This Cotes-du-Rhone wine (in this case, as in most, a proprietary blend of Syrah and Grenache grapes) is the exception to the rule about not buying wine in supermarkets.

The wine is a product of the well-known Paul Jaboulet vineyards in the southern Rhone valley in France, which also produce their highly regarded Hermitage wines. In this case, I suspect Parallele 45 is composed of the grapes that are left over after making the better wine, but I nevertheless consider this wine a steal at the $9 a bottle I paid for it.

I've seen this wine described as "hedonistic," and that makes some sense. It is a dense, flavorful wine with a complex nose. I was told to smell for black and white pepper scents, but I couldn't distinguish them. Perhaps after a year or two of aging they will become more apparent. In any event, this wine would be an excellent complement to heavy, red-meat dishes. It's not a superb wine by any means, so don't serve it at your wedding; but it's a good wine to have around the house. I'm going to buy a case to drink throughout the year.

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Update: My wife and I recently finished a case of this wine I bought on sale at $7 a bottle. It delievered a great deal of drinking enjoyment, but I should mention that there was some variation in taste and quality from bottle to bottle. Not enough for me to think less of the wine, but something the buyer should know.

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