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Wine of the Week 

Although the Planeta family has owned its estate on ItalyÕs enchanting island of Sicily since the 1600s, the groupÕs winemaking venture didnÕt commence until the mid-1980s. A blend of 50 percent Nero dÕAvola, 25 percent Merlot, 20 percent Syrah and 5 percent Cabernet Franc, the wine touches no oak. A medium-bodied red for everyday drinking, the wine opens with intense aromas of crushed ripe, red fruit, spice and mineral notes. On the palate, flavors of cherry, raspberry, plum and red currant dominate with herbal and chocolate nuances. ItÕs well-balanced with a refreshing acidity and even tannins. Drink young. A good match for risotto, chicken with rosemary and garlic, grilled or barbecued meats, pasta with hearty red sauces and strong cheeses. Where to buy it: MatassaÕs Market in the French Quarter and Vintages, A Wine Store in Kenner. Where to drink it: Orleans Grapevine, Herbsaint, NOLA and MurielÕs. (Listings current at press time.)
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