This 2007 Les Aphillanthes Vin de Pays de Vaucluse is one of the most enjoyable wines I’ve had all summer. And I’d say that even if it weren’t $14.99, a darn good price for a wine with this much personality. (Looks like you can get it for a buck less if you buy from the importer, Weygandt Wines.) Noted Rhône producer Domaine les Aphillanthes makes a number of wines, many in the $20-$30 range, from the traditional regional varietals: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and the like. This vin de pays is their entry level offering, a blend of Syrah, Merlot and Grenache that’s a tad more sophisticated than the your basic Rhône. Sure, there’s the dark fruit and spice that make young, accessible Rhônes such fan favorites, but there’s also some leather and tobacco on the nose and finish. Especially on the finish. A wine at this price has no right to have such a long, compelling finish. But lucky for us, it does. This is a great wine to take you the fall. It’ll play nice with whatever red meat you choose to throw on the BBQ this Labor Day weekend, and will marry perfectly with stews and roasts as the weather turns cooler.