Here's a long lasting obsession of mine. Value Bordeaux. I have a bee in my bonnet on this matter due to it's difficulty. You simply can't trust a name in Bordeaux, you simply have to find a wine critic you trust and go with their recommendation. Sometimes, though, I come across something that seems to be too good to turn down and buy blind.
A very reasonable price at your local Liquor Mountain gets you this. A very nicely balanced Bordeaux.
Upon opening this is dense and dark. Very closed at first with that coiled graphite hardness on the nose that bespeaks young Cabernet Sauvignon, this shows very little of the supple flashiness of the Merlot content. It's cool, blue fruited palate is short and rather austere, reminding me of the bramble fruits you'd pick not to eat, but for jam making.
It was only on the third day, after abandoning this to the fridge in hopes of a recovery, that this started to make any sense at all. Showing much more poise than previously the tannins had unravelled to reveal a red carpet of Merlot, stained with aromatic dark berries. Heady stuff with an intense aroma. "I can smell it from here!" said one, 3 feet from the glasses. The length had improved a little too. Still no marathon runner, the stamina gave me a very good impression of the ageing potential of such a sprightly young thing.
This is excellent stuff to go with grilled meats and strong sauces. You can throw some spice at it as well. Just remember to decant it for a day before drinking.