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May 30, 2005

99 Lemenicier, Cornas

The peppery, sauvage nose is sternly syrah, and an easy marker for this wine's "old world" heritage. I smell dehydrated violets, cured meat, braised fennel, and wild, tart raspberries. Though youthful, its savory flavors are still robust. The spice intensifies to satisfy the ever-ripening brambly raspberry fruit. The finish is herbal, rich with elements of Tuscan cuisine--the heat of red pepper flakes, the weight of starchy beans and rice, the pungency of toasted garlic and marinated black olives, and the sharpness of broccoli rabe. The chewy, teeth-cleaning tannins will reconcile with the fruit into something very supple in a couple of years.


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