Lush, round blend just right for barbecue

WINE OF THE WEEK: 2010 Stephan Vineyards 'Stephan Ridge by L'Aventure'; from Paso Robles, Calif.; costs about $25; serve with barbecued meats, Chinese pork and prime rib.

The Stephan in the name of this Paso Robles blend is none other than Stephan Asseo of the cult estate "L'Aventure."

This beauteous blend of syrah with 20 percent cabernet and 10 percent petit verdot, however, is not in the same elevated price range as L'Aventure bottlings. Made from wines Asseo opted not to use in his estate blend, at $25, the Stephan Ridge is quite the bargain.

It's got a beautiful nose of black cherries and red plums, a smooth velvety texture, firm tannins and sweet sweet fruit, making it just the wine for barbecue.

It would be great with Chinese barbecued pork or a seared skirt steak.

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