Sunday, January 23, 2011

Domaine du Val des Rois Cotes du Rhone Villages Valreas Signature, 2004

Cotes du Ventoux wines, like La Vieille Ferme and 3 Messes Basses below, are made to drink young, within four or five years of the vintage date. Although some wines may keep longer, they will rarely show anything beyond what you've already discovered. There's nothing wrong with that; I like fresh, vibrant fruit. On the other hand, I'm willing to pay a little more for a wine that will offer subtle nuances with some time in the bottle. This Valreas from Bouchard fits that role perfectly.

Deep serious ruby./ Dark and spicy--licorice, black fruits, dark and deep. Ripe entry followed by mineral-laden fruit flavors on the mid-palate and a powerful, complex finish. The power derives from strong, concentrated fruit rather than alcohol (13.5%). Open and expansive with lovely, pure fruit on the finish. Is there some Gamay in the blend?

Sleek and satisfying right now, this Valreas is significantly better than it was a year ago, and I suspect that it will get better for at least two or three more years. For $12 to $14, this is one of the best values on the market today.

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