2005 Jean-François Merieau "Alliance des Generations" Touraine Rouge (Previously $22)
Jean-François is an up-and-coming winemaker in Touraine who we've become a big fan of over the past few years. His Alliance des Generations is an earthy blend of Cabernet Franc and 20% of the local version of Malbec called Côt. The fruit comes from vines aged between 35 to 50 years of age, aged in barrel for 18 to 24 months and then let to rest for another eight months in vat. The wine is cherry red and always very masculine--smoky and savory, with dense currant and nut notes on the nose and palate. There's coffee and tobacco on the mid-palate and tangy cherry fruit, with grippy tannins that resolve with air or a little decanting. Still, it's remarkably fresh and food-friendly. Try it with something gamey.