J. Vidal-Fleury, Côtes du Rhône, 2004, 13% Alc. by Vol.
I picked this up at Trader Joe's where it was marked as costing $3.99. Now that I look at the receipt, it seems they got me for $6.99. I need to pay better attention.
When I poured this, it smelled awful ... like wet cardboard and stagnant water along the side of the road. But the synthetic cork probably excludes the possibility of TCA. It did not, however, have any kind of sulfur odor. I really couldn't get past the smell so, although I tried it, I don't think I could give it a fair shake from that sitting.
That was last night around 10:00 p.m. ...
This morning before breakfast I poured myself another glass just to try it with fresh tastebuds. The off-putting odors had left this medium-red, translucent solution and had been replaced with what I can best describe as the coarse smells of youth. They reminded me of the smell of wine just being bottled. There were hints of coffee, chocolate and then suddenly dark red fruits on the tongue. The finish culminated on a berry-like note. But these tastes were playing hide and seek.
I think this one needs more time in the bottle before its true character shows.