Thursday, September 24, 2009

Joseph Phelps, Le Mistral 2006 $35

Monterey county, CA

A few months ago I wrote about the 2005 Le Mistral. Granted it was the vintage I had on hand at the time, the 2006 was released this past March. After tasting the 2006 now, its safe to say this winery is producing once again a wonderful and consistent Rhone style wine for all to enjoy.

With aromas of black cherry, toasted oak and a hint of pepper I thought immediately this was on track to be one of those wines you’ll remember and desire again. The taste was a pleasing, medium body red blend with flavors of dark fruits such as cherries and blackberries. A subtle essence of cocoa really complemented well with the dark berry fruits. The finish had a gentle pepper spice that held nicely on the tongue yet didn’t get in the way or linger. Along with being very well balanced one of the best things I noticed was the silky, smoothness from sip to finish. Let this wine settle in your mouth for 10 or so seconds and you’ll see what I mean.

I couldn’t agree more with the winery that this is definitely in the style of a Chateauneuf du-Pape wine. One of my favorite French style wines yet generally a bit pricey for my wallet. The Le Mistral for the price point is well worth it and a wine I would keep on hand for that special dinner. It went great with an aged, grilled NY strip and sautéed spinach w/ garlic & olive oil. I could also see this going well with a seared, pepper crusted Ahi tuna steak.

Full disclosure: This was a sample bottle sent to me.

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