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Chateau Paradis Casseuil Bordeaux Rouge 2006
Château Paradis Casseuil is a former dependence of Château Rieussec. It also underwent Rieussec’s troubled history in the 20th century. Taken under Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite)’s wing in 1984, Château Paradis Casseuil’s cellars are located in the heart of the vineyard located in Sainte-Foy-la-Longue.
The Château Paradis Casseuil cellars, located in Sainte-Foy-la-Longue are used to vinify the red wines. White wines are vinified at Château Rieussec, benefiting from the same modern technical instruments used for the Grand Vin Château Rieussec.
The vineyard is located in the three districts of Casseuil, Caudrot, and Sainte-Foy-la-Longue in the appellation Entre-Deux-Mers. There are 23 hectares (57.5 acres) of vines including 17 hectares of red varietals on claylimestone soil at Caudrot and Ste-Foy, and clay and gravel soil at Casseuil. The red varietals are 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and 5% of Cabernet Franc. And the white varietals are 60% of Semillion, 20% of Muscadelle and 20% of Sauvignon blanc.
The wines of Château Paradis Casseuil are bottled in spring without ageing in oak barrels. This allows the wines to keep their freshness and the fruit. They can be enjoyed within 2 to 3 years after harvest.
An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.
In the Glass
Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.
Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.
Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.