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Red Wings and Red Rhônes: 2007 Domaine Sainte-Anne Côtes-du-Rhône Villages

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The Detroit Red Wings have been terribly (and disconcertingly) inconsistent during the 2009-2010 NHL season. Unlike the first forty games or so, they can now no longer point to the rash of injuries they sustained as the cause of their up-and-down play, because everyone is pretty much healed or at least patched up and back on the ice. They’ll play a solid game and follow it up with one of their worst of the campaign. (There have been 6 or 8 “worst games of the season” so far.) They’re actually in danger of missing the playoffs, a situation that has been all but unthinkable for the last 20 years. It’s enough to cause Red Wings’ fans everywhere to pull hair out by the roots, sometimes even their own!

Happily, no such inconsistencies occur with the wines from one of our favorite Rhône producers, wines which, of course, we so enjoy drinking whilst watching Red Wings hockey. Domaine Sainte-Anne maintains a solid level of quality with all of their selections, from the entry level Côtes-du-Rhône right on up through their various Côtes-du-Rhône Villages bottlings. We recently polished off the last few bottles from a case of the 2006 Domaine Sainte-Anne Côtes-du-Rhône, which has mellowed into a soft and friendly red, with pretty plum and berry flavors shaded with notes of earth and violets. If you can find it, it’s drinking beautifully, and should be available at a very friendly price.

In just the past few days, I’ve had the opportunity to try the 2007 Côtes-du-Rhône Villages from the domaine, and it’s everything that I’d expect from this fine producer in a stellar vintage. Here are my impressions.

2007 Domaine Sainte-Anne Côtes-du-Rhône Villages, 70% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 14% alc., approximately $15 retail: Deep, dark garnet in color, and nicely funky, with just a hint of the barnyard on the nose and appealing black olive, black plum and black berry flavors and aromas. Full bodied, rich and ripe, with excellent structure for at least a few years in the cellar, and yet it’s already delightful when poured right out of the bottle, and of course, it gets better and better with extended air. Like all the wines of Domaine Sainte-Anne, this is tank fermented, and sees no barrels. Find this wine

Imported by AHD Vintners, Ltd., Warren, MI

Reporting from Day-twah,

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