This moderately priced Rhône blend spent 14 months in a blend of French and European oak, and it shows. There is plenty of cherry and a little rhubarb, but the wood is slathered all over the fruit, overwhelming it. Sweet tannins and a maple flavor are wood-derived, making a difficult food match. Not recommended.

WHO: Robert Hall
WHAT: Grenache, Syrah, Cinsaut, Counoise
WHERE: Central Coast, California
WHEN: 2006
HOW MUCH: $24

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David Honig
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