2006 J. Vidal-Fleury Cotes du Rhone

2006 J. Vidal-Fleury Cotes du RhonePrice: $6.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by W.J. Deutsch & Sons

What They Said:

Per wine.com “Brilliant garnet red color. Red fruits and spices on the nose. The mouth reveals rounded tannins (thanks to the stay in the oak barrels), a warm and full-bodied wine with an uncommon and lasting aromatic intensity. The proof that Côtes-du-Rhône can be a serious and elegant wine.”

What I Think:

This wine seems to make an annual appearance at Trader Joe’s and stays briefly before disappearing until the next vintage. This time I grabbed a bottle before it had the chance. Sometimes you have a sense of a brand or label and this has always been one of those cases where I considered this a well pedigreed bottle of $7 wine. I knew J. Vidal-Fleury was an old and famed negociant firm (founded in 1781), what I didn’t know is that they were acquired by Etienne Guigal in 1985 which just further enhances the pedigree referred to above.

Shortly after this wine arrived in the house I pulled the cork out and was greeted by a peppery nose and red fruits aromas. The initial presence on the palate was a bit plain and hot (perhaps tannic) but as it transitioned to the mid-palate lush fruits appeared turning slightly sour as it lingered and was accompanied by white pepper notes on a light tannic finish. The blend seemed to be focused on the grenache side of the typical Cotes du Rhone blending combination thought I couldn’t find any information to validate that. Perhaps I will contact the importer.

This one lives up to its pedigree of being a nice, perfectly balanced blend with fruit and spice making it a good pairing for most spicy and/or meat dishes. I’ll be getting another bottle and would suggest you grab one to try as well…

Rating: Buy It

Editor’s Note (17-Jun-2009): Received an email from the importer that the blend percentage on this one is 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre and 10% Other.