2003 Alain Jaume "Clos de Sixte" Lirac ($18). Here's a wine to warm the soul during these cold winter months. This Rhone Valley red from the still-undervalued village of Lirac is a bundle of concentrated flavor. It's a little shy and closed at first, but with some breathing it reveals intense and lovely flavors of blackberry, blueberry, game, earth and exotic spices. It could stand two or three years of cellaring, but for immediate gratification, decant it a few hours before drinking it -- ideally with a hearty dish such as lamb shanks, stew or venison.
-- Michael Dresser