I've enjoyed this inexpensive table wine numerous times over the last 25 years, and this 2009 ranks as my favorite of the bunch. Since it's a coop wine, most of the praise should go to the appellation and the vintage. It's made according to traditional methods, with aging in concrete vats rather than new oak. When I had this wine earlier this year [May 1, 2011], it was my first taste of the 2009 vintage in the Southern Rhone. I was impressed at that time and still am.
Deep ruby, bright and clear./ Very peppery, spicy aromas. Some Cinsault as well as Carignan spicy qualities to go with those of the Grenache and Syrah. Then ripe red fruit. Very Ventoux in its well defined fruit aromas./ Light and lively on the palate with a hint of lemon peel that is not as strong as it was in the bottle I had earlier this year. The aggressive tannins soften rather quickly. The wine seems to be developing rather quickly and is hard to resist right now although it still has some room to grow.
Cuvee des 3 Messes Basses is fairly widely available in Southwest Michigan for $8.99 a bottle. Sawall's Health Foods in Kalamazoo recently lowered its price to $7.99, and I'm ready to add to the small stash I already have.