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2007 Domaine de Ferrand Cotes du Rhone Cuvee Antique 

Rhone Valley, France / $16 Retail

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In southern Rhone, France's strict wine laws permit use of a roughly a dozen red varietals, allowing winemakers flexibility in blending. This exciting wine is a is made from 80 percent Grenache,15 percent Syrah and 5 percent Cinsault. Produced from 65- to 75-year-old vines, the wine was aged in oak casks, with a portion resting in used barriques before bottling. In the glass, bouquets of violets mingle with ripened dark berries, herbs, spices, garrigue and a smoky gaminess. On the palate, taste currants, plum, black cherry, fig, black pepper and firm tannins. Drink it with roast meats, fowl and game, hearty stews, cheeses and casseroles. Buy it at: Hopper's Wines and Spirits. Drink it at: Clancy's and Cafe Minh. — Brenda Maitland


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