Here's a delicious 2009 southern French red from top producer Chapoutier. They make some of the Rhone Valley's greatest wines, from high end Hermitage and Cote Rotie to everyday wines like today's entry. The Roussillon region is located at the extreme southern end of France on the border with Spain. The stony soil is all limestone and schist and the terraced vineyards sit on hillsides in the foothills of the Pyrenees. This wine is a blend of syrah, grenache and carignan, three very typical varietals from the region. The syrah gives this wine it's earthy/herbal aromas, the grenache gives it it's peppery/red berry aromas and the carignan contributes structure and minerality. All in all, this is a very smooth and easy drinking red with a lot of complexity....and it cost a mere $13.99. It went great with a venison backstrap with carmelized onions and rosemary that Janet made us. The backstrap is a filet mignon-like cut from the outside of the spine. It is very tender. I know that sounds crazy exotic but if you can befriend a local hunter, you can get a deer for your freezer almost every year. Cheers!!