Eric Texier 2001 "St. Gervais" Cotes du Rhone Villages ($13.99)
Although European producers lag well behind New World wineries in embracing alternatives to natural cork, Texier's wines come cleanly stoppered with synthetic closures from California's Neocork Technologies. This unfiltered red is inky dark reddish-purple, almost black in color, and offers fine Rhone scents of fragrant black pepper and ripe, plummy fruit, with just a distant hint of pleasantly earthy "barnyard." Its well-balanced flavor is ripe and clean, peppery and full, almost "chewy" in the mouth. A fine red. US Importer: Vintner Select, Mason, Ohio, and other regional importers. (Apr 19, 2003)

FOOD MATCH: Stood up nicely to a simple Easter Eve dinner of lamb shanks and white beans.



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