Robert Parker 91
A monster effort, the deep purple-colored 2000 Fonsalette Cotes du Rhone Cuvee Syrah reveals characteristics of animal fur, licorice, blackberries, and mushroom/truffle notes. With superb concentration, huge body, and a monolithic, backward personality, it will be at its best between 2007-2018. A disclaimer is in order concerning the following tasting notes. While the bottled 2000s were easy to taste, the 2001 barrel tastings at Rayas were challenging because there was no electricity in the cellars. Rayas was one of many estates where electricity had been cut off by the floods of September 8 and 9. Hence, the tasting was conducted by flashlight … a first in my 25 years of experience. It was hard to get a grasp of the barrel samples’ colors when viewed by flashlight, but they appeared to be light to medium ruby. However, darkly pigmented wines are rarely produced at this domaine. There have been some deep-colored vintages of Rayas (1995, 1990, and 1989), but most are surprisingly weak in color, yet intense in flavor.