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chateau brannensCheap Bordeaux but from a specific sub-region rather than the generic appellation? That’s unusual but Trader Joe’s sometimes tracks down the unusual.

Alas, if it’s cheap Bordeaux it’s basically dirt and acid. But there are several layers of dirt on the nose with good intensity—some dust, damp leaves, newly turned soil, good clean dirt.

The palate shows a seam of ripe, concentrated red and black fruit on a medium body frame with hints of cocoa. Incisive acidity threatens to turn sour and the tannins are young and grainy with some chew but the mouthfeel is supple. It’s rough around the edges but delivers lots of flavor for the price.

More ripeness than is typical of Bordeaux in this price range, otherwise it’s classic vin ordinaire.

Score: 86

Price: $7

Alc: 13%

For musical accompaniment, we need something very, very French. The nouvelle chanson style from Olivia Ruiz qualifies:

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