Côtes du Rhône, France
90% Grenache, 10% Carignane; 15.5% ABV
$7 at the Berkeley, CA store on 30 April
On first pour, the wine shows nearly syrupy tart medium-red fruit and intense tobacco. As it airs over about an hour, the fruit becomes darker and more complex, with flavors of red / black raspberries, red / black cherries, blackberries, roses / violets, tobacco, and black olives, still with the moderately syrupy texture. With its high alcohol content and ripe fruit, its a highly modern version of Côtes du Rhône, but if you don’t mind that, its very good wine for the money. There’s no need to wait to drink it, and indeed, I’m not sure it has the structure to last that well over time.