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Hug Cellars 2008 GSM Blend El Papé 

This outstanding blend of 70 percent Grenache, 25 percent Mourvedre, and 5 percent Syrah is winemaker Augie Hug’s salute to France’s Chateauneuf-du-Pape. It’s an impressive, ripe wine that’s layered in flavors. Hug suggested decanting it at least an hour ahead of serving. Big, ripe, black fruit and black cherry flavors meld with notes of dark chocolate, spice, leather, and citrus. The fruity finish has subtle vanilla nuances from aging in neutral French oak barrels. It’s a bold wine that pairs best with equally bold foods, like leg of lamb, venison, or hearty pasta with spicy sausage and mushrooms. A fair price at $28 retail, it’s available at Hug Cellars tasting room on Hwy 46 East.

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