Sunday, December 28, 2008

Cotes du Rhone Villages Valreas Cuvee Prestige, Les Vignerons d l'Enclave des Papes, 2005

This wine was disappointing when first opened but opened up nicely the second night. Even though a 2005 Cotes du Rhone Villages wine should theoretically be ready to drink, this one clearly requires a bit of patience. It's a good deep ruby/crimson color. When first opened, the nose is tight and floral, the flavors a bit austere and clipped. When the wine finally opens, there is a burst of blueberry fruit with Southern Rhone pepper and spice. The finish is very ripe, almost to a fault, but it's not a simple wine.

Valreas Cuvee Prestige is a cooperative wine sold at Trader Joe's for $5.99. I suspect 2006 is the vintage now on the shelf, and I plan to buy a few bottles the next time I'm in the store.


  1. Fred, are you recommending a few months of aging or a few hours of oxygen for this?

  2. That's a good question. I guess I'm recommending a few months of aging. I usually don't aerate Southern Rhones because they don't always respond in the same way that a young Cabernet does, although I suspect that this wine would.

    My initial impression was that it is a bit thin on fruit, but instead I've come to the conclusion that it's just a bit tight at the moment. I know that's unusual for a CDR Villages but I've found similar tightness in a few Southern Rhones from 2001 as well. Most 2005s I've tasted have been very forward from the beginning, but this one may be an exception.