This nicely-rendered Rhone varietal blend showed why it is important, particularly in the heat of the summer, to make sure reds are served, NOT at ACTUAL room temperature (which is invariably too hot), but at a temperature in the low to mid 60s.*
Eye: Dark, sultry black ruby.
Nose: When I popped the cork after taking the wine out of my wine closet (which is about 71 degrees in July and August), the nose was overwhelmingly dominated by peppery alcoholic scents. I could hardly smell anything else. Alcohol vaporizes quite readily as temperature increases. So I popped the wine in the fridge for about 20 - 30 minutes, and upon cooling down to the mid-60s, the alcohol receded and deep-toned scents of smoky earth, dark black berries, and pungent yet sweet balsa wood emerged.
Mouth: Rich, dark flavors of smoky, mineral-laced blackberry syrup, with good density and length, and lots of fairly soft tannic structure.
Cellar or drink? Drink over the next 2 years.
Price/store: I can't find my receipt, but I think this was about $21 at Spec's on Smith.
* The notion of reds being served at "room temperature" comes from a loose translation of the French word "chambre." But serving red wine "chambre" in the old days (when this truism was formed) referred to the temperature of a room in a typical French stone house, which were usually a lot cooler than modern American houses tend to be. So "room temperature" (chambre), as used in this rule, actually refers to temperatures between about 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.