(85% merlot and 15% cabernet franc; 3.6 4pH, 4.05 total acidity, 13.4% alcohol): Dark ruby. Brooding nose opens with aeration to offer lovely perfumed blackberry, blueberry and flinty notes. Then tougher and more austere but pure and fresh in the mouth, with lively harmonious acidity lifting the dark berry flavors. Finishes clean and long, with repeating notes of blackberry and mint. The team waited until October 15 to pick the cabernet franc to ensure maximum ripeness. This is one of the rare vintages in which I prefer Le Carre to Les Asteries.