2016 Chateau de Saint Cosme, Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge “Les Deux Albions” Rhone Valley, France.
Louis Barruol uniquely with the Chateau version Cotes du Rhone Les Deux Albians uses multi vineyard sites to gain complexity, but still co-ferments all the grapes (together) which includes mainly Syrah, but with good does of Grenache, Carignan, Mourvèdre and Clairette. This 2016 is gripping stuff, deep and earthy highlighting it’s 100% whole cluster fermentation and Syrah based power, especially in such a vintage, this is very serious stuff, this is not your grandpa’s Cotes du Rhone, in fact it would be hard not to think of this as a full blown Chateauneuf or Crozes-Hermitage. This wine comes from parcels of vines that are set on hardened clay hillsides of ancient alluvium, along with limestone marl and rocky pebbles with southern exposures mostly, but with enough elevation and the Mistral that gives acidity, so this inky dark wine has fantastic structure and solid tannins. The Les Deux Albions is raised in a combination of unique wooden vats with a truncated cone shape and concrete tanks, this serves this wine well allowing the terroir and old school character to excel, it’s a brilliant Rhone and a killer value. Dark meaty and leathery notes lead the way along with a bouquet of melted salty black licorice, crushed violets that leads to a bold palate of boysenberry, black plums, peppercorns, dried aromatic herbs, lavender oil, cedar and lingering blueberry all of which unfold in lively and vigorous layers, it’s a full bodied red that just gets better and better with each and every sip.
($24 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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