Still huge, but it has mellowed a bit, especially after about an hour's decanting. At that point, a lot of sweet fruit emerges and there are absolutely no rough edges. I believe this will have a pretty long life, and I'm going to try to ration it to see how it develops. I hope I live as long as it does!
Notes from 10/24/11: Wow! This is a big boy! Rich and full with well resolved tannins and good acidity. Drinking beautifully now. I'd give it 92-93 points. This is one of the few times I've actually bought a Southern Rhone other than a CDP and laid it down a year before opening even one - the reward seems worth it.
very enjoyable, much better than average table wine
Nice balance structure, not to heavy and not too light.
A wine that anyone could drink
Note that this is quite tightly wound on opening and needs time to open up. A long time. Dark purplish red in the glass, clear glint, plummy earthy aroma, quite voluptuous on the palate, dark cherry, spices redolent of a Christmas pudding, grip, some length, a lingering tart berry note, chewable. Perhaps you might not expect so much from a Villages designation, but this has much and more besides.
The entire Rhone Valley is frequently referred to as the Cotes du Rhone, but this is also the name of the generic appellation that covers more than 100 communes in the region north of Avignon. The primary varieties cultivated here are Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Carignan. Wines simply labeled Cotes du Rhone may rank at the bottom of the hierarchy...
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