Wine Review: Perrin Vinsobres Les Cornuds Cotes Du Rhone 2007

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Did Someone Empty the Pencil Sharpener Into My Glass?

If ever a smell was evocative of school, it’s the scent of pencil wood. That earthy, dusty scent that lingers no matter what. That hand-cranked pencil sharpener with the adjustable wheel on the side. No one ever emptied that stupid thing, so eventually it would jam up, and you would be the lucky one to empty it and inhale a nice cloud of saw and lead dust.

Sorry to jog down the memory lane of banality there for a moment, but the point is, that’s what this wine smells and tastes like. Read on, Brave Soul.

COLOR: A nice dusky red with flecks of amber. Great rich purple hues.

NOSE: And the pencil shavings have arrived in full force. Great musty basement, dark raspberries and a bit of the barnyard.

TASTE: Too young. This will improve after a couple of years, but it is drinkable now if you really want to have it. Not the best value at this price point. Complex except for one simple aspect: That handful of pencil shavings that were just shoved down your throat. Great fruit and a solid mid-palate. Syrah is always a winner, and this one brings those raspberries again and a delicious hit of vanilla-coated cherries. Enough tannins to balance the fruit with a real grip.

WITH FOOD: Quality red meats, but there are better wines we can think of around this price point to serve with a good filet or ostrich steak. Like the Peachy Canyon Petite Sirah.

SCORE: 6/10

WHERE TO BUY: $14.99 at!

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5 Responses to “Wine Review: Perrin Vinsobres Les Cornuds Cotes Du Rhone 2007”

  1. First a question, how can I tell if a wine is “young”?

    Second, a memory related to pencil sharpenings. We just took a trip up to Sequoia National Park and encountered a cedar tree. A sign was posted next to it to encourage people to smell the distinct cedar odor. Immediately I was transported to my childhood and my cedar pencil box. I loved to just sit there and smell it. Good stuff.

  2. How can I tell if a wine is “young”?

  3. Wine Welfare Says:
    February 4, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Hey Molly,

    The pencil thing is weird, isn’t it? I mean, I know there are a lot of pencils in schools, but I’ve always wondered why that particular smell is so often associated with going to school when you’re a child. Haven’t smelled any trees yet, though it sounds pretty good to me.

    As for how to know if a wine is young, there are a couple of things that will tell you besides the vintage, obviously.

    Color is one thing. Most young red wines, to my knowledge, have a darker color, and that color is more solid on the rim of the wine when you tilt the glass. The older a red wine gets, the more amber in color it becomes. With whites, the color tends to be lighter the younger it is.

    Smell is another. Young red wines have less of it. Sometimes a wine just has no nose altogether, but if you have a 5-7 year old bottle of red wine, and it smells like nothing at all, it might not be of the best quality.

    Taste is the best way to tell, of course. Young red wines taste more tannic, and may have a slightly bitter tinge, regardless of the varietal. Young white wines tend to be more grassy or smell like herbs.

    Of course, these things don’t always denote a young wine, so don’t quote me.

    That’s my very non-expert knowledge on the subject. Hope it helps!

  4. Nice review, I am huge of the 07 rhones. The CDR’s are great and deliver excellent value.


  5. Wine Welfare Says:
    February 20, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Wine Miser – Thanks so much for the comment! I agree that 07 was a great vintage. Probably the best since 05. Speaking of Rhones, I highly recommend Central Coast, CA for some of the best California Rhone varietals. Have you heard of the Hospice du Rhone? ( Great Rhone festival where Rhone varietal winemakers from all over the world converge in late April. Also, the Rhone Rangers are a great group (

    I took a look at your site and love it. Going to keep reading for sure.

    Thanks again! Hope you keep reading!

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