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le giantI picked up this Syrah/Grenache blend at Bevmo’s 5-cent sale because time was short,  I’m a sucker for the south of France, and was serving roast leg of lamb. Buy one bottle and get the second for 5 cents—of course the first bottle is marked up so you’re not getting two for the price of one. Sometimes it’s a good deal; sometimes not. At $25 for two bottles this was fine.

A distinct rosemary note (aka garrique)  pokes through the blueberry, cherry and  wet soil cementing its identity as a French Sud sun worshiper.

In the mouth, it is concentrated and juicy up front with good acidity. Alas the acidity clamps down on the fruit power at the back of the midpalate generating angular, tart pomegranate on the backend, but its quite refreshing and the sandy tannins are firm enough to keep the sour from running amok.

As with most inexpensive wines there is not much action on the palate except for that compression at the end of the midpalate but this is a solid, commercial wine. By the way it’s also sold as Pas de Geant (giant step in French)…. It looks to be the same wine and the pricing fluctuates wildly.

It cheerfully and concisely evokes the sunny mood you expect from the south of France. Restrained, earnestly pleasing, perky but plain, a worthy complement to the roast lamb as well as Vampire Weekend’s This Life.

Technical Notes: I doubt this sees a barrel and none is mentioned on the tech sheet.

Score: 88

Price: $25 for two bottles at Bevmo

Alc: 13.5%