This outstanding red Rhone cuve e is winemaker Augie Hug’s salute to France’s Chateauneuf-du-Pape. A blend of 55 percent Grenache, 40 percent Mourvedre and 5 percent Syrah, this silky red is graceful despite its power. Layered and complex, it’s lush with aromas and flavors of plums, black cherries, blackberries, earth, and leather, highlighted with an intense thread of dark chocolate. It gets better as it opens so try, albeit difficult, to save a little during dinner to enjoy afterward. It’s perfect with flavorful meats like a ribeye or New York steak, lamb chops, roasted quail, or penne with mushrooms and sausage. The quality is outstanding yet it’s only $28 retail (its peers are much pricier). It’s just been released at Hug Cellars in Paso Robles, so stock up while you still can—you’ll definitely want this one aging in your cellar. www.hugcellars.com.
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