Chateau La Roque 1998 Pic Saint Loup Cuvee Les Vieilles Vignes de Mourvèdre Coteaux de Languedoc ($9.99) GOOD BUY!
Chateau La RoqueThis all-Mourvèdre wine from a top producer in one of the Languedoc's most exciting regions stands out as the best $10 value I have found in a long, long time. It is a very dark ruby color, almost opaque, full and ripe, full of earthy and complex Mourvèdre notes, "tree bark" and "forest floor," prompting my wife to liken it to "a walk in the woods on a rainy autumn day." But there's fresh fruit there, too, raspberry and black-cherry, with lemony acidity to give it structure. This vintage has been around for a while, but the 1999, coming on the market now, is also reported to be very fine. U.S. importer: Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, Calif. (Jan. 16, 2001)

FOOD MATCH: Delicious with a Provence dish crafted to match: Lamb chunks stewed with aromatic flavors of orange peel, fennel, bay leaf, black pepper and thyme.

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