2003 Côtes du Rhône
I've always enjoyed Soumade wines that I've had. I was in a Rhone tasting which included both the 1998 and 1999 Rateau Confiance (the lower end version of the Fleur) and a majority of the tasters were pleasantly surprised with both wines. I actually seeked out and ordered a few bottles via winesearcher immediately the following day.
I also recently had the 2000 Fleur de Confiance and enjoyed it immensely.
I felt that the 1999 and 2000 were already drinking nicely then, but could nicely integrate a bit more with about 5 more years of bottle age.
You probably got the 2003 Domaine la Soumade Rasteau Cuvee Fleur de Confiance.
If that's the case, according to Parker you got an absolutely outstanding juice. Here's the Guru's opinion:
RATING: 95 points
PRODUCER: Domaine la Soumade
FROM: Rasteau , Cotes du Rhone Villages, Southern Rhone, Rhone, France,
VARIETY: Proprietary Blend
DRINK: 2006 - 2021
ESTIMATED COST: $70
SOURCE: Wine Advocate, #163
A spectacular offering, and one of the Southern Rhone’s top successes in the irregular 2003 vintage is Soumade’s 2003 Fleur de Confiance Rasteau. This blockbuster wine boasts notes of plum liqueur, blueberries, blackberries, figs, scorched earth, espresso, and flowers. Tipping the scales at 16+% alcohol, it is almost surreal in its richness and power. Romero believes it will last for two decades or more, but I would recommend drinking it over the next 14-15 years. This amazing cuvee is one of the finest Southern Rhone wines I have ever tasted outside Chateauneuf du Pape. Importer: Eric Solomon, European Cellars, Charlotte, NC; tel. (704) 358-1565
Copyright © The Wine Advocate, Inc
Posted with permission of eRobertParker.com
Good god. He talks about 16+% alcohol as though it's a good thing. With advocates like Arpy, no wonder 11% wines are becoming dodos. MADD should declare him Public Enemy No. 1...
Also, how long before winemakers begin implementing a scorched earth policy?
Someone should pen a Parker glossary. Here's a start:
Power = do not uncork near an open flame
Richness = Smucker's should be so jammy
Blockbuster = prepare to have your palate bruised
Well - I wouldn't be as harsh as that. May I draw your attention to another source of reliable information to french wines. We have subscribed to "La Revue de vin de France" for some years. They issue a very comprehensive survey of the best domaines every year in september called "Le Classement des meilleures vins de France". In french.
Generally speaking I think you're spot on.
However, I recall reading about this bottle and it's supposed to one of the few gems in an othersise off vintage.
The excessive heat from the '03 vintage most likely produced a high alcohol wine so I wouldn't open one of your bottles for at least 4-5 years in order to let the wine/tannins settle. Looking ahead, the bottles should last 10-15 years.