2020 Saint Cosme, Cotes du Rhone Rouge, Rhone Valley, France.
The latest Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone, 100% Syrah, is an all tank aged and partial whole cluster wine with a deep purple color and far more complexity than you’d expect from a bottle in this price range with layers of blackberry, boysenberry, plum and blueberry fruits along with hints of earth, graphite, black licorice, dried herbs and crushed flowers in a beautifully smooth and textured full bodied wine. This vintage, which is Louis Barruol’s 24nd vintage of this juicy Saint Cosme Côtes du Rhône is very polished and pleasing with just enough savory crunch to keep things interesting and this edition is an easy companion with a variety of foods and was perfect with a chilly rainy night outside, it provided lots of comfort without any pretense. Being all Syrah it feels a bit more rustic and dense than most Grenache based versions, but you can see the family relationship with Barruol’s famous Gigondas and other classic Rhone bottlings with its warm and Mediterranean personality, this is always a great wine and sublime value. This supple Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone which adds a touch of creme de cassis with air, had a very short vatting period, in cement, a technique pioneered by Louis Barruol’s father, as he notes, in fact, in the 1970s and 1980s, Saint Cosme’s Gigondas only spent about 15 days in vats! This is the allow really fresh details, fruitiness and freshness to express themselves, while still having structure to age, proof is the success of these absolutely delicious wines.

Louis Barruol’s Chateau de Saint Cosme, located north to the village of Gigondas, which he is most famous for, is the oldest estate in the region being on the site of an ancient Gallo-Roman villa which dates back to 1416 and very probably it already had its own vineyard as well as cellars carved from the natural limestone walls, with the Barruol family acquiring it back in 1570 and making it, in my opinion, one the Rhone’s greatest estates. The fabulous basic Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone is made from 100% Syrah coming from what Barruol calls top vineyard parcels, saying he is no magician, knowing only great sites made great wines and mostly this little beauty uses plots in Vinsobres, which is a special area of the southern Rhone that is sublimely suited to Syrah. The Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone vines are set on mostly limestone sand, red clay and pebbles on Villafranchian terraces that gives this remarkably expression its stylistic charm, density and class, with Barruol noting he thinks Vinsobres is the best area to grow Syrah in this area, which is just to the north of Gigondas and influenced by cool alpine winds that help refresh the vines, giving ripe fruit, but with energy of natural acidity. For this particular wine, which Barruol says, is very similar to the 2019 – with fruit that was ripe and absolutely stunning coming off the vines, giving the resultant wine lush black fruit, it is rounded and fleshy with a salinity that calls for a fine steak or something similar. Every year I get a bunch of Saint Cosme, of course their legendary Gigondas is a must, but I also grabs bottles of their Crozes-Hermitage, Sant-Joseph and lots of this Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge!
($15 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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