Thursday, March 3, 2011

2006 Le Clos du Caillou Cotes du Rhone

Thoroughly enjoyed the 2006 le Clos du Caillou Cuvee Unique Cotes du Rhone tonight with skewers of marinated cubes of lamb leg and pieces of red pepper and purple onion. Might be the very best lamb I've ever gotten from Homespun Hill Farm; our local CSA. Well done, Farmer Debbie! The wine is basically declassified Chateauneuf-du-Pape. In layman's terms this means the wine meets the local governing body's qualifications to carry a higher designation (and a price tag in the $50-60 range). But since they don't want to release too much Chateauneuf, they sell this at a lower price. And for $26 you get a monster nose of sweet cherry/raspberry fruit, black pepper the lovely lavender and rosemary-scented underbrush that the French affectionately refer to as garrigue. Initially rather medium-bodied, it takes on a lot of weight as it opens up in the glass. By the hour mark it's it quite full-bodied. Spectacular with the Mediterranean-inspired kebabs, but the last glass sans food is dominated by really smoky, hickory flavors and acidity that's a touch out of whack. Enjoy this exceptional value with food now or any time over the next 5-10 years.

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