March 05, 2008

Le Petit Vigne d'Avril, $16

I'd planned to tell you about another wine when City Wine's newsletter hit my inbox and announced that spring is just around the corner. Well, not in so many words, but it did announce that Le Petit Vigne d'Avril is here, and that's almost the same thing.

Le Petit comes from Clos des Papes, a Rhône producer whose Châteauneuf-du-Pape retails for six times as much (and it's sold out, so don't bother looking for it). As its name implies, it's a smaller wine, but it lacks nothing in substance, radiant with grenache's red cherry fruit, filled in with Rhônish notes of herbs, spice and earth.

It's as charming as its label, a cartoon of a big-nosed man raising a glass with a grapevine, Châteauneuf's signature galets—softball-sized rocks—at its feet. Pour it now with pork roast with rosemary to chase winter's chill away, but reserve a few bottles for that first warm spring day—it's perfect picnic drinking.
City Wine says it bought up Colorado's entire allotment, so give them a call to get some.

City Wine, 347 S. Colorado Blvd., Denver, 303-393-7576.

This first appeared in the Denver Post.

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