Kermit Lynch is an importer who in no small way has helped bring about the world wide quality revolution in wine. He was one of the first importers to travel the back roads of France seeking small quantity, high quality producers doing things the natural way. Although now in his 60's, Mr. Lynch is still traveling those back roads. His 1988 book, "Adventures on the Wine Route: A Wine Buyer's Tour of France", was extremely influential. Nowadays, many of the small importers that I've written up have the same philosophy as Mr. Lynch - that small production wineries making wine in the most natural way possible will produce wines that express the soil that the grapes are grown in. Eric Asimov of the NY Times wrote a brief profile of Mr. Lynch in 2007.
The private label Cotes du Rhone that bears Mr. Lynch's name is a perfect example of everything that he stands for in an inexpensive everyday format. 2009 was a wonderful vintage in southern France and here beautiful aromas of black cherry and pepper are complicated by floral notes. It's got great concentration and balance with bold berry flavors and a distinct earthiness that keeps you coming back for more. This beauty finishes long and lightly tannic with good acidity and firm structure. At $12..99, this is a bottle I could easily pick to be my house wine. Cheers.