By all rights, I should love this wine. The producer is one of my favorites from the Plan de Dieu, a very good area for Cotes du Rhone, and I like the 2004 vintage. This wine, however, has something missing--at least for my taste.
The color is a medium ruby, a bit muted in color, but a healthy hue. It takes considerable swirling to get the aromas forward, and even then they're a bit muted--some ripe fruit smells but not very well delineated and none of the pepper, spice and liveliness I expect from a l'Espigouette Cotes du Rhone Villages. The flavors are also pleasant but rather one dimensional--prunes rather than fresh berries and again none of the pepper, spice and fresh herbs I was looking for. It actually smells and tastes a bit tired, but a 2004 should not be over the hill. The winemaker, Bernard Latour, is one I respect a lot, but I suspect he picked the grapes a little too ripe for my taste in this vintage.