This has everything I expect, and more, from a French Mediterranean wine. Why has it taken me so long to find this little jewel?
I've seen Mas de Gourgonnier on the shelves often in the past, and the price is always under $15. But the blend--Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan--is a bit unusual, and the bottle has an unusual shape. I was always curious but never tempted enough to buy until I saw it on the wine-by-the-glass list at Chez Panisse Cafe in Berkeley, California. It was a perfect match for the lovely Provencal fish stew.
Deep, dark ruby. From the color and the aromas, I thought I was drinking a Mourvedre. The aromas and flavors are also Mourvedre like: lavender, thyme, rosemary--picking up all the aromas and flavors of the fish stew--plus purple flowers, plums, dark cherries--incredibly aromatic and complex. Smells and flavors that weave in and out of those created by the Chez Panisse chef in the fish stew. What a wine! What a meal!
On the way home, I stopped at Binny's in Chicago to buy a few bottles ($15.99) to take home. The fish stew, alas, is only a memory.