Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Perfect Burgertime Red

I’ve been in South Carolina this past week, which means lots of golf and even more time at the grill. And, as I’ve discussed here before, few beverages beat a rich, earth-driven red when it comes to pairing with burgers, ribs, and all those other classic summertime by-the-grill dishes.

And while I’ve enjoyed a number of solid wines this past week, last night’s Domaine de Nizas Coteaux du Languedoc 2005 was a standout. Its blend—60% Syrah, 35% Mourvedre, and 5% Grenache—is pitch-perfect for this kind of food, and the fact that it tastes even better with just the slightest chill on it makes it downright irresistible in the warm weather.

Its nose shows rich, dark berries and cherries with an edge of very well-defined minerality. The palate is much more earth-driven, with hints of leather and a good deal of Mediterranean dried herbs and spice. All of it is kept lively by spectacularly balanced acidity, which itself keeps the finish crisp and clean. It has the structure to last for another couple of years, but there’s really no need to do anything but drink this beauty: It’s at a perfect place right now. And with a burger, it’s nothing short of magic.


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