When I last reported on this wine on March 8, 2008, I said it was a Cairanne for early drinking. A year later, I still hold to that assessment even though, more than a year later, the wine is every bit as charming as it was before.
It's a very deep crimson color, bright and enticing. The smells and flavors have the same tone--ripe cherries, red licorice, red berries and flowers. Ripe, forward and bursting with fruit plus a pleasing dose of spice and black pepper. This is old-style Cairanne at its best. And it also seems representative of the fine 2004 vintage--reserved and classic in its charm. Alcohol level is 13.5%, just enough to add warmth.
As a Cairanne, this may not have the complexity of l'Oratoire Saint Martin, but it's a good representative of the appellation.