Clear lightish garnet with wide, clear edges. Incredible smoky nose of wet gravel, buttered toast, roasted licorice and tar–all coupled with a beautiful Euro funk. The grenache elements transfer into the taste, bringing dark cherry fruit and subtle garam masala but coding nicely with the easy acid for a rather thinnish mouthfeel. A nicely made wine–clean and balanced with no flaws. Bouquet warms and rounds with some air. Mouthfeel sharpens and acidifies with same air. Thin, sharp tannin of a light nature bring up the rear. I wouldn’t necessarily call it meager–for Paso-wonks and 90+ RP-wonks it will come across definitely light. But for those appreciative of classic Côtes du Rhône and CdP this stuff is SPOT-ON–and arguably more enjoyable for New-World fans–as compared to the Euro offerings. This is far-and-away the most European wine I have tasted this year. Not sure if that is what this wine-maker was shooting for, but he nailed it. And added a flair or California for the extra point. A touch of AL in the nose and finish–I’m guessing a good solid Rhonish 13-0 plus a full point. *checks label* Nope, 14-5, so props for balance again and fooling me. I wouldn’t consider this a perfect cellar-candidate–I just do not think it was designed for such. Pretty sure this is designed for enjoying now and for a half-dozen years at best. I would drink this at a million bistros with lunch. Restaurants NEED to pick stuff like this up and educate Umericans what food-wine really represents. This is a 9€ half-carafe at a table all over France-sud and if we could somehow convince the California dining public 2yo 15-0 oak-bomb Cabernets and over-extracted Pinots are NOT food-wines, the world would be a better place. This is a fabulous wine. Not for everybody. Certainly not for everybody in California who have cut their teeth on the Robert Parker system of over-ripe infallibility–but for conscious, awake, observant wine-food freaks with an appreciation for Euro sensibility, this wine is the epitome.
2012 LE P’TIT PAYSAN Le P’Tit Pape GSM San Benito Co 14.5