This is my first go at the 2017 Pontificis, but I have loved previous vintages of this wine and consider it one of my favorites of the many good value wines at Trader Joe's. It is styled much the same as the $4 and $5 Cotes du Rhones that I enjoyed immensely through the 1990s. To offer such a wine for $6.99, the producer (Badet Clement) has to roam into more out of the way areas of Southern France, but they always seem to find distinctive fruit.
Deep ruby/crimson. Bright and clear. Takes a little while to open. Then red fruit, peppercorn and violets. Very nice. Good grip on the palate but opens up nicely. Boysenberries and more peppercorn. Just what I wanted tonight to go with Middle Eastern food.