The newest wine from California's Clos du Bois, surely one of the most ubiquitous brands in the USA, is its 2010 Rouge, a juicy red blend for the everyday table widely available locally at about $10 to $13.
Aged in a combination of steel tanks and oak barrels, Rouge starts off with a very fruit forward (the winemaker dares to call it jammy) nose of ripe black cherries, light bramble and just detectable mocha. On the tongue it fairly bursts with rich blackberry and cherry, a spritz of cola and a nice warm spice grace note. It is lush and mouth-filling through mid palate but the finish is a bit abrupt, clean rather than lingering.
Serve this easy drinking red at holiday parties, or pair it with burgers, barbecue or the ultimate comfort food: a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich and a big bowl of tomato soup.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel. For an index and archive of reviews, go to pictograph.com.