The Les Trois Couronnes label first appeared in my area earlier this year, offering Cotes du Rhone, Vacqueyras and Gigondas wines at low-end prices. Of the three, I like the Gigondas best, but for about $20 a bottle, I more inclined to buy wines such as Font-Sane, Tourelles or Tourade. The Cotes du Rhone at $6 to $8 is one of the best values on the market but may get overlooked because of its price and old-fashioned label. The wine is worth trying.
The color is deep and saturated, and the aromas are oriented toward black fruits and spices--blackberries, blueberries, plums and cassis. Very ripe and very spicy, more like Cinsault or Carignane than Grenache. The label says it is 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. I can taste the Syrah fruit, but the Grenache is spicier and darker than I expect. That may be a trait of the 2007 vintage. The wine has improved quite a bit since I first tasted it last Spring; it's riper and more accessible. A slight bit of black pepper emerges after 30 minutes of airing, but intense dark fruits flavors and smells dominate.