AG Pick Under $15: Le Paradou Cotes du Luberon

Looking for a nice wine to enjoy on a weekday, a Sunday afternoon, or just any time you’re in the mood for a glass of red?  Open up a bottle of Le Paradou Côtes du Luberon 2007.

Le ParadouFrom the bright and whimsical label to the easy to drink, spicy yet smooth taste, everything about this wine says fun.  Even the price — a bottle costs $12.

Le Paradou is from the Southern Rhone AOC of Côtes du Ventoux in southern France.  The grapes are grown at high altitudes in the mountains of the Luberon, which is just south of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas appellations.  The wine takes its name from 400 year old farmhouse in Provence that overlooks olive trees and rows of Grenache vines.  I like sipping Le Paradou and imagining I’m right there.

With its blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah, Le Paradou is a round, well balanced mix of fruit and spice.  It spends no time in oak so the fruit flavors really shine.

Dark garnet red in color, the wine has intense aromas of plum, cherry and blackberry.  These continue to evolve on the palate, enhanced by notes of black pepper and dark chocolate.  Good acidity gives the wine a nice lightness and gentle tannins tickle your tongue at first but soften after a few minutes.

Le Paradou Côtes du Luberon is great to enjoy on its own, or served with beef short ribs, lamb, chicken marsala or rabbit.