I picked up this wine from Fine Wine in Gaithersburg, MD for $12.99 for the 1/2 bottle.  I paired this with a tasty pizza from CPK.

Chateau Haut Selve 2003

Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (50%) and Merlot (50%).  12.5% alchol.  Real Cork.  This wine was intended for a decanter and unfortunately I didn’t have one handy at the hotel.  To let the wine open up, I resorted to pouring wine in small wine glasses to sit about an hour before drinking.

On the nose I found pungent pepper aromas – wondered if the wine was spiked with pepper it was so pungent.  Also picked up dust and red fruit components as well as hints of smokiness.  Big mouth feel.  Strong tannins.  In the mouth the pepper and red fruit were muted compared to the oak which was especially strong on the finish.

Although I did like the pizza pairing, this particular wine would have likely been much better paired with an earthy meat like lamb or bison.