Château Croix Mouton Jean-Philippe Janoueix 2010 Bordeaux Superieur, $14.44-$17.99, 89 points, straddles the color line between Shiraz purple and Bordeaux red with an obligatory youthfully clear rim.
A soft fragrance of medical gauze lifts out of the glass, and quickly swirls to a light sweet grape and black pepper aroma.
Textually, this medium-plus bodied wine of good acidity and moderate tannin, splits between a smooth fruit-forward red wine, and a rough-edged alcohol (14.5%) and a spiced laden one; neither seem to dominate, and being not the best of both worlds, compromises the wine's focus.
However, this tug-of-war does balance a near cloying expression, while rounding-off a slightly austere element.
The finish is fair with a flare for the spice.
French Christmas Carol
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