The 2012 Le Petit du Chateau de La Garde Bordeaux Cuvee Natural is 100% Merlot sourced from their certified Organic Estate vineyard in the Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux. This is one of those Natural wines you may have heard about, organic grapes, no Sulfites added, produced with natural and chemical free methods, sort of like all wines were made before the 1940s. As part of being a natural wine, this Merlot sees no oak conditioning of any sort. The Le Petit is one of the new, user friendly Bordeaux wines, the back label has technical notes, tasting notes and pairing suggestions, just about everything you need to know about the wine you are about to pour into your glass. A far cry from previous Bordeaux bottles that didn’t even tell you which grapes were used. Since no oak or preservatives are used to produce this Merlot, this is definitely a “drink it now” wine. So, there you have it, a Bordeaux Merlot produced from organic grapes, using all Natural production methods, Vegan Friendly, no Sulfites added and lists for $14.99. The alcohol content is 13%.
The color is deep dark purple. The nose is raspberry, black cherry, strawberries and whipped cream and violets. This is a bright, fresh Merlot. It tastes of blackberry, licorice, cassis and black plums. The mid palate brings some dusty tannins and tart POM Wonderful. A well balanced Merlot, but maybe a bit more fruit forward than your average Bordeaux Red. The finish is fairly full and lasts a respectable length of time.
The 2012 Le Petit Merlot does not have pesticides, sulfites, chemicals or oak, but it does have flavor. Inexpensive Merlot tends not to be very exciting and the ones that stand out from the crowd usually have their oak aging program to thank. But, here, this Natural, young, Merlot tastes bright and alive. Maybe there is something to the Natural Wine movement.