- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Chateau d’Or et de Gueules, Costieres de Nimes, 2001, $11

The Costieres de Nimes appellation lies just to the west of the Rhone delta in southern France, and the red wines display a similar character to Rhone wines — jammy black fruit flavors enhanced by peppery spice and an earthy, almost gamy undertone.

The best Nimes reds can hold their own with top Rhone reds and often cost far less. This example comes with a tongue-twisting name but tastes deep and delicious. It offers fine value.

Made with a blend of syrah, grenache and mourvedre from organically farmed vines, this Costieres de Nimes red tastes rustic but at the same time rich and full. It has a succulent, almost chewy texture and soft tannins, so it never seems heavy or coarse.

The finish is long and substantial, enabling it to stand up to hearty fare at the dinner table. Southern French wines with this sort of character pair especially well with hearty stews and casseroles, slow-cooked fall and winter dishes that warm both body and spirit. There’s a hint of warmth in the wine as well — a reminder of days past as well as days to come.

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