ôtes du Rhônes, but worth every penny.
Clear dark ruby with garnet highlights. Very pure nose of spicy blackberry, lightly roasted dried herbs, stony minerals, and a wisp of fragrant smoke. Very soft, mouthfilling flavors, yet with a light mouthfeel. Lots of herb/iodine-inflected dark berry fruit, followed by a clingy finish gradually revealing quite a bit of very soft tannin as the minerally notes fade away to show the structure underneath. Couldn't stop sniffing and sipping this one. A. Was $18.99 at Houston Wine Merchant on South Shepherd. Imported by Neal Rosenthal.
(Sorry: 2004 label depicted)
PS: Some Internet research reveals that ubiquitous Rhône consultant Phillipe Cambie lists this estate as one of the estates he consults on. I have criticized the growing use of Cambie before as a homogenizing force in the region (as other celebrity consultants are in other regions), but I have to admit, this is a really nice wine. I will have to put aside my predispositions/prejudices and give the guy's wines a fresh assessment.