What is your favorite red varietal?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Valreas Cuvee Prestige - 2008 Rhone Blend ($7)

I saw on a blog where they did a blind tasting of Trader Joes Rhone wines - and this one did very well so I thought I'd pick up a bottle to try myself on my latest TJs run. I've become a fan of the "GSM" Rhone blends the last few years. The Grenache offering the cherry fruit and soft tannins; Syrah giving it that spice and pepper; and Mourvedre coming in with some earthy tones and applying a tannic backbone. This wine is 75% Grenache and 25% Syrah and the labels says to get ready for a ripe and spicy wine. I really wanted to like this wine but I'm struggling to do so. I'm getting the cherry taste, but it is more of a dry and watery cherry, not ripe by any means. I expected some peppery kick from the Syrah, but didn't get anything. Tannins are firm, but not unusual amongst Cote Du Rhone villages blends. And where is this spice they were talking about? I'm just not finding a lot to like about this bottle. I will give it credit for opening up a bit after some time, and I found day 2 to be better than day 1, but still a downer. VERDICT: My first and last bottle.

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