Grapelive: Wine of the Day December 24, 2018

2016 Saint Cosme, Crozes-Hermitage AC, Nothern Rhone, France -photo grapelive

2016 Saint Cosme, Crozes-Hermitage Rouge, Northern Rhone, France.
Louis Barruol’s Saint Cosme, most famous for his Gigondas, negociant series is one of the great values in the wine world, and especially his northern Rhone lineup impresses, with his Crozes-Hermitage always a stand out, and this 2016 is no exception with the vintage’s amazing combination of power and poise showing a deep character, but with a lovely freshness of detail and inner energy. Barruol’s deep/dark purple/garnet hued Crozes-Hermitage is 100% Serine clone (a local and an ancient variety of Syrah) that is 100% destemmed fruit coming off main sites in the extraordinary hillsides around the villages within Crozes, Larnage, Gervans and Erôme lie vineyard plots set of sand/clay over granite soils. This vintage was aged in 20% new French oak with the rest being put in 1 and 2 times used cask, with the Syrah seeing about a year of elevage before bottling, unfiltered, making for a rich, ripe and vivid Crozes-Hermitage Rouge with a pure and earthy Syrah personality and a classic regional terroir core and character with a loaded palate of black and blue fruit, spice and savory elements with a raw tannic grip as well as the vintage’s nice acidity that gives this wine a exciting kick in the ass! Barruol notes that his growers and in particular where he buys his grapes for this wine, in Tenay, Habrard and Batits, set behind Hermitage hill itself, with the oldest vines having the ability to produce wines that can compete with Hermitage! I do not doubt that and you can feel their presence in vintages such as this, no question, again this wine is an absolute steal for the price. The Saint Cosme 2016 Crozes surprises for the width and textural feel with beautiful layers of blackberry, boysenberry, blueberry, damson plum and black cherry/kirsch fruits along with light camphor/embers, violets, mission fig, cinnamon, black licorice, creme de cassis, peppercorns, and a hint of crushed rock and leather. There is a lot going on here, and the finish is exceptionally lengthy and smooth, again it has serious palate impact, while still fresh in details, at 13% natural alcohol, it is medium/full in body, perfectly weighted, and I can see it getting better over the next 3 to 5 years too, very impressive, it’s a Syrah that delivers on its promises. Delicious stuff, give air or decant for best results, but absolutely magic when paired with rustic/robust cuisine, drink this Crozes over the next 5 to 10 years.
($26 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive