I've had a chance to dig into the mailbag and give some well-deserved recognition to some of the readers who have graciously added their suggestions. Without further adieu
Cycles Gladiator 2006 Merlot - When a bartender gives an honest recommendation, listen. Jen C. mentioned this merlot and I decided to give it a swing. Cycles Gladiator was a French bicycle company in the 1890's, and the wine label bears the artwork from those old posters.
This merlot is interesting. The nose is very full and, to me, smells like what in WineSpeak they call "cassis"