Sunday, November 6, 2011

Domaine du Grand Prieur Cotes du Rhone, 2005

This wine has changed considerably since I opened my first bottle four or five years ago. The color has lightened, and some bricky tones are appearing. The lush berry smells and flavors have also faded slightly, but that's not all bad. Still some pretty berry scents with licorice and spice--very typical of Grand Prieur Cotes du Rhone but now with subtle qualities from aging. Grenache complexity keeps unfolding--berries, spice, minerals and a hint of pepper--and the fruit is still plenty strong. Very much like a Vacqueyras, and that's not surprising since the grapes come from that appellation. Bertin Gras, the owner, chose the lower appellation to take advantage of the slightly higher yields permitted, and I have never been disappointed by the results.

Grand Prieur, selling for about $8 a bottle, is a wine I have enjoyed through many vintages, and this is my 11th bottle of a very enjoyable case.


  1. I appreciate this review. Rhones receive my most alacritous love! So your final verdict, is it nicer at a younger consumption or at present??
    Also, take a peek at what I have to say about Rhones.

  2. Thanks, Emily. Is it nicer at a younger consumption or at present? Answering that question is as impossible as answering the same question about my wife. But if pushed, I would say "now" but with the experience of having tasted it along every step of its evolution. Isn't that what wine (and love) is all about?

    Seriously, though, with a simple Cotes du Rhone, you don't always expect to find this much to like at full maturity. You're looking for fruit, fruit, fruit and more fruit. When the fruit starts to fade, and you find something else to like, that is a definite plus.

    Thanks for directing me to your own comments about Rhones. I enjoyed reading and will return to your blog frequently in the future. One reason I started writing my blog was to find others with similar tastes.

  3. Appreciate it! My blog is obviously pretty new; thanks for reading. I have read a few things of yours, too, and I appreciate what you know.

  4. Your two pieces on Rhone wines are so beautifully overwritten that I felt almost dazed when I finished reading them. As a former teacher of writing, my first thoughts were "get to the point!" and "cut the crap." But then I realized that you knew what you were doing and that you want to stake out new ground in writing. Terry Theise often does something similar.

    As I got caught up in the emotion of your words and images, I felt like I was watching a ballet or listening to a symphony. And through it all, your knowledge of Rhone wines was on target (although I'm not sure B&G would be my No. 1 choice for CdP). I'm impressed. Are you a sommelier? Or a poet?

  5. Wow, Fred; thank you so much. And ha!!! NO, B&G is not a first choice, of course. It was a gift. I am a somm in the making. I have a level I with the Court, (I am only 22, out of school this past May) and because of some medical problems my progress toward certification was halted for a while.
    (And no, I have a B.S in Business. )
    I am so so appreciative of your very kind words!