Le Mistral, the fierce, ceaseless wind that blows off the Alps down through the rocky southern Rhone Valley with a savage force, serves to cool the sun-struck vines and helps the grapes develop a balanced acidity. Unlike Northern Rhone where most red wines are made from a single grape -- shiraz -- southern Rhone wines are blended from up to 12 grapes. Made from grapes grown on a small parcel of land just outside of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, this wine is a blend of 80-percent Grenache, with Cinsaut, Mourvedre and Syrah. Fermented in aged French oak with minimal intervention, the wine offers a cherry and white pepper bouquet, soft tannins and full fruit flavors. Splash decanting will improve it. Delicious with leg of lamb, roast chicken and pork tenderloin. Available at Elio's Wine Warehouse, The Wine Seller and Hugh's Wine Cellar in Mandeville.
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