This is the longest I've ever aged a Grand Prieur. My usual plan is to buy a case when it's released and drink it by the time the next vintage arrives. I kept one bottle of the 2004 back just to see how it would age, and I am pleased with the result.
The color has lightened considerably, and there is a brickish rather than a bluish tone. The raspberry-tinged fruit aromas have broadened considerably and given way to scents of black pepper, fruit cake, lavender, licorice and dark Vacqueyras minerals. Very nice development. Good depth and range of flavors as well with spicy cinnamon and mint framing the ripe fruit. Has the depth and interest of a good Vacqueyras--a village wine for the price of a simple Cotes du Rhone.
As pleased as I am with the development of this Cotes du Rhone, I still don't consider it a wine for the cellar. It's just too good when the fruit aromas and flavors are fresh and upfront. The 2005 and the 2006 are still in the prime of youth right now, and the 2006 can be purchased for about $8 at D&W Parkview in Kalamazoo. The 2007 should be showing up on the shelves in a month or two, and I am looking forward to it.