From the samples I tried and what I've read from other wine people out there, the 2007 vintage of red wine in France's Rhone Valley is sizing up to be like the 2005 reds of Burgundy. Uncommonly intense and rich without over-ripeness or anything to mask the underlying terroir. I'm typically reluctant to talk about vintages, but rules have exceptions. 2007 in the Rhone looks excellent.
Take for example the 2007 Burle Cotes du Rhone. Sadly this grenache-dominated wine doesn't seem to make it to much of the United States, but it's a favorite here in Oregon thanks to importer PS Wines. Still around $10 as its been for nearly a decade, this is unbeliveabley good wine for twice the price.
Saturated dark ruby in color, it's still translucent and lacking the purple highlights of overextraction or too little exposure to oxygen in the winemaking. The aroma is strongly black cherry, showing the ripe fruit of the vintage. But there are floral overtones, with gravel, black pepper and scrub brush notes that give the wine great succulence.
Things are much the same in the mouth, with fine, ripe tannin and good acid freshness. Nothing harsh or cloying about the fruit sweetness here. The finish is a pleasantly dry and tangy, with good length to the flavors and remarkable intensity for such an inexpensive wine. I'm going to get a few more of these for any time we have roasted food. They will certainly last a few years in the cellar, maybe more.
A note on succession. Old man Edmund Burle died a few years back, and I see the names Florent and Damien Burle on the cork. Looks like this small producer is staying true to its roots despite the new generation. No oaky sheen or creamy fruit sweetness here. Just clear southern Rhone red wine that for me is a benchmark of what the Cotes du Rhone AOC is all about.