This is the wine! A juicy, versatile, and food-flexible friendly big rich red, the 2014 incarnation of La Ronde is a classic, bright deep dark red in hue. Big, beautiful cherry, berry, cherry blossom-peony smells waft out of the glass with a great sense of freshness and energy – it reminded my daughter of picking fresh berries in late summer as a child. Subtler hints of every berry under the sun (black, blue, rasp, mul, etc.) along with kirsch, clementine, cinnamon, and grape skin fill out the bouquet. The energy in the nose makes you want to drink, and the wine is juicy, rich, smooth, and quaffable, with a cherry profile at the center of its flavor medley. The bouquet fits the palate, with a little bit of darkening for the berries and lightening for the citrus, along with a slight hint of something breadlike in its depths – but what really amazes here is the texture – at once rich and juicy, smooth and dense, the berry flavors and the sensation of the wine in general cling to your tongue and the inside of your mouth for a long time. Very few wines indeed combine such heft and brightness; La Ronde is great every year but this may be the best ever; if I have any hesitation in naming it such it is only that I drank it so quickly it is hard to be completely sure. Perhaps I will buy some more in the name of science! This is a rich red, so it can go with hearty food and red meats, and I’d especially note that its flavors are big enough and acids balanced enough to stand up to tomato sauce; but it’s so good and it drinks so well on its own that I really feel that this is a wine you can serve with anything, or nothing, without disappointment. Enjoy!