Chateau du Trignon Rasteau is a highly regarded Southern Rhone, and this wine was originally listed at about $20 a bottle. So I was quite pleased when I saw it offered for $6.99 a bottle a few years ago in Bloomington, Indiana. I have never liked the super-hot 2003 vintage, but for $6.99, I was ready to accept something other than perfection. I'm glad I bought only three bottles.
The first bottle I opened soon after my return; it was so foul tasting that I couldn't finish the bottle. I opened a second shortly thereafter just to make sure. Yuk. The second bottle went down the sink. Maybe it just needs time, I thought, and put away the last bottle for a couple of years. So this is my final bottle, and it doesn't say good things about the 2003 vintage, which was highly hyped by Robert Parker and many other Rhone experts.
The color is fading a bit from the deep crimson it showed previously. Initial smells resemble Cheracol cough syrup but then some Rasteau licorice and minerals emerge. It's not terrible but it lacks the spicy, peppery fruit that I'm looking for in a CDR Villages. In the mouth, it's thick with Port-like body and ripeness. But again no peppery, spicy acidity. A plodding wine, pulling its heavy boots through the mud. I can't drink much of this. On the second night, some interesting flavors emerge but the wine still plods. On the third night, it's oxidized and dead.
Fortunately, I didn't buy many 2003s, but I still have a couple of bottles of Domaine la Monardiere Vacqueyras that tasted okay last year; I'll have to open another bottle soon.