I rarely bought Parallele 45 Cotes du Rhone during the 1980s and 1990s. The flagship wines of Paul Jaboulet, of course, are Hermitage la Chapelle and Domaine Thalabert Crozes Hermitage. During the early 1980s, the Domaine Thalabert was only a few dollars more than this simple Cotes du Rhone, so I spent my Jaboulet money on Thalabert and looked for estate bottled Cotes du Rhone and CDR Villages from domaines such as l'Espigouette, Vieux Chene, Sainte Anne, Couroulou, Soumade and l'Oratoire Saint Martin--all for about the same price as the Parallele 45.
As the latter wines have gone up in reputation and price, Parallele 45 is now a more attractive low-price option. Over the past three vintages, I have enjoyed this Jaboulet CDR. It is made traditionally, with long vatting, controlled fermentation temperatures and aging in stainless steel tanks, according to the Jaboulet web site.
The 2005 Parallele 45 is a deep, dark ruby with bluish tints. Almost a year after release, it is developing some pepper and spice complexity to go along with its purple fruit aromas and flavors. There's a hint of cassis but none of the black licorice that you would expect from a Plan de Dieu Cotes du Rhone. No wood tannins but plenty of substance and body. Good full mouth feel and well defined fruit-oriented finish.
I bought this bottle for $9.99 from Cost Plus World Market. At that price or less, it's a good value.