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2005 Montirius Le Clos Vacqueyras

One of the charms of a simple, rich food like prime rib is that it can pair well with a number of wines. The 1995 Chateau Margaux from last weekend was a fabulous match. But there are wines beyond the traditional Bordeaux grapes that can pair well. The better wines from the southern Rhone deserve consideration. Chateauneuf-du-Pape deserves consideration. So does Gigondas. But I'll be drinking those later this week. So I chose a wine from Vacqueyras--the village in the southern Rhone that earned its own appellation just over 20 years ago (following CdP, the first, and Gigondas, which received its status in 1971). Vcqueyras is located just a few kilometers south of Gigondas. Vacqueyras is better known for power than elegance--but the best can achieve both. I chose the 2005 Montirius Le Clos (until that vintage, known as Clos Montirius). I've had the wine several times and always enjoyed it. A blend of grenache and syrah, it has ripe red and black fruit flavors, but adds complexity with spice, savory notes, and hints of coffee. There's plenty of power...but there's also finesse. The flavors played well with medium-rare prime rib. Nice wine. Nice pairing.

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