D&W FreshMarkets offered a case price special on this Cotes du Rhone, and since the 2007 Southern Rhone vintage is attracting a lot of attention, I couldn't resist. Unlike most Cotes du Rhone, this one is 75% Syrah and only 25% Grenache, and it comes from a Northern Rhone producer. The result is a style of wine quite different from the other Cotes du Rhones I buy regularly and provides a pleasant change of pace.
The color is deep and bluish, indicative of the high percentage of Syrah, and the nose also has distinctive Syrah traits--black fruits, berries, herbs, very ripe with a broad appeal. Others at the table immediately perk up. I also find pepper and spice but in a Northern Rhone sense. The flavors are particularly forward and ripe--black and blue berries with a nice acidic herbal tone that you're more likely to get from French than from Australian or Californian Syrah. The mouth feel is very soft, particularly on the second night; I suspect that at least part of the juice was put through carbonic maceration to bring the fruit forward. There is plenty of grip, but this is a wine for enjoying in its youth. Very good.