I'm not going to lie, I went overboard on the 2007 Rhone wines. I saw Parker raving about the “truly historic and profoundly great vintage.”, and started buying them up when I found them. My first run at a 2007 Cotes-du-Rhone was pretty good, but it didn't stop there. More's the pity.
I purchased this 2007 Louis Barnard Cotes-du-Rhone Villages for about $10. I have had some difficulty finding the breakdown of this wine, but I think it is some combination of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsault.
I found the nose on this wine to be really puzzling, with nothing really standing out very much. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here I am after thinking about what I was getting on the nose for a while -
I did get a little cocoa, some dirt, and a hint of cherry. None of these was terribly distinctive. I just wasn't very impressed with this nose.
Moving on to the palate, I found more of the same muddled mess that I was getting on the nose. Overall this wine was very light on the palate. I was getting some red fruit, like a little strawberry and some cherry cough syrup, as well as a general gamy flavor. I also felt like the acidity and tannins on this wine were out of balance. I ended up with a sort of chalky, dry feeling in my mouth on the finish.
Given my initial experience with the 2007 Cotes-du-Rhone, I think that you can definitely do a lot better in this price range. I will leave you with one final picture to sum up my feelings. I call this one "Meh".