So let's start with a California wine, shall we? An affordable little wine, but from a winery with a long history and European roots - Michel-Schlumberger. The first vines were planted on what is now Michel-Schlumberger Benchland Estate in 1979, by Jean-Jacques Michel, a native of Switzerland. In 1991, Jacques Pierre Schlumberger joined the winery team, bringing with him more than 400-year family legacy of winemaking in Alsace, France, at Domaine Viticoles Schlumberger. Therefore the Michel-Schlumberger brand was born, and over the years their reputation of the wines in Healdsburg has been solid. They have also been a leader in sustainable farming.
The wine of this hour is Michel-Schlumberger “Maison Rouge" - 2012. It's not a high-end wine but priced out anywhere from $7.00 - 15.00, and with a screw-cap. Okay, so there is nothing wrong with a screw-cap, but I would categorize this wine as a BBQ/outdoor casual wine - - pizza wine. I have a feeling that Michel-Schlumberger produced several cases of this wine.
When I first stuck my nose in the glass the pronounced smell of California Merlot and American oak was there. Now when I say California Merlot, that is exactly what I mean as California Merlot smells nothing like Merlot from Walla Walla. The past blends of this table red have been traditionally around 32% Merlot, following up with Carmenere, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Pretty much everything but the kitchen sink - - so to speak. Tasting notes, you ask? Heavy on the Merlot (California) with lots of spice, cherries and pepper.
So over all, if you see it on the shelves somewhere at a discount, I think it is okay to put it in your cart. It's not a bad wine. Worth a couple of glasses keeping an open mind and using comparisons on Washington State Merlot - - and when you are done, I think it would be terrific used to cook with in a beef stew. Remember, once again - - keep an open mind because it is not yo' mama's Walla Walla Merlot.