Chateau Mirambeau Bordeaux Rouge Reserve

Cost: Average price $14.99

Where buy now: Sentyrz: $11.99 sale, Solo Vino, Ken & Norm’s, Eden Prairie Muni & see below

Grapes: 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc

Region: France

Vintage: 2009

Chateau Mirambeau Bordeaux Rouge Reserve

I’m a big fan of local wine distributors, The Wine Company. You may see their trucks driving around town (featuring the innuendo tagline, “We spit so you don’t have to.” Nice.) There are other great distributors out there, but I chose to focus this week’s review to highlight them.

I like the way they bridge the gap between retailer and consumer. They have a great blog page Wine Company and friendly staff to boot. They’ve made it easy for folks like you and me, outsiders, to join the wine realm. We can all reap the benefits from this added education.

“Wine Co.” (as they’re commonly known) sent out info about the Chateau Mirambeau Bordeaux Rouge. I was intrigued since they said they don’t import a lot of Bordeaux, and especially not at a price point of $15 or less [the Savvy Lush price point!].

I jumped at the chance to give it a whirl, which brought me to a NE Minneapolis staple: Sentyrz. Don’t get me started waxing poetic about this great little gem. Okay, well, perhaps just a little. Sentyrz (pronounced “SEN terz”) is an old-school grocery where you can buy Boars Head meats, blood sausage and Bell jars. Here’s the key that got the Savvy Lush’s attention: Sentryz was one of the few (perhaps only?) grocery store grandfathered in after prohibition. That’s right: they sell booze! Read more:

Once inside, don’t let the store’s appearance be a deterrent. It’s small, a little crowded, but well worth the trip. The alcohol prices are smokin’, and be sure to ask for Peter, their wine buyer. A product of Surdyk’s, he comes to Sentyrz with lots of knowledge, and is in the shop Tuesday-Saturday. He’s a sweet fella’ who’ll help you find the right bottle. I asked him about the Chateau Mirambau and he said they just got it in and are so excited, they put it on sale right away. Normally $13.99, he has the bottle priced for $11.99.

Let’s get to the wine, shall we?

This is mainly Merlot, but with some Cabernet and Cabernet Franc mixed in. In my opinion, this is a great food wine. I say that because, although delicious, you’ll benefit more from a great food pairing. This Rouge is medium bodied and has a rich purplish, red hue with a hint of brown, due to the aging. The aroma of smoky cherry and plum flavors are dominant with some mild cedar underneath. The taste is dry, not fruit forward but you’ll pick up some smoke and plum. Wine Co. states that only “20% of the wine sees oak” which is good- any more and it wouldn’t be quite as balanced.

OK, so you have this dry, red wine with hints of smoke, plum and wood. What do you eat with it? Plenty! Start with roasted vegetables: zucchini, eggplant, asparagus, peppers, mushrooms and onions. I throw it all in a large Ziplock bag with olive oil, rosemary, garlic, salt & pepper and let sit for an hour and then throw in a grill pan. Even those who don’t like vegetables will be licking their plates clean. How about some lamb? Costco has great prices on lamb, and either grilled or roasted lamb would be excellent. A little salt, pepper, rosemary and olive oil is all you need. Need dessert? Try a dark flourless chocolate cake like this one: Like That

Whatever pairing,I recommend opening the wine and letting it sit about 15 minutes or so to let it breathe. If you have the restraint, have a glass now and then save the rest for the next day. This wine tastes better on day two, it really opens up and softens overnight. I couldn’t believe the difference!

There are other places to find the Bordeaux Rouge in the TC area. According to Wine Co., look for it at the following locations: Eden Prairie #1 municipal, Solo Vino (St. Paul), Ken and Norm’s (South Mpls), MGM West Bloomington, Saint Anthony Village #2, Yarmo (St. Paul), and Glen Lake (Minnetonka).

Me? I love putting my wine on a conveyer belt, so I’ll keep stopping into Sentyrz. Also, I can get quality, reasonably priced meat, cheese, beer AND wine at the same place. Heaven, at last I found you! (Well, here in Protestant Minnesota, at least.)