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2009 Domaine Sainte Rose La Garrigue 

Languedoc, France

Retail $16

La Garrigue is named for garrigue, the wild, bushy undergrowth of flora characteristic of the terroir in southern France's Languedoc region. The term also describes the briary, rough character inherent in the wines, as in the distinctive aromas and flavors derived from the 50 year-old vines grown on the Sainte Rose estate. Charles and Ruth Simpson left England 12 years ago to pursue their dream of making wine in this untamed region. Their estate features a 16th-century chateau and nearly 100 acres of primarily indigenous varietals. The vineyards are 20 miles from the Mediterranean Sea and enjoy a warm and arid climate. A blend of 60 percent grenache, 30 percent syrah and 10 percent mourvedre, the wine spent two months on its lees and nine months in French oak prior to blending and bottling. In the glass, the wine offers aromas of thyme, sage, lavender, pine, black pepper, cedar and red and black fruit. On the palate, taste ripened cherry, blackberry and plum, spice and earthy and leathery notes. Open 30 minutes before serving. Drink it with cheeses, charcuterie, grilled meats, rack of lamb, osso buco, barbecue, roasted fowl and game. Buy it at: Bin 428 and Faubourg Wines. Drink it at: The Rib Room, Loa and The Delachaise.


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