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(The Bottle In Front Of Me is a series of somewhat regular, brief tasting notes from the Rogue Estate’s resident wine guy, Ian.) The French Hottie Popular U.S. opinion is that French wine has a certain "mystique". Unfortunately no one really knows what that word means anymore, so it has become an alias for "overpriced" and "not immediately enjoyable". The people who believe this are the same Neanderthals who slept through French class in college, and never noticed the sweet, sexy girl in the second row who somehow had a better accent than anyone else. I miss that girl. I think she's in the bottle in front of me. This is another capable Rhône designed for bistro food, and a long, fantastic conversation about poetry, movies, politics, and the color of her eyes (there I go again…) 2007 Le Clos Du Caillou Côtes du Rhône (About $20) Learn more about the winery (French language only): http://www.closducaillou.com/site/spip.php Learn more about the bottle in front of me (French language only): http://www.closducaillou.com/site/spip.php?page=fichevins&id_article=109 SEE: A deep, majestic, and clear ruby red. Lightens to an even medium red at the rim. SWIRL: It coats the glass beautifully with even, slow legs. SMELL: A floral perfume over a bed of solid musky leather. There beef blood in there, and lots of dark berries. As the alcohol blows off, there's some intriguing barnyard and bacon aromas. SIP: Wonderful black cherry and cassis are upfront, but it's not long before the muted spice notes emerge, with orange peel and cloves. SAVOR: There's a long evolving finish that starts dusty and hot, but resolves to bitter chocolate. Nice solid structure and balance to this. Final impression: A lusty wine to savor slowly and enjoy its finer aromas. This one will age well for several more years. Pair with: Classic French bistro fare. Boeuf Bourguignon, rich cheeses.