Gerard Bertrand – 2007 Tautavel Reserve Côtes du Roussillon-Villages Grand Terroir

Tautavel

What could be better on a blustery winter evening than a deep, rich Rhone.  The dark, ruby hue drew me into this lovely wine, and the aromas of black fruit, leather and just the slightest hint of olive were enticing.  The flavors of dark currant and black plum were intermingled with coffee, spices and even a little chocolate.  This was a nicely balanced wine, with a bold backbone that was so very satisfying.  This wine paired so very well with spicy red beans and rice, and a crusty sourdough boule.  Hearty, rustic perfection.

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Domaine du Bois de Saint Jean – 2010 L’Intrepide Cotes du Rhone

This Rhone red is bold and strong, in every respect – a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre and Cinsault.  With a deep garnet hue, the intense aromas wafted up from the glass as I swirled, rich with smoke, leather, cassis, and a faint earthiness.  The taste matched its aromas, filling my mouth with black currant, spice and smoldering graphite.  There was a nice acidity to it that layered with the assertive tannins.  The finish was pleasantly long, with spice and mineral.  I thoroughly enjoyed this wine with a rich beef stew and peppered bread, in front of a crackling fire – it paired with the food and ambiance perfectly.

Arnoux & Fils – 2009 Jean-Marie Arnoux Vacqueyras

Are you drawn in completely by massive, sexy reds?  If you are, this has your name on it.  This delicious wine starts drawing you in with its deep, dark hue – it looks particularly rich because this is an unfiltered, unfined wine.  The legs are long and beg you to sip.  The aromas are bold and rich with a cassis and graphite, and hints of bittersweet chocolate and florals are also there.  My first sip was amazing – the lush mouth feel, the dark berry flavors, the earthy tones and complexity – all combined for an amazing experience.  I will admit to reading another review of this wine that described the finish as “smoldering”, and when I read that word I could not have said it better myself.  It was long, and smoldering, and completely intoxicating.  The blend on this wine is 70% Grenache, 25% Syrah, and 5% Mourvedre.  It went so very well with a perfectly seared filet mignon and roasted, herbed asparagus.  Do try it, and see if you agree.