Wine of the Week: 2011 Matthieu Barret Côtes du Rhône ‘Petit Ours Brun’

2011 Matthieu Barret Cotes du Rhone "Petit Ours Brun."
2011 Matthieu Barret Cotes du Rhone “Petit Ours Brun.”
(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

The stunning Côtes du Rhône “Petit Ours Brun” (little brown bear) tastes like a youthful Cornas. The grapes come from a parcel that winemaker Matthieu Barret calls “no man’s land”; it lies just between the official boundaries of Cornas and St. Joseph. The wine is 100% Syrah from 40-year-old, low-yielding vines. Oh, and it’s also certified biodynamic. The taste is cool fruit, earth, bruised blackberries and that indefinable wild quality that makes Syrah from this part of the Rhone pure magic. It’s a young, bright-talking cousin to Barret’s brilliant Domaine du Coulet Cornas.

Drink it now with butterflied leg of lamb, beef daube with black olives or a thick, well-marbled steak on the grill.

Region: Rhone Valley

Price: About $19

Style: Rich and full-bodied

What it goes with: Butterflied leg of lamb, beef daube, grilled steak

Where to find it: BestWinesOnline, (888) 817-8880, Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463, Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454, and the Wine House in West Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731.