About a decade ago, when 2007 Southern Rhone wines were just hitting the market, I noted a great deal of hype about the vintage. Robert Parker called it "the vintage of a lifetime...a truly historic and profoundly great vintage." Other respected critics such Jancis Robinson (who frequently disagrees with Parker) was also highly impressed with the 2007 Southern Rhones.
At that time, I was buying case quantities of lower level Cotes du Rhones (at the time, many were selling for $50 or $60 a case) and enjoying them nearly every night. From my experience with these lower level wines, I was a bit dubious about the high praise heaped on the 2007 wines. For my taste, the 2005s and 2006s were superior. At this point I was reluctant to call 2007 the vintage of the decade, let alone the vintage of a lifetime. A decade later, I am still holding to my view. The 2005 from one of my favorite estates, Domaine de l'Oratoire Saint Martin Cairanne Prestige is drinking beautifully right now; by comparison, this 2007 seems a bit overdone and slightly over the hill.
Good deep ruby color. Thick crust of sediment. The wine is very aromatic, and I love the fruity/floral scents. Red berries, violets, pepper. Donna is not as impressed; she detects vegetal smells that are not as agreeable to her. (We often differ on our detection of these smells.) In the mouth, the wine is fairly rich but not as rich nor as smooth and balanced as I remember from the 2005 of this same wine. I don't think the rough edges on the 2007 will smooth out with additional time in the bottle, although I could be wrong. At this point, I still prefer the 2005.
This particular bottling of Domaine de l'Oratoire Saint Martin is now known as Les Douyes and sells for $25 to $30 a bottle.When first released, as I remember, the 2005 was about half that price, the 2007 a bit more expensive.