Domaine de Durban 2000 Beaumes-de-Venise Côtes du Rhône Villages ($10.00)
Clear, dark garnet in color, its aromas focus on black cherries, a whiff of raspberry, and a subtle mix of pleasant earth and warm brown spice. Red fruit and sharp acidity create a bold first impression, but on the mid-palate it seems more medium-bodied than weighty. It's not overly complex but well-balanced, clean and lasting, with good cherry and red-berry fruit and a light lemony tang in a long finish. Subtitled "Cuvée Prestige." US Importer: Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, Calif. (Mar 3, 2005)

FOOD MATCH: Used as a test subject in an experimental tasting with freshly baked baguettes, it shows up well against the neutral backdrop of the delicately flavored bread. For wine-pairing synergy, though, it needed the Italian mortadella and provolone served alongside to make a more traditional match.

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