J et F Lurton 2000 "Les Salices" Merlot Vin de Pays d'Oc ($8.99)
This clear, dark-garnet wine shows reddish-purple glints. Spicy candied-fruit-compote aromas, cherries and berries, lead into a fruit-forward flavor, ripe if a bit simple, black fruit and spice and a wisp of gently astringent tannins. Very much in the "international" style, it's a crowd-pleasing Merlot, well suited for by-the-glass restaurant service; but despite its "wine of the country" Languedoc appellation, its accent is distinctly mid-Atlantic. US Importer: Ex Cellars Wine Agencies Inc., Solvang, Calif. (Oct 21, 2003)

FOOD MATCH: A food-friendly wine, it would serve well with red meat or poultry, and made a fine cross-cultural match with a not-too-spicy dish of Szechwan shredded beef with carrots and celery.

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

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