This Cotes du Rhone and the Jaboulet Parallele 45 below provide good proof of the strength of the 2005 vintage in the Southern Rhone. Whereas the Parallele 45 is Syrah-oriented, this Grand Prieur presents all the beauties of a Grenache-based wine.
Unlike the Jaboulet wine, the Grand Prieur has lightened a bit in color and lost the bluish tint that it had when it was first released. But that's the difference between Syrah and Grenache and not a sign that the wine is fading. The sweet Grenache aromas are still there--strawberries and currants laced with black licorice and crushed black pepper. As the wine warms and airs, it gets more aromatic by the minute. I smell lavender, basil and flowers. The ripe flavors are persistent and go well with a spicy black bean chili.