Maison Lafage 2006 "Côte Sud" Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes ($12.99)
Very dark reddish-purple with a clear garnet edge. Plums, cherries and berries with a whiff of black pepper on the nose. Fresh, not overwhelming cherry-berry fruit on the palate with a touch of red-clay minerality and good acidity for balance; tannins are substantial but smooth, making no interference with a wine that's a bit rustic but plenty enjoyable at the table. An old-and-new blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon in undisclosed proportions, it's made at a rational 13.5% alcohol. US Importer: European Cellars LLC, Charlotte, N.C.; An Eric Solomon Selection. (Oct 1, 2008)

FOOD MATCH: Good with poultry, veal or beef. It was excellent with free-range chicken bites sauteed with onions and garlic, then braised in a little broth with fresh sage, served over short pasta.

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

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