The inviting bramble berry and spice bouquet leads on to a medium/full-bodied, grippy palate of black cherry, cedar and leather. Great precision, detail and length - wonderful Bordeaux.
Try with beef brisket with red wine and shallots.
Dating from 1986, Frank Phélan is the "second wine" of Château Phélan Ségur, a Bordeaux estate founded in the eighteenth century by Tipperary man Bernard O' Phelan. The wine is named after his son Frank, who, to give him his dues, served as mayor of Saint-Estèphe for thirty years. The French wrested back control of the château in 1985 and today the three Gardinier brothers Thierry, Stéphane and Laurent run the show.
Frank Phélan 2013 is a typical Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, aged in barrel for 14 months. "Second wines" are made in an earlier-drinking style than estates' grand vins (main wines), and 2013 is an early-drinking year, so no need to cellar - pull that cork!
Saint-Estephe, at the northern end of the Haut-Médoc, is one of Bordeaux's most-famous wine regions, separated from its illustrious neighbour Pauillac by a mere stream. The terroir includes less gravel and more clay than other left-bank communes, meaning that the soils are relatively cool and damp, and more suited to Merlot than Cabernet.