Joseph Phelps 2000 "Pastiche" California Red Table Wine ($13.50)
The wine is American, made in California from grapes grown in Monterey and Napa conties, but the name, the attitude and the grape varieties (50% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre and 25% Syrah) are French, and to put the international icing on the cake, it's aged in the winery's Napa cellars in a combination of used French oak barrels and large German oak "ovals." The result is an excellent, good-value California wine with a distinct French accent. Dark ruby in color, shading toward the reddish end of the spectrum, it offers plummy, peppery and warm Rhone-style aromas. Mouth-filling and smooth, very ripe fruit is well balanced by crisply appetizing acidity, with pleasant hints of chocolate and black fruit adding complexity in the finish. US Importer: (Dec 15, 2002)

FOOD MATCH: Fine with lamb chops pan-grilled with fresh rosemary and garlic.

WEB LINK: http://www.jpvwines.com/

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