2009 Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve

This wine is the equivalent of a long time friend. We can not talk for ages but once we do we can pick up right where we left off. Made by the Perrin brothers, the owners of the famed Chateau de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the Southern Rhone (and involved more locally with Tablas Creek) this has long been on of my go to wines. That said this was my first experience with the 2009, what did I find?

Price: $6.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by Vineyard Brands

What They Said:

2009 Perrin Cotes du Rhone ReservePer wine.com “A sensational bargain, the 2009 Perrin et Fils Cotes du Rhone Reserve red is composed of 60% Grenache (from the estate vineyards at Prebois), 20% Syrah (from the estate vineyards in Vinsobres), and 20% Mourvedre. It offers lots of black cherry fruit, underbrush, licorice, pepper, and spice notes in a medium-bodied, richly fruity style with no hard edges. Their 2008 was a surprisingly good effort, but the 2009 is slightly riper and bigger.” 89pts, The Wine Advocate

What I Think:

(13.5%) 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 20% Mourvedre – A classic Rhone blend this is a tried and true value wine. Like the CdP efforts this one is predominately Grenache and starts ripe and juicy with pomegranate, cherry, raspberry and spiced red licorice on the palate. From there the acidity dries turning this one meaty, earthy and rustic before a short peppery finish. That said overall this one is bright, fruity, spicy and delicious. Should only get better with age to boot…

Wine Geek Notes: 87pts Wine Spectator, 89 pts Wine Advocate, 75,000 cases made

Rating: Buy It (I’m leaning towards grabbing 6+ bottles for some short term cellaring)

2005 Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve

Price: $6.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per wine.com “Jean Pierre and Francois Perrin have taken particular care that this Cotes du Rhone meets their stringent standards of excellence. As proprietors of Chateau de Beaucastel in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the Perrin family has demonstrated exceptionally high standards for nearly a century.

The Rouge originates from a significant portion of the Perrin’s own vineyards, including those at Château Grand Prebois. Produced from 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 20% Mourvèdre, some of which are flash-heated using the same methods as those at Château de Beaucastel, the fruit is rich and jammy with peppery spice, concentration and intensity.”

What I Think:

This one was also written up on quaffability which encouraged me to finally give it a go after looking at it luke-warmly for so long…We have a typical Rhone GSM blend here (60/20/20) with light fruit on the nose followed by loads of spice and pepper. On the palate you get some cherry and blackberry before the spice takes over midway and merges into woody/barrel flavors for a finish. The last Rhone I’ve had from TJ’s was this Les Moirets from the same vintage. Which do I prefer? Not sure but both are nice. Next time I hit the store I’ll grab them both for a side by side tasting. Then I can definitively select a winner! Anyone out there have an opinion on which is better?

Rating: Buy It

2004 La Ferme Julien Rouge

Price: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by International Wine Imports

What They Said:

Per quaffability “For some reason, despite the exalted pedigree I wasn’t expecting much from this wine. My experience with really large bulk producers from Southern French appellations hasn’t been good. Think Les Jamelle. The good cheap stuff seems to come from smaller producers in Bordeaux.

Basically, I was right. This wine is drinkable, but only borderline Quaffable. It offers Grenache cherry-spice in the nose, along with a little band-aid and dirt. We get the same flavors in the mouth with a touch of greenish plonkiness. The finish is short and simple. Much better than Two Buck Chuck, and not bad for five bucks, but nothing to get lathered up about”

What I Think:

Given that I am now a full 33 wines behind it seems that it is time to get cranking and say goodbye to my pretty world of posting all my wines in the exact order that I consumed them. With that I am first filtering my list to first time TJ’s entries as these are the ones that drive the vast majority of my traffic, who by the way I would love to see a post from after they try a wine. Good or bad, interaction is fun.

I have always heard good things about the Perrin family so seeing this on the shelf, though I believe it has been there for ages, it seemed worthy of a try. Per cork’d.com the blend percentage is as follows: 50% Grenache 20% Syrah 15% Carigan 15% Cinsault. We opened this one a few weeks back I don’t seem to have recorded the situation or the meal that it may have or not been paired with. What I did scribble is that it smelled “plonky” and a bit sour with perhaps a bit of spice hiding. The middle of the palate showed some fruit but it was extremely thin and tended towards cherries. The end was on the chewy side and not all unpleasant. At the end of the day your better rolling the dice on something else at this price point. There’s not much to see here so may as well move on.

Rating: Skip It