Domaine Arretxea 2000 Irouléguy ($12.99)
This is an inky dark purple wine with reddish violet flares glinting through an almost opaque fluid that likely signals an unfiltered and unfined wine. Dark fruit - plums and black cherries and a hint of cranberry - are backed by a distingly earthy character of "forest floor" and "tree bark" on the nose and palate. Black fruit and pleasant leathery notes are laced up with tart acidity and subtle but drying tannins; plums and black cherries in a long finish. Bold, earthy and rustic, this Tannat-based red from Basque country is no shrinking violet. US Importer: Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, Calif. (Jan 6, 2007)

FOOD MATCH: Bold, tannic flavors make it a carnivore's wine, best suited to foods strong enough to talk back: Grilled meats, hearty poultry or strong cheese. It made a fine match with the dark, earthy flavors of roasted turkey thighs.



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