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James' Staff Pick - Salel & Renaud 'Etèrna' Rouge

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Domaine Salel & Renaud 'Etèrna' Rouge 2020
Region:Ardeche, Rhone Valley, France
GRAPE(S): Dureza
DRINKS BEST: Now – 3 Years

Cold weather & gray skies of the holiday season call for a bolder red, and the Rhone Valley of France has long been a personal favorite. And even still, there are always surprises! Enter a grape most of us have never heard of – Dureza – a very rare, nearly extinct relative of Syrah. Although rare, it is 100% Rhone – offering savory rosemary and sage on the nose, plum and blackberry mid-palate, and a fascinating, smokey finish reminiscent of an Islay Scotch.

What's Cooking?

Dry-aged NY Strip, rare, with sautéed mushrooms

What do I like to drink? 

While I fell in love with wine in California, I’m a Francophile at heart – Burgundy, Champagne, Rhone, and Loire account for the majority of my personal drinking. I love balanced wines with layers of flavor, and wines that pair with a wide variety of food. I probably have the most traditional palate on the team, and I’m okay with that. 

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