Eric Texier 2001 Côtes du Rhône Brézème ($14.00)
Dark garnet, black at the center; a rim of tiny bubbles lines the glass, a hint that something odd may be going on in the bottle. Warm, almost pruney aromas suggest incipient oxidation - perhaps hastened by the synthetic cork - but the dominant aroma here is a distinctly horsey, leathery character that suggests the presence of brettanomyces, a supposition underscored by a sharp, acidic twang that proceeds to a tongue-curling sourness in the finish. As unpleasant as all this may sound, it's not a fatal flaw in a rustic country wine, although tolerance for these "old world" aromas and flavors will vary considerably among individuals. One thing is certain, this one offers a textbook demonstration of the effect of brett in wine. US Importer: Vintner Select, Mason, Ohio, and other regional importers. (Jul 27, 2005)

FOOD MATCH: Grilled red meat or burgers would make a natural match; a simple cheese omelet worked well as a meatless alternative.

WEB LINK: http://www.eric-texier.com/

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