A number of the famous communes entitled to apply the words ‘Cotes du Rhone Villages’ to their labels are emerging as serious competition for the crown hitherto reserved for Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Vinsobres and now Rasteau are full appellations in their own right, the latter having been permitted to drop the CdRV suffix as from the 2009 vintage, with Cairanne and Seguret likely to follow suit. These appellations are forces increasingly to be reckoned with in the field of warm, pepper and herb scented southern reds, using broadly the same pallete of cepages as Chateauneuf, but each with their own distinct characters. At Soumade the grape mix is mainly Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, with a little of the aromatic white Viognier, which is blended into the reds in the style of Cote Rotie. Low yields and and mixture of Bordeaux and Burgundian influenced cellar techniques give wines which are characterised by a marked succulence of fruit and a delightful dark-chocolate richness. An organic regime is adhered to in the vineyard, and the wines are bottled without fining or filtration.
“The superstar of Rasteau is Andre Romero, who produces five cuvees of drop-dead delicious red wine.” Robert Parker Jnr.
DOMAINE LA SOUMADE, Rasteau
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