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Hen-e-ry the fourth I am, I am

Navarre 2008 Saint-Chinian “Cuvée Oliver” (Languedoc) – I really don’t like this. Stale butter and the scotchy taste of wood (is it wooded? the web site doesn’t mention it if so) completely ruin whatever fruit characteristics might be present. Nasty stuff. (3/11)

Oustal for time

Fonquerle “l’Oustal Blanc” Vin de Table “Naïck” (France) – Apparently, this is a blend of cinsault, carignan, syrah and grenache from vineyards in both Minervois and St-Chinian, hence the VdT designation. And I think this is the 2004 version, though of course there’s no vintage on the label. Anyway, it’s meaty and dense, with an excellent black trumpet-studded earthen foundation and nice structure. The wine seems like it should be blocky, but the aromatics are a good deal more vivid than one expects. It should age for a while, but it’s an excellent foil for strongly-flavored meat right now. (11/07)