Vieux Chene makes some excellent Cotes du Rhone and Cotes du Rhone Villages wines, but I usually buy the less expensive Vin de Pays bottlings that come from vineyards right near the winery. Cuvee Friande is 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah.
Medium deep crimson. Delightfully open nose of fresh cherries, berries and black pepper. Not as simple as price ($7.49) implies. The 2007 Cuvee Friande became a bit flabby after about two years in the bottle, but this 2009 has much more structure. Peppery, spicy flavors with a bowl of fresh cherries on the finish. I'd go back for more of this.