I picked this wine up well over 2 years ago for around 40$. I don't really know why I picked it up. This is a wine that I definitely wouldn't even consider grabbing today. First, it's 15% alcohol, which I really think is just too overwhelming for the vast majority of still wines. Second, it got a high score in the Wine Spectator--a 93--and that just doesn't matter to me that much anymore. In the past, it was at the very least, a curiosity. So anyway, I've been meaning to open this wine for a while, just because I viewed it as a "garbage bottle," meaning that it's a wine that I didn't think that I was going to like all that much. So I opened this on a lark. Initially, I thought that this wine might have been a little off. However, when I re-visited this wine the second day it was opened, I determined there was nothing wrong with it. This wine is quite fruity, with cherry, blackberry, figs, coffee, apparent alcohol, and some meatiness that is buried in the back. This wine was also quite closed; I'm sure that it could age for a lot longer. It's got good balance and structure, but unfortunately, it's showing a lot of alcoholic heat. This wine shows a lot of the character of 2005--much more refined than the bombastic fruitiness of 2007, but still, there's that alcohol thing, which dominates the character. However, not as plush and overwhelming as 2007. I could see how some people would be into this wine on a normal day, but it isn't for me. There is none of the graceful dance of cherries and spices that I really like...overall verdict...C. For what it's worth, Sarah didn't particularly care for this wine either, so I opened up a 2007 Perrin and Fils Cotes du Rhone Villages for her. I preferred the Cotes du Rhone by a significant margin, and so did she. You can grab the Cotes du Rhone for 9.79$ right now in SoCal at Costco, which is a lot less than the 15$ I spent on this in Seattle. A good deal; definitely worth checking out for 10$ if you like a fruitier style of Cotes du Rhone. Oh, and one "fruit" disclaimer: I don't dislike fruit, actually, I like it. It's just that "fruit" is cheap...and why pay a whole lot for something that only has one dimension of flavor? So a 10$ well balanced fruity wine is good in my book. The same wine at 40$? Rip-off.