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2005 Franck Balthazar Cornas

January 16, 2008|S. Irene Virbila

This terrific wine, from a tiny estate in Cornas planted exclusively with Syrah (and old vines at that), is everything you'd want from a Cornas and as traditional as they come. Scented with cassis and wild berries (the aroma will captivate you even before you take a sip), the 2005 is generous and opulent, loaded with ripe fruit, with a firm structure and enough tannin to ensure that it will age, and age well. To go with this brilliant Syrah, you want bold flavors. Look to the cooking of Provence or elsewhere in the Mediterranean.

--S. Irene Virbila

Quick swirl

Region: Northern Rhone Valley

Price: $42 to $50

Style: Traditional

Food it goes with: Roast pork, tagines, braised lamb shank with beans, cassoulet.

Where you find it: The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, (310) 278-2855 and (800) 547-1515,; Mel & Rose Wine & Spirits in West Hollywood, (323) 655-5557,; Venice Beach Wines in Venice, (310) 392-3539,; and Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454 and (800) 76WINEX,

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