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cave de tainA smoky, meaty bundle of joy when you first meet up. But this is a swaggering, spirited guest who then has way too much to drink.

From a great vintage, blackberry, red raspberry, olive and violet notes round out this sumptuous bacon-laced nose.

On the palate it shows ripe, concentrated berries up front penetrated by a persistent mineral seam that turns woody and aggressive at midpalate, then drying, coarse and puckering as it heads out the door with a cola-like flourish.

A tenacious, tough Syrah with loads of flavor and a bad attitude, it’s too young to fulfill its promise right now but this surely has the stuffing to age well.

It paired well with the relentless, deflated bravado of Franz Ferdinand’s Take Me Out

Notes: At the bottom of the hill in Hermitage, Cave de Tain is a large co-op that produces wine from several sites in the Northern Rhone. Destemmed and fermented for 10-18 on the skins, aged for 11 months in 400 litre French oak barrels.

Score: 90 (this includes points for ageability)

Price: $36  (available here)

Alc: 13%