A Cotes du Rhone Village just north of Vaison la Romaine, Vinsobres is a personal favorite. Vinsobres wines have dark mineral tones reminiscent of wines from Vacqueyras and Rasteau, but with less rusticity and better balance, in my opinion--at least from this producer.
The color is dark and deep, more ruby than crimson. The nose offers up a bouquet of dark cherries, blueberries, black pepper, licorice and also some pretty floral scents. When I first tried this wine a year or two ago, it had some forbidding tannins on the palate, but these have faded, and the wine is fully mature. Again, on the palate, I get black cherries, licorice, peppercorn and spice. Fills the mouth and tantalizes the taste buds with complex flavors and textgures. Much bigger and better than a simple Cotes du Rhone. Has a sweet fruit edge that lingers in my memory long after the bottle is finished. Slightly alcoholic (14%) but carries it well.