Friday, November 19, 2010

Alain Jaume 2007 Rasteau "Les Valats" (France)

Picking out a wine I am interested in is fairly easy (it just has to say "wine" on the label); picking one out the whole family will enjoy is another story.  So tonight I threw caution to the wind as I headed over to mom and dad's for dinner with some cousins also invited ... if family was coming I had to go with the hard stuff (at 14.5% alcohol that's pretty hard).  South a France (Rhone) is always a good selection, and just in case people had questions it's good to go with a blend of grapes one can explain (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) instead of some oddball blend that'll take up most of the dinner to discuss their origin (you don't want to bore folks, even if they seem interested when they ask).  As luck would have it the wine was all mine (mom had a glass too) because everybody opted out of wine and headed straight for the water ... too bad this one was really very good.  At first the wine was closed and had little in the way of smell or taste, but some 30 minutes in this wine opened up delivering spiced red fruit on the nose.  The palate was even better, still spiced with a shaker full of tannins but also with dark fruit: blackberry and cassis, licorice and pencil shavings.  Very tasty ... the nose continued to open and by the time the last mouthful was taken that red fruit popped out ofthe glass and into the nose.

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