The 2012 Domaine Bastide Milaflors is the perfect teaching wine.
This southern French red is a blend of 70 percent syrah and 30 percent old vine grenache, and the wine was made by Jean-Marc Lefage, who is somewhat of a wunderkind in this warm and sunny region.
What makes it such a good wine for the learning is the aromas are so wound together and delectable that one can spend 10 delightful minutes enrapt by its scent before the wine is ever tasted. Really good wines do this all the time. But, really good wines rarely cost $14 a bottle and if so they cannot age. This red does both of those, but it does drink wonderfully now.
The aromas here are of flowers, minerals, strawberries, dark plum and garrigue, describing the low-growing vegetation on the limestone hills of the Mediterranean coast, but not the limestone itself. There are a bunch of bushy, fragrant plants that grow wild there, such as juniper, thyme, rosemary and lavender, and garrigue refers to the sum of them. Think herbes de Provence, or a mix of fresh minty herbal notes with more pungent, floral fragrances. That definition, provided by The Wine Spectator, says what this wine has going on, and after one sniffs this wine, garrigue will forever be understood.
As well, this is a well-measured food wine that would be best with lamb dishes, grilled meat, puttanesca pasta, veined cheeses, or a simple beef dish. Your wine source can get it from D&E Distributors in Columbus.
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Roger Gentile is the owner of Gentile’s, the Wine Sellers – www.gentiles.com – and the author of two books on wine.