Château Damase Bordeaux Supérieur [Merlot] Edition
It is said that you never drift too far from your first loves. I’m not going to debate whether they mean it in a strictly physical or metaphorical sense, as I have always believed the intent that it is a matter of the heart and it to this, I speak, leaving off actual people, of course. For me, some of these first loves were for Mopar muscle cars, which later extended into trucks (and which finally manifested itself in me coming full circle when it came time to get a truck – I do, however, prefer Japanese cars for day-to-day driving as they’re considerably more practical), it was science fiction, a genre of literature I’ve never left entirely for any period of time, it was heavy metal music, another one which I’ve never been tempted to so much as lessen, let alone leave. For wine, for better or worse, it was vineyards of France and so we now come back around to those hallowed and much beloved shores once again. Yes, I know it is probably overly priced and it has equals elsewhere, such as some of the Italian and domestic blends that have shown up in these pages, but they will always have a special spot with me. No use denying it, but rather, as I do with all my other loves, to turn and embrace it as a good and timeless friend.
With this particular wine, it really goes back nearly full circle, as one of the first types I really latched onto was Bordeaux. This was well before I knew anything about bottle shapes having distinctive meanings in French regions (which the world kinda sorta also adopted). For whatever reason, I naturally gravitated to those and this, while perhaps not the best example, is a very worthy example. Before I get into things proper, I did want to note that while this technically is a blend, it is a blend of mainly Merlot grapes and doesn’t really, therefore drift much from Merlot territory. It is not a single varietal, however. I have thus chosen to consider it a Merlot moreso than a Blend.
This is a good example, however, of when they call something fruit forward. This one is very, very fruity and once it airs out, becomes a very nicely bouncy wine, full of flavor and brightness. It does, however, take significant airtime (well over 30 minutes) before this really starts to take hold, though, so this may be another one to consider using an aeration device or decanter. Merlots tends to be very medium-bodied and this one continues that. It does carry a pervasive astringent note to it, again very indicative of Merlots, though this one will smooth out and become quite enjoyable.
It’s not one for which I’ve the greatest love for from this country – that particular one is too expensive to make it on this list, actually, unless I revamp pricing – but it is a very solid choice and has tons of distinct character, which I do admire. At its price point, it trends towards the higher side of things and I’ve never seen it on SPA. I don’t like it enough to be a Standard, more a happy change of pace, so Mixed it is.