Wine review: Petit Caprice 2009

This wine has been taunting me for months, daring me to try it. And I would walk past it, ignoring it, refusing to be tempted by what I thought was a previous vintage from an ordinary part of France made by a run-of-the-mill producer with a label that seemed to be trying too hard.

So what happened when I finally succumbed, and bought the wine (mostly out of necessity, since finding red wine to review is so much more difficult than finding white wine)? It was a nifty little bottle, proving once again that one should taste the wine before one judges it.

The Caprice ($9, purchased, available at Whole Foods) is a previous vintage, and the current vintage costs more in France than I paid for this in Dallas. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a quality $10 wine, offering more value than expected. It’s a blend of grenache, syrah and merlot that is a little fruiter (red raspberry?) than many similar Rhone-style wines, but it’s not New World fruit by any stretch. The Caprice has easy tannins, and a dark, earthy middle. Even more impressive: It is a previous vintage that has held up so well. This is fall wine, as the weather gets cooler, to enjoy with soups and braised beef and chicken.

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