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February 02, 2005

01 Domaine Monpertuis, Cepage Counoise

This counoise-based blend from Ramiere in the southern Rhone is a rustic country wine with tons of street cred. Refusing to hide behind anything from oak to even a smidgen of more traditional varietals, this Monpertuis (by Paul Jeune) is a puttanesca sauce blended with plums and passed through a juicer. Salty green olives dominate the palate along with wet, earthwormy soil and a Priorat-like nose of spring mornings at the farm. Smoky, Aztec chocolate. If any one part of this wine were on its own, it would be completely undrinkable. The whole, however, is a treasure of balance (and bravery) that could just as easily have ended up in the cab of some tractor north of the Mediterranean as it has in my glass.


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