Even though the 2007 Cotes du Rhone Clos de l’Hermitage is over the $25 limit for this value report, I have included it because it is such a remarkable wine, and even at $30 a bottle, it represents a fabulous bargain.
Made from 40-year-old vines, it is an equal part blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. Its opaque purple color is followed by a bouquet that smells more like a Cote Rotie than a Cotes du Rhone.
Flowery notes intermixed with tapenade, ground pepper, roasted meats, and copious black cherry and blackberry fruit soar from the glass. The wine possesses fabulous density, a rich, full-bodied style, and present, but sweet tannin.
It should drink gorgeously for 10-12 years, perhaps longer.