2009 Cotes du Rhone Villages Vieilles Vignes
The 2009 Cotes du Rhone-Villages Vieilles Vignes (85% Grenache and 15% Mourvedre from 55-year-old vines, aged completely in used barrels purchased from the Domaine de la Romanee-Conti) exhibits a deep ruby/purple color along with a sumptuous bouquet of raspberries, black cherry liqueur, licorice, roasted Provencal herbs, and spice. Full-bodied with an opulence and lushness that are difficult to resist in addition to sweet tannins, a broad, savory mouthfeel, and a long finish, this excellent red can be drunk now or cellared for 5-6 years. I have been following this estate for a decade and except for a few hiccups in 2002 and 2003, it has consistently turned out fine wines. Moreover, since Philippe Cambie was brought in as the consulting oenologist, it has become even more reliable.