If anyone knows Merlot, that person should be Christian Moueix. He is the owner of the renowned (and costly) Chateau Petrus, a 100 percent Merlot wine from Pomerol. This wine doesn't qualify as a second label for Petrus or even for Moueix's other estate, Trotanoy. It is a generic AC Bordeaux Merlot that sells for about $10 a bottle.
While I'm not a fan of Merlot, this wine gives me plenty of pleasure. There is none of the green pepper element that I find in many inexpensive New World Merlots. No candied cherries either. Just plain old Merlot fruit--earthy smells and flavors with overtones of dark cherries and a dry, tea-like finish. This is not a Merlot for cocktail sippers; it is a wine that goes well with a carefully prepared meal featuring beef, veal, pork or lamb.