After drinking what restaurant wine lists put in front of me for more than a week, it's great to be back home and making my own choices. I really don't understand why so many restaurants load their wine lists with New World offerings while ignoring perennial values like this Guigal Cotes du Rhone.
It's a good deep color, and the nose indicates that it's at or near it's peak for drinking. Classic Cotes du Rhone, it's bursting at the seams right now with ripe blueberries, Provencal herbs and spring flowers. I've had a bias against the 2003 Rhone wines, many of which are over-ripe, but this one certainly does not fall into that category. No heat, no menthol, no raisins and just the right amount of balancing acidity. As you'll note, it's changed since I last tried it (November 19, 2007) but is no less enjoyable.
I've been drinking Guigal CDRs since the early 1980s, and this (along with the 1983) has to rank as one of my favorites.