from the Pacific and in the evening, the ocean breezes cool down the vines. You can picture the sun dappled vines gently swaying in the late afternoon sun.

I paid $95 for the half-case, making each bottle about $16. This is a good discount off the $20 retail cost. This is a rustic bottle of goodness that is family-reunion tested (and given a special thumbs up by brother J.R.).

Rating: 4 of 5   Value: 4 of 5
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