Sunday, June 29, 2008

Cotes du Rhone Villages Valreas Cuvee Prestige, 2005

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:


  1. Just bought my first bottle of this vino @ TJ's -- and wanted to let you know the 2007 is just fine, too.

    Enjoyed it so much I am going to split a case with some Bogle.

    Here in Seattle the wine guy also recommended decent drinking reds TJ's own sourced Old Moon Zin and Snoqualmie 2005 Syrah.

    When I typed in the wine name you were at the top of the page.


  2. I think the 2007 is the best of the bunch from this co-op, Timothy. I tried one bottle and liked it so much I went back for more. It's good now, as you know, and I think it will improve over the next year or so. 2007 has been touted as one of the best vintages ever in the Southern Rhone.