Domaine Lafond 2004 "Roc-Epine" Côtes du Rhône ($14.00)
I'm enjoying the return of a good, typical vintage in much of Europe after the wacky, fruit-forward and oversize wines that were all too common in the record-heat year of 2003. This modest table wine offers a lovely example: There's plenty of fruit, but it's well-structured with acidity and tannin in a balanced, food-friendly wine that takes me back in memory to years long past, discovering cheap but hearty Rhone reds served by the pitcher in Paris sidewalk cafés. Dark ruby in color with glints of reddish-orange, it offers classic Côtes du Rhône aromas of peppery cherry-berry fruit. Mouth-filling flavors follow the nose, juicy fruit shaped by tart acidity and substantial tannins. US Importer: Wines of France Inc., Mountainside, N.J. (Mar 11, 2006)

FOOD MATCH: Red meat is a natural companion, and it went very well with pan-seared flatiron steaks scented with garlic and lots of black pepper. Yes, it will be just fine with St. Patrick's Day corned beef, too.



Wine notes in 'shelf-hanger' format:
We publish Wine Lovers' Page tasting reports in the familiar "shelf-hanger" size and format, to make it easy for wine merchants or collectors to print them out, clip and post them where this wine is displayed. We do ask, however, that the name, logo and URL be left intact, and that these reports be used with the specific wines rated, not different bottlings or vintages.

Our tasting policy:
All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I accept no free samples from wineries or distributors, purchasing all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

View the previous tasting note: Spadina 2001 Nero d'Avila Sicilia
View the next tasting note: Vincenzo Toffoli Conigliano Valddobbiadene Prosecco