When the goal is buying a good value wine, reach for a bottle of the 2005 Merlot Encore from Jean-Pierre Moueix.
The Moueix name is to the wine world what Tiffany is to jewelry. In addition to Château Petrus, one of the most acclaimed wines on Earth, the Mouiex family has a portfolio of gems in Bordeaux’s Pomerol and St. Émilion appellations.
Along with Petrus, other top Pomerol châteaux belonging to Moueix are Latour À Pomerol, La Fleur Petrus, Hosanna, and my favorite, Trotanoy. And reflecting the same high standards, Mouiex owns Châteaux Belair and Magdelaine, two of the thirteen Premier Grand Cru Classe wineries in St. Émilion.
Like Tiffany’s gems, these wines come with matching prices, but the Jean-Pierre Moueix company also has an affordable wine department.
Christian Moueix is the urbane family member leading this outstanding wine company bearing his father’s name. Six decades of living and working in the Right Bank, as this area of Bordeaux is called, has given him an intimate knowledge of its vineyards and winemaking. Add to that his perfectionism, and wine consumers can have no better guide to reasonably priced everyday wines.
Two years ago, Christian Moueix presented his newest wines during a luncheon in New York. On the table were Mouiex’s 2005 Pomerol, St. Émilion and St. Estèphe appellation wines. Each was made from grapes that the Moueix company had purchased from chateaux that he approved. While pleased by all three wines, I was struck by the elegance of the 2005 Pomerol. Unfortunately, none of that wine arrived in New Jersey. But like a wonderful Broadway show, Moueix has sent us a 2005 Encore.
Sourced from appellations in the Right Bank, this pure merlot wine displays all the ingredients of a Moueix wine. It begins with the bright ruby hue and continues with appealing floral and fruit scents. Instantly pleasing cherry and blueberry flavors are melded into a medium body that glides across the palate. The 2005 Merlot Encore requires neither effort nor reflection, just a willingness to be pleased. It is another excellent performance by Moueix.
During my visit last month with Christian Moueix, I retasted the 2005 St. Émilion wine and the new 2006 Pomerol. If you come across a bottle of the former, don’t hesitate to add it to your shopping cart. It is better today than it was a year ago, and I liked it then. The 2006 Pomerol has its own magnetic fruit flavors and balance. Both retail in the mid-$20 range, and the 2005 Merlot Encore performs nicely for a few dollars less.
The 2005 Merlot Encore retails for approximately $20.
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