- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Perrin & Fils, Rasteau Cotes du Rhone Villages L’Andeol, 2003, $16

The 2003 Cotes du Rhone and Cotes du Rhone Villages reds have arrived on our shores, and they are well worth buying. That summer’s record-breaking heat throughout France yielded extremely ripe grapes. In fact, the fruit in many regions became so ripe that the wines ended up out of balance. Many wines from the southern Rhone Valley, however, especially the basic Cotes and Villages appellations, are beautifully structured and full of flavor. They offer delicious drinking.

The well-known firm of Perrin & Fils offers an excellent 2003 Rhone Villages wine with its L’Andeol Rasteau. It is a blend of 80 percent grenache and 20 percent mourvedre, and, only partially barrel-aged, it tastes of bright but full-flavored red berry fruit, with a characteristic peppery, leathery undertone.

This is a beautiful barbecue wine, as the spicy secondary flavors will complement piquant, tomato-based sauces nicely.

Medium-bodied, it will benefit from spending half an hour or so in the refrigerator on a hot summer evening. (Imported by Vineyard Brands.)

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