Domaine Arlaud 2000 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru ($45.00)
This wine is dark ruby in color, clear but not brilliant, likely reflecting its naturally unfiltered status. Deep and rich aromas are complex but difficult to parse out: Dark fruit, plums and black cherries, add wisps of smoke and brown spice. Flavors are consistent with the nose, ripe black fruit and lemony acidity, hints of spice and incense to add complexity, with something fruity and tart like pomegranate juice and cranberries in a very long finish. Tannins are present, but so smooth that they don't intrude. Fine but tightly wound, time is on its side. US Importer: North Berkeley Imports, Berkeley, Calif. (Feb 18, 2004)

FOOD MATCH: Sticking with the premise that the finer the wine, the simpler the accompaniment should be, we topped a simple salad with duck confit and a garnish of pecans and California Point Reyes blue cheese, with a dressing made wine-friendly by substituting meyer lemon juice in an otherwise traditional vinaigrette.



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