Louis TÍte 2003 Beaujolais-Villages ($9.99)
This is a very dark reddish-purple wine, surprisingly dark for a Beaujolais, offering the first hint that this hot-vintage wine lies at the bold end of the style spectrum. Ripe, luscious strawberries burst out on the nose and palate, the signature flavor of the Gamay grape but present here in unusual degree, without the odd banana scents or green and herbaceous character that often afflict Beaujolais. Juicy fruit almost conveys an impression of strawberry Kool-Aid at first, but it's saved by delightful freshness and crisp acidity, finishing with an appealing whiff of fragrant black pepper and a dry, tart snap. Full, forward fruit and good acidity makes for an appealing, mouth-watering Beaujolais, a vintage well handled by Louis TÍte with its usual clean and balanced style US Importer: Bercut-Vandervoort & Co., Brisbane, Calif. (Mar 28, 2005)

FOOD MATCH: Fine with an Americanized variation on fettuccine Alfredo made with mellow, sharp yellow Cheddar and a dash of hot mustard, a variation that plays beautifully against the wine's ripe and forward fruit.

WEB LINK: http://www.tete-beaujolais.com/

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