2016 Chateau de Saint-Cosme, Gigondas, Rhone Valley, France.
The 2016 Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas might be the best red wine dollar for dollar in the world, it is a spectacular vintage for this wine with everything you’d ever hope for and expect with incredible depth of flavor, a lustful color and impressive complexity even now in its youth, it easily rivals hugely expensive Chateauneuf bottlings. One of the most notable estates in the Southern Rhone, Chateau de Saint Cosme was one of the earliest wineries in the region with caves that go back to before Roman times. Louis Barruol is one of the greatest Rhone vignerons of his generation and makes some of the best value selections in the region with estate holdings primarily in Gigondas, he also has a thrilling set of negociant wines from growers in both the Southern side as well as in top areas of the Northern Rhone.
The stunning 2016 was a final blend of 70% Grenache, 14% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre and a tiny 1% of Cinsault which was whole cluster fermented in concrete vats then raised in a combination of vessels with about a year aging, 20% in new casks, 50% in casks used for one to four fills and 30% concrete tanks. All of which tame the powerful while allowing a purity of form to shine through as well as highlighting its limestone/marl and Miocene sand(y) soils. Barruol, who father was a pioneer and a traditionalist loved to co-ferment his grapes and paid great attention to detail and focused his vines to achieve individual varietal ripeness, continues that with his current Gigondas, adding that, which is why at Saint Cosme, the early-ripening cultivars are planted in the late-ripening sites and the late-ripening varieties in the early-ripening sites. Noting, in this way, they all ripen at the same time and can therefore be co-fermented.
The deep hue in the glass and exotic ripe fruit and floral perfume are intoxicating and wonderfully sexy, this is what Grenache and especially Gigondas is all about, this is hedonistic and sensual wine with layers of boysenberry, black cherry, pomegranate, strawberry and plum fruits along with a hint of chocolate, melted black licorice, pepper, dried lavender, and a touch of earth adding black mission fig, cassis and subtle violets. This wine is well structured and extremely dense, but majestic in mouth feel and while a full bodied effort and with a huge palate impact its still lively and exquisitely balanced, it’s hard to imagine any improvement on what this wine delivers. This Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas should be decanted and enjoyed over a meal with matching cuisine, its pleasure and seduction revels in this setting, un-rushed and allowed to unfold at a natural pace, this age worthy Rhone superstar is absolutely gorgeous.
($39 Est.) 96 Points, grapelive