M. Chapoutier La Bernardine 2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Dry Red Wine, $47.99-$57.99, 91 points, has a metallic garnet color with a broad transparent rim.
A more or less unique aroma pours with the wine and wafts noticeably throughout; there is, of all things, the aroma of red-grape, mellow cooking spice, other red fruits, and sandy-earth.
A medium body trending a bit on the plus side is noticeably acidic with velvety tannin, producing a dry tart red wine.
Flavors of strawberry and red cherry carry the wine to a long black and white peppery finish.
Varietals are a Red Rhone blend, and I was again unable to readily locate what the varietals are.
Just a quick comment: because I'm not familiar with French wines and don't pretend to be the "be-all and end-all" of knowledge or advice concerning these wines, my two cents worth of "a penny for your thoughts" is: if value is an issue, I'd stay away from this wine and I'd research French wines before you spend a great deal of money; ask yourself: what do I want these wines for (special occasion or as a "table wine", maybe an investment)? I've mentioned Dave Boyer's blog as a resource, and there are many others, but there is also thousands of French wineries, and often the wines recommended will not be available.
There are very good French wines for $11-$25, and though I've scored the La Bernardine 2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape 91 points, others were not so kind, and at this price, most of us will not be satisfied.
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