Domaine de Nizas 2001 Coteaux du Languedoc ($14.99)
A traditional blend of Syrah (60%), Mourvedre (35%) and a splash of Grenache (5%), this is an inky-dark reddish-purple wine, almost opaque in the glass. Black plums and dried herb aromas are typical of Languedoc reds, and for that matter, so is its healthy dose of earthy "barnyard." Tart and ripe in flavor, there's plenty of fruit left in this 6-year-old; good acidic balance, rather coarse tannins, and the Brettanomyces wild yeast that fosters the earthy flavors leaves its signature as a metallic twang in the finish. It's not for everyone, but for those - like me - who don't mind "Brett" in light doses in rustic Old World wines, it's fine, adding a layer of complexity. US Importer: Clos du Val Wine Co. Ltd., Napa, Calif. (Feb 1, 2007)

FOOD MATCH: Its palate-cleansing acidity cuts through the fat while its earthy, tannic flavors stand up very nicely to deli hot pastrami with mustard on rye.

WEB LINK: http://www.domainedenizas.com/

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