This wine is 80% Grenache/20% Syrah--the same blend as the Les Trois Couronnes below. And it has similar dark fruit qualities--blackberries, blueberries and dark cherries--almost caramelized in their ripeness and very compacted. I also find understated cassis and garrigue qualities.
I expect more strawberry/red raspberry qualities from Grenache than I find in either of these 2007 Southern Rhones. The difference is apparently due to the ripeness of the 2007 vintage that has been highly touted by Robert Parker and others. The 2003 vintage was too ripe for me, but 2007 has less menthol and raisins and more compact black fruits and spices. So far I have not found any over-ripeness in the 2007 Rhones. But I still prefer the more pure and focused ripeness level of the 1998 vintage.
As for Cuvee Friande, I liked it much better when I first tasted it early last summer. Now it's a bit raisined and one-dimensional. It may turn the corner with aging, but I doubt it.