E. Guigal 2000 Côtes du Rhône ($13.99)
This is an inky dark-garnet wine showing no visual signs of age; black at the core, still clear at the edge. Complex aromas show anise, herbal and floral notes over red-berry fruit that's present but not forward. On the palate it's bright, juicy and tart, cherry-berry fruit and lemon-squirt acidity with distinct tannic astringency. A blend of 50% Grenache, 25% Mourvédre and 25% Syrah that spends a year in oak, it's bone-dry, tart and tannic, somewhat austere, the kind of almost sour dry red that I remember fondly from anonymous pitchers in Paris bistros. US Importer: Ex Cellars Wine Agencies Inc., Solvang, Calif. (Oct 23, 2004)

FOOD MATCH: Fine with a simple dinner of leftover Italian braised beef, chopped with its tomato-based braising sauce over penne pasta.

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

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