Monday, April 20, 2009

Domaine du Grand Prieur Cotes du Rhone, 2004

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.


  1. I've been looking for this domaine, Fred. Can you tell me who the importer is? Meanwhile, I've enjoyed a few "Secret de Compane" Cayrans.


  2. Eric, the importer is AHD Vintners of Warren, MI. AHD has always been an excellent source of Rhone wines for me, including Domaine Sainte Anne as well as Grand Prieur. But AHD changed ownership about 18 months ago, and I'm a bit worried about what might transpire. The last shipment of Grand Prieur went up in price, and I haven't seen the 2007 of either GP or Sainte Anne.

    Cayrans is apparently the cooperative in Cairanne, and clearly a very good one. In many cases, the coops in this area can afford better equipment than some of the individual growers so it's not just excess juice, as is the case with many coop wines.

    The wine I have is the Camille Cayrans Reserve, and I enjoyed it a lot. I'll look for the "Secret de Campagne." Is it a Cotes du Rhone or a Cairanne?

  3. Hey Fred,

    I believe the "Secret de Campane" is a Vin de Pays. I first had a glass of it at a restaurant, and thought it was remarkably easy drinking. It has some merlot, nice sweet notes, and still a bit of 'tart'. I'm finding that my friends really respond to the well made lesser wines these days. So I serve this and keep my CdRs for myself!