Traveling on business, I picked up a 375ml half bottle of this Château de Ferrand, St. Émilion Grand Cru at Total Wine to taste with carry-out dinner back at the hotel.
I've written often about half bottles in these pages; ... as late as last week. Here's another scenario where a small format bottle is in order. For the money spent, while I got half as much wine, I got a much better wine. Since I was dining alone and wouldn't consume a whole bottle anyway, and can't take the remainder on the airplane home (in carry-on luggage), I consider this a useful option, when opting for a higher quality wine.
The challenge of course is the options are very limited in seeking small format labels. Smaller merchants likely won't offer any, while a beverage super store such as Binny's in Chicagoland, and in this case, Total Wine, will offer a selection of wines in small format. Binny's has close to a hundred labels on offer (their Oak Brook store aisle is shown above) while Total Wine had perhaps a score.
Note, that a half bottle will cost sightly more than half the price of a standard 750ml format, so there is a bit of an uplift in price for the lower volume unique offering. In the case, a standard bottle cost $39.99, the half bottle was $23.
At six years of age, this was perfect for current drinking now, probably at the apex of its drinking window, not likely to improve with further aging. It was very pleasant with smoked cheese and a hearty salad.
Immediately upon opening, bright berry fruit and floral aromas erupted from the bottle. Dark garnet colored, medium-full bodied with nicely balanced, bright, forward black berry and black raspberry fruits with tones of anise and hints of dark mocha and subtle spicy oak on a lingering polished tannin finish.
RM 91 points.