Monday, November 30, 2009

Les Trois Couronnes Cotes du Rhone, 2007

The Les Trois Couronnes label first appeared in my area earlier this year, offering Cotes du Rhone, Vacqueyras and Gigondas wines at low-end prices. Of the three, I like the Gigondas best, but for about $20 a bottle, I more inclined to buy wines such as Font-Sane, Tourelles or Tourade. The Cotes du Rhone at $6 to $8 is one of the best values on the market but may get overlooked because of its price and old-fashioned label. The wine is worth trying.

The color is deep and saturated, and the aromas are oriented toward black fruits and spices--blackberries, blueberries, plums and cassis. Very ripe and very spicy, more like Cinsault or Carignane than Grenache. The label says it is 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. I can taste the Syrah fruit, but the Grenache is spicier and darker than I expect. That may be a trait of the 2007 vintage. The wine has improved quite a bit since I first tasted it last Spring; it's riper and more accessible. A slight bit of black pepper emerges after 30 minutes of airing, but intense dark fruits flavors and smells dominate.

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