Wine: Perrin Reserve Cotes du Rhone
Grapes: grenache (60 percent), syrah (20 percent), mourvedre (20 percent)
Region: Cotes du Rhone, southeastern France
In the glass: This wine is a deep garnet red with a semi-opaque core going out into a bright-garnet rim definition with fairly high viscosity.
On the nose: There is classic Cotes du Rhone character emanating with oodles of peppery spice over crushed black fruit with the so-called garrigue component, which can best be described as a ratatouille with peppers and stewy black fruit, touches of iodine, tar, violets and wet tobacco underlying, and definitely earthy in the minerals department.
On the palate: The wine is quite rich and full-bodied right off the bat and then there is nicely balanced rustic and earthy black fruit components with black and white peppercorn action, sort of pomegranate compote with loganberries and sloe fruit. The midpalate is well-defined and offers more peppery fruit, going into a solid yet soft finish that rounds out the wine well.
Odds and ends: This is a wine that comes from the illustrious Perrin family, whose most famous property is the highly regarded Chateau de Beaucastel in the Chateauneuf-du-Pape in the southern part of the Rhone Valley. What I have found by tasting thousands of wines annually, is that even simpler wines made by great winegrowers tend to be good in quality, meaning there is a certain guarantee that you're going to be drinking a nice wine if a family of some repute is behind it. The blend is a typical one from this region and is called GSM for short. You should unscrew the top about one hour before consumption, thereby giving the wine some oxygen and breathing time. Serve with lemon-pepper chicken or meat. It will be good to drink through 2014.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz's wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.