I had another astounding wine from Domaine de L'Oratoire St. Martin tonight, the 2003 Réserve des Seigneurs 2003 from Cairanne, Côtes du Rhône Villages. I have been buying this for several years and had quite a few bottles of the very lovely 2001, but this was my first of the 2003s that I put down upon release. I paid US$10.95 for this and it is a wine of great depth, far beyond its price.
As do a lot of the wineries in the Southern Rhône, L'Oratoire St. Martin make a variety of different releases and blends, this one is dominated by Mouvedre with a bit of Syrah in it. It's an earthy, un-filtered treat. When first opened, aromas of roses and violets arise from the glass, giving way eventually to more baking spice scents. In the mouth, it is big and chewy, but neither heavy with alcohol nor grippy tannins. They say in Chateauneuf du Pape that wines go to sleep between 7 and 9 years old, but the wines of the neighboring villages, like Cairanne, seem to do great in 6 to 8 years. This is drinking perfectly now and if you can find any, I would jump on it. Highly recommended.