Domaine de l'Oratoire St. Martin 2000 Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Cairanne "Cuvée Prestige" ($14.99)
This is a very dark, blackish-purple wine; its clear garnet edge shows no hint of the bronze or brown color that betrays age. Earthy, mineral scents, more akin to clay and tree bark than the barnyard, blend nicely with still-vibrant black-cherry and raspberry fruit. Full-bodied, ripe fruit is balanced by mouth-watering acidity; ample but smooth and palatable tannins add to its texture, with snappy cherry-berry fruit persisting in a long finish. US Importer: USA Wine Imports, NYC, for Vineyard Expressions Fine Wine Selections, Ithaca, N.Y. (Jan 17, 2005)

FOOD MATCH: You couldn't ask for a finer match with a crisp-skinned, roast free-range chicken.



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