The Perrin brothers produce two of my favorite wines--the exalted Chateau Beaucastel Chateuneuf du Pape (now out of my price range at $60+ a bottle) and the lowly La Vieille Ferme Cotes du Ventoux (one of my every day favorites at $5 to $8 a bottle). Over the past couple of decades, the Perrins have branched out into many other areas of the Cotes du Rhone as well as Paso Robles, CA (Tablas Creek). Wherever they go, their philosophy of wine-making virtually ensures a wine that is high quality and true to the traditions of the wine's origins.
This Vinsobres Les Cornuds is produced from 65% Syrah and 35% Grenache grapes using mostly traditional methods. About 35% is aged in seasoned French oak, however, and this probably broadens the wine's appeal. Now approaching maturity, the wine is still very deep and dark with forward smells of pepper, spice and black fruits, mostly dark cherries and black raspberries. It smells very traditional to me and typical of Vinsobres and the 2004 vintage. The oak influence comes through more in the flavors--not overtly oaky but ripe and silky smooth. The peppery, spicy flavors come through nicely even though there are some oak tannins on the finish.
Vinsobres is in the southern part of the Cotes du Rhone, between Valreas and Nyons. This is an area that had more olive groves than vineyards until about 50 years ago, but the vines now have enough age to produce some truly distinctive wines. I like them.