November 7, 2012

Wine: This Thanksgiving, gobble up Hurley-imported French wines

By Joe Appel

(Continued from page 1)

Domaine Clos Lumiere Cotes du Rhone 2010, $15. I love CdR for Thanksgiving because it appeals to the diner who always wants a certain red-wine savoriness and heft no matter what's on the table, while paying equal respect to the meal's need for balance and permeability. This wine, from 30 percent Syrah and the rest Grenache, much of it from 60-plus-year-old vines, is a terrific little everyday CdR, whose agrodolce mix of black-olive-y tang and sweet/deep jam leads straight to delight.

Couly-Dutheil, a spectacular Loire Valley estate, produces a crazy-rare Chinon blanc ($26) that I'd forgive you for running red lights without a seatbelt to get your hands on. It's Vouvray with the needles on 11. They also make a full-figured Chinon rose, and seven different red Chinons.

Their "Clos Autumnal" 2009 ($21) is a terrific reminder of just how good Cabernet Franc can be, especially in this unoaked, relatively light but still oozingly ripe iteration. Late-picked grapes ensure that the green-pepper aspect is tamed, while this varietal's naturally high acidity and natural flavors of violets and Oolong present a scrumptious, tantalizing wine. The legendary bon vivant Rabelais made his home in Chinon, and on Nov. 22, when Americans will be at their most Rabelaisian, they ought to be drinking this.

Joe Appel works at Rosemont Market. His blog, soulofwine.com, continues the conversation, and he can be reached at:

soulofwine.appel@gmail.com.

 

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