Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone Les Deux Albions 2020
Les Deux Albions is one of the outstanding wines of Louis Barruol’s collection and highlights the exceptional value that can still be found in the Côtes-du-Rhône category. The wine combines depth, structure, and finesse with aromas and flavors of roasted game, mesquite, and olive, crushed plum, and black currants.
Syrah, with its deep flavors and firm tannins, is a natural match for grilled or smoked meat and dishes featuring herbs, roasted mushrooms, and onions. Seared venison or beef with black pepper and thyme or a Moroccan tagine of pigeon or chicken are complimented by the spicy characteristic of Syrah.
Blend: 50% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 20% Grenache, 15% Carignan, 5% Clairette
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Ripe and polished yet fresh, this red seduces with ripe, generous anise, vanilla-laced blackberry and cherry flavors, then turns dark and brooding on the palate, with smoldering iron, garrigue, menthol, black pepper and dark earth framed by fine-grained tannins. Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Mourvèdre and Clairette.
I always love this cuvée from Saint Cosme, and their 2020 Côtes du Rhône Les Deux Albion is outstanding, giving up lots of peppery, darker fruits and violet notes, medium body, a supple, elegant mouthfeel, and good length on the finish.
Chateau de Saint Cosme is the leading estate of Gigondas and produces the appellation’s benchmark wines. Wine has been produced on the site of Saint Cosme since Roman times, evident by the ancient Gallo-Roman vats carved into the limestone below the chateau. The property has been in the hands of Louis Barruol’s family since 1570. Henri and Claude Barruol took over in 1957 and gradually moved Saint Cosme away from the bulk wine business. Henri was one of the first in the region to work organically beginning in the 1970s. Louis Barruol took over from his father in 1992, making a dramatic shift to quality, adding a négociant arm to the business in 1997, and converting to biodynamics in 2010.
Typically thought of as a baby Chateâuneuf-du-Pape, the term Côtes du Rhône actually doesn’t merely apply to the flatter outskirts of the major southern Rhône appellations, it also includes the fringes of well-respected northern Rhône appellations. White wines can be produced under the appellation name, but very little is actually made.
The region offers some of the best values in France and even some first-rate and age-worthy reds. Red wine varieties include most of the Chateâuneuf-du-Pape varieties like Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Counoise, as well as Carignan. White grapes grown include Grenache blanc, Roussanne and Viognier, among others.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.