Pietra Santa "Sacred Stone" Master's Red Blend Old World Style Red Wine ($9.99)
Dark ruby in color, with warm, plummy aromas, a hint of raisins and a dash of spice; floral and peppery notes on the nose carry over to the palate with a burst of fragrant pepper and bright red fruit. Full bodied, tart and somewhat tannic, with an intriguing minerality lurking behind the forward fruit and peppery spice. Powerful alcohol (14.8%) leaves a distinct warmth in the finish. Made by a California producer and bearing no regional appellation or vintage, it's described as a "Rhone-style blend," with Syrah, Carignan, Grenache and the less characteristically Rhonish Sangiovese and Zinfandel. US Importer: (Oct 29, 2004)

FOOD MATCH: Good with hearty seasonal fare, it made a fine match with a shepherd's pie variation, ground lamb and earthy Swiss cheese on a bed of mashed potatoes and cauliflower.

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

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