In the early 1980s, Bernard Latour was just returning from winemaking school and telling his father (who had learned his craft traditionally) not to leave his Cotes du Rhone wines so long in old barrels, a practice that was destroying their freshness and making them age prematurely. The wines of Domaine de L'Espigouette improved dramatically since that time, as they have throughout the region, and Bernard is now a professor of viticulture at the local winemaking school.
Plan de Dieu is a new named appellation for CDR Villages, and this is the first vintage for the Plan de Dieu label. I presume that it replaces Latour's regular CDR Villages, that has long been one of my favorites. The L'Espigouette Vieilles Vignes mentioned by Dave (see comments under Edmunds St. John Rocks and Gravel) is Bernard Latour's regular Cotes du Rhone, produced from older vines (45 years versus 35) but with a slightly higher yield. The VV sees only stainless steel and cement vats while the Villages is aged briefly in wood vats.
My first bottle of the Plan de Dieu last summer was a bit disappointing, but it has now blossomed into a wine worthy of its special bottling. It's a medium deep ruby; as always, Latour's CDR Villages is darker in color and flavor profile than the VV. Licorice/cassis is dominant along with some peppery black fruit. It has a medium full body with a velvety feel and good fruit concentration. Lots of mineral savor on the finish.