The Michel-Schlumberger Maison Rouge is a textbook example of how to make quality, inexpensive California wine
How do you make a quality, $11 bottle of California wine? Check out the Michel-Schlumberger Maison Rouge:
• Screwcap, since you’re not trying to fool anyone into thinking this is a wine made to age.
• Light bottle with a minimal punt, so you’re not spending more money for glass than on the wine.
• California appellation, since the grapes are less expensive.
The result is the Michel-Schlumberger Maison Rouge 2017 ($11, purchased, 13.9%), a red blend from a top quality Sonoma producer that makes a second line of high-value, affordable wines. In fact, there’s a $30 version of this wine with a Sonoma appellation.
This vintage of the Michel-Schlumberger Maison Rouge has rich, ripe, red fruit and soft tannins, and it’s likely more zinfandel than anything else. But the wine isn’t over the top or too ripe, in the way of some cheap red blends and zinfandels. Plus, the finish is just tart enough so the wine isn’t cloying.
Highly recommended. This is fall barbecue wine, and you can even chill it a touch.