This is a $5.99 wine from Trader Joe's. I loved the 2004 but was a bit disappointed by my first try of the 2005 vintage. This bottle changed my mind. With a few extra months in the bottle, the aromas and flavors have deepened considerably.
Medium deep ruby/crimson, good brightness. The 75 percent Grenache is apparent--ripe and pretty but with a lot more substance than the last bottle. Very strawberry with developing tobacco and pepper to add backbone. The lavender floral element is very satisfying. And over a three-day period after opening, the wine continued to improve. The ripe flavors are a perfect match for aggressively spicy black bean soup; against the relatively neutral backdrop of a veal chop, the wine also works well.
Like many of Trader Joe's European bargains, this wine comes from a coop--Vignerons de l'Enclave des Papes, a well managed and respected grower cooperative in Valreas. If you travel to the area, you're likely spend most of your tasting hours at more well known estates. Those who live in the area know the bargains a well run cooperative can offer. See: http://www.provence-hideaway.com/504.html