This very close to the edge of ripeness for me. Maybe over the edge. 15.3% alcohol was noticable. This shows a lot of red fruit, vanilla, and some black pepper/spice. Well made, just not my favorite style. I will let the other bottle sit for a few years to see if it mellows some.
Tasted blind: Ripe cherries and berries with a little bit of spice. A faint bit of honey on the nose. Very nice and pretty easily identifiable as a southern rhone. Because of the ripeness I guessed 07 and was surprised it was an 05. The tannins were very fine and silky and not all that prominent. I thought the tannins would have been stronger for this vintage. I really like the Coudoulet's and think it is a great deal when available in the low $20's. This was fun and tasty.
Tasted blind: Lots of funky barnyard on the nose which blew off after some swirling and time. Darker fruits; a little tight; pretty firm tannins; I thought a touch of bell pepper. I guessed bordeaux and was surprised when the bag came off of the bottle. This was fun to taste with the 05 Beaucastel Coudoulet. Tasted blind, this seemed more french than the Coudoulet. This was certainly more structured and funky although I believe this is made to more closely resemble the beaucastel CdP bottling. This seems way more savage and animal like than the 07 version of this wine. I enjoyed this a lot - especially after it opened up.