2017 Saint Cosme, Crozes-Hermitage Rouge, Northern Rhone, France.
The beautiful and sultry 2017 Crozes from Louis Barruol at Chateau de Saint Cosme is highly entertaining, complex and remarkably easy to quaff even now in its infancy with classic terroir influences and warmly ripe dark fruits, making for a seductive 100% Serine heirloom clone Syrah. Barruol, famous for his estate Gigondas southern Rhone wines, loves his northern Rhone negotiant bottlings, especially his Crozes-Hermitage notes that Syrah at Crozes-Hermitage shows (us) what the balance of a Syrah can and should be, suffused with freshness and pretty peony aromas, and a salty palate that gives depth, but unfurls with no heaviness. I wholeheartedly agree and this vintage has it all and more showing layers of pepper laced blackberry, blueberry, black currants and damson plum fruits along with crushed violets, graphite, loamy earth and black licorice to start with a nice burst of acidity, satiny tannin, a touch of cedar and sweet smoke, all with a vinous textured elegance.
Saint Cosme really allows the place and vintage to speak in its most true and best voice in its wines, and this Crozes especially proves this point and is an example of authentic and classic varietal purity and over the last 3 releases I’ve found stunning quality here, making for outrageous value for the money. For the 2017 version, Barruol and team did 100% de-stemming and fermented in vats before aging the Crozes in 20% new oak casks, with the remaining wine in once and twice used barrels for 12 months. Saint Cosme sourced this wine from extraordinary hillside vines set in granite soils around the villages of Crozes, Larnage, Gervans and Erôme where Barruol has contracts with old vine parcels, which Barruol says can compete with the more famous Hermitage, and while this wine is not in direct competition with the wines of Chave, Chapoutier and or Jaboulet, it does put a huge Syrah inspired smile on my face! This is irresistible stuff showing gorgeous detail and is fabulous with an array of cuisines from Korean BBQ to Zuni Chicken, in particular it is joyous with lamb kabob and or wild mushroom dishes, drink now or hold for 3 to 5 years.
($32 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive