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Wine & Spirits / WINE OF THE WEEK

2005 Domaine Gardiés Côtes du Roussillon Villages Vieilles Vignes

September 12, 2007|S. Irene Virbila

Despite the feeble dollar, in France it is still possible to ferret out wines with a terrific price-quality ratio, particularly if you turn away from Burgundy and Bordeaux. Côtes du Roussillon in the Languedoc region is one appellation where you can find real bargains. Like this captivating red from young Jean Gardiés at Domaine Gardiés. Made from old vines Grenache and Carignan blended with a little Syrah and Mourvèdre, the 2005 Domaine Gardiés vieilles vignes is ripe, luscious and wild tasting. If you crushed an entire wild blackberry bush into a glass, this is what you'd get.

A single sip of the deep purple red wine conjures up lamb grilling over an open fire, wine-soaked daubes dotted with wrinkly black olives and (think ahead a couple of months) eating in front of the fireplace with the smell of wood smoke. This is a red to drink with roasted or grilled duck, with eggplant Parmesan or pasta sauced with chicken livers. Its hand-hewn character needs bold flavors.

--S. Irene Virbila

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Quick swirl

Region: Languedoc

Price: About $23

Style: Structured and concentrated

Food it goes with: Grilled lamb or duck, beef or lamb daubes, hearty pasta dishes.

Where you find it: The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, (310) 278-2855 and (800) 547- 1515; Liquid Wine & Spirits in Chatsworth, (818) 709-5019; Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454 and (800) 76-WINEX; www.winex.com; the Wine House in West Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731, www.winehouse.com; and Woodland Hills Wine Co. in Woodland Hills, (818) 222-1111, www.whwc.com.

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