Many of the best Cotes du Rhone wines from the 2001 vintage were a bit subdued when young and have benefited from a few years of cellaring. And this was certainly one of the best Cotes du Rhones in 2001. I haven't seen this cuvee recently, however, among the offerings of Domaine la Monardiere, a very fine family-owned estate in Vacqueyras. Martine and Christian Vache have worked the property since 1987. They use no weed killer or chemical fertilizer--only organic compost.
The color is very deep and dark, almost purplish--probably indicating a high proportion of Syrah and Mourvedre. The bouquet has some meaty Syrah elements that blend in to prettier scents of red raspberry, dark cherry and violets. Very substantial for a Cotes du Rhone and still backward for a six-year-old wine. Grenache strawberry scents and flavors emerge as the wine warms in the glass. Fully ripe but firm and concentrated. This is serious wine. Lilting berry notes on finish. Just a hint of spicy, violet-tinged mourvedre. Still young with potential to grow. Wish I could find the 2005 Lou Peyrau!