July 19, 2009

Paul Jaboulet Aine Crozes Hermitage

Bill Dowd photo
This red comes from a French specialist in Syrah-based Rhone Valley wines.

Paul Jaboulet Aine 2005 "Les Jalets" Crozes Hermitage

The syrah grape is a wonderful wine grape, plump and bursting with goodness if the weather has been kind. And, when they are grown in the sandy soil along the Rhone River in France, they are often of the highest qualty.

That is immediately apparent in the rich, soft, deep flavor of this particular expression, the Les Jalets, from quarter-century-old vines. The word "jalets" is from the Old French for pebbles left in the region when alpine glaciers receded.

The ruby violet color promises much, and that is delivered with a spicy berry nose, followed by the flavors of black currants and even a hint of stone fruits. They mix well in the nose and on the palate.

This is a remarkably drinkable wine just hitting its peak. I'd recommend it on its own or with adventurous cuisine.

Suggested retail price: $23.

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