If flamboyant personalities aren't your style, then stay away from the wine industry: It's a magnet for the eclectic, expressive and charming. And while I've met my share of interesting wine people over the past couple of decades, it's always fun when I get a chance to hang out with someone who represents wine with a touch of James Bond flair.
Though Jean-Charles Boisset looks more like Robert Palmer, the owner of the massive Boisset Family Estates - which includes French producers like Bouchard Aîné & Fils, J. Moreau & Fils and Louis Bernard along with the DeLoach and Raymond Vineyards in California - provides exactly what you would hope a French winemaker/owner would: Great stories, elaborate hand gestures and expressive pocket squares.
With such a cornucopia of wine under his wing - including his connection to Ontario's Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard - it's hard to focus on just one for this column.
The 2008 Louis Bernard Côtes du Rhône ($11.65 - $13.99) is a nice introduction to the Boisset group. A mix of grenache and syrah; it's a fresh, fall-like wine with oodles of red berry fruit that's a great match for late season barbecues.
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