1997 Mas de Guiot "Cuvee Prestige," Vin de Pays de Gard, Southern France. (About $13)

What cellar couldn't use a beautiful Syrah blend like this one from Mas de Guiot in Provence? Just a little something to read Peter Mayles by. The Cuvee Prestige is a blend of Syrah with 60% Cabernet from 30-year-old vines. Deep ruby, as opaque as ink, it has that scent of raspberry and spice, that wild dusty smell of Syrah grown in a hot climate. But what's most impressive is how gracefully the Syrah and the Cabernet complement each other.

Available at Beverage Warehouse, Los Angeles, (310) 306-2822; Wally's, West Los Angeles, (310) 475-0606; and The Wine House, West Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731. If you can't find this wine, ask your local store to order it from The Wine House, San Francisco, (415) 495-8486. The next vintage is expected in stores this fall.

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