This is ordinarily one of my favorite Cotes du Rhones, and I have been enjoying this 2005 regularly over the past three years. At this point, however, the wine has taken a definite turn toward maturity and is showing much older than the 2001 did at five, or even ten, years of age. Has the domaine changed any of its wine making practices?
The color is a deep ruby, but amber tones are clearly present at the rim. Initial smells are gorgeous--sweet berries and Provencal herbs--but there is a touch of oxidation that becomes more apparent on the second night. On the palate, I find the usual peppercorn and black fruits but also some alcoholic heat that makes the wine clash with an acidic tomato sauce. The wine has good body, with "legs" clinging to the glass all the way to the rim. Flavors have considerable concentration and depth. But, alas, I liked it better last year, and I was hoping it would carry on for a few more years as the 2001 did.