I hear the southern Rhone Vally wines of 2003 are overripe and underripe at once, with the summer heat shutting down flavor development, dehydrating the grapes to concentrate sugar levels, but leaving a mix of raisined and leafy green flavors with lots of harsh tannin. Reports from those who've tasted the wines seem mixed, and so far I've had mixed results.
However, I tasted the 2003 Edmund Burle Cotes du Rhone over the past couple nights, and this is a great little wine, as usual, and a nice bargain on sale for $8.46 locally. Not sure where else you can find this wine, but local importer PS Wines brings it in to Portland. This '03 from Burle is classic rustic, wild grenached-based Cotes du Rhone. The color is ruddy ruby and it has an exotic aroma full of stones, pepper, and cherry with nice dried herb notes. The flavors are full and round on the palate with lots of fine tannin and a typcially stoney flavor. It is dry on the finish, so this wine needs food to show its best. And I'd drink this younger despite the structure, because the flavors seem so broad and ripe that I don’t think they have much evolution before they simply wilt. But what a tasty, honest wine and how delicious it was with burgers.