Wine: Fat Bastard Merlot.
Region: Vin de Pays d’Oc, Southern France
In the glass: Fat Bastard Merlot is a deep dark blood-red color with a semi-opaque core going out into a fine crimson-red rim definition and medium-high viscosity.
On the nose: The wine exudes classical elements of merlot from France with concentrated, soft extract of black and red berries, dominated by brambleberry, raspberry sorbet, creamy blueberry — just pure fruits of the forest with no discernable oak influences.
On the palate: It is soft and rounded with slightly spicy berry fruit, sloe fruit juice, elderberry, mulberry and hints of minerals. The midpalate is firm and softly tannic going into a good, balanced finish that displays yet more black fruit and herbs de Provence. It is an excellent medium-bodied wine.
Odds and ends: When the British drink a good, heady wine that is particularly rich and powerful, they often exclaim: “I’ve got me a Fat Bastard,” hence the name for this fun little wine that has become the foundation for quite a serious brand in value wines. The Fat Bastard Wine Co. offers nice quality wines sold exclusively on the American market with great success. Why? It is easy to understand when you consider the drinkability factor, flavor profile and price. The wine should drink well for another couple of years, before the fruit will dry up. A wine like this merits buying for everyday consumption. You can serve it with any pasta dish.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89016-0749, or e-mail him at email@example.com.