Saint Cosme Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009
50% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah, 8% Cinsault, 2% Clairette
This is a powerhouse, with roasted bay, sage and tobacco leaf notes running through the layers of dark plum, blackberry compote and roasted fig fruit. The long, almost unbridled finish flaunts muscle, coated with ganache, while a note of hot stone lurks in the background throughout. Best from 2013 through 2030.
Bright ruby. Pungent aromas of cherry skin and dark berry skin, with smoke and spice nuances adding complexity. Deep, fleshy and smooth in texture, with intense dark fruit flavors that pick up energy with aeration. Finishes spicy and long, with excellent clarity and lingering sweetness. This wine is still in cask.
It has taken a while, but one of my favorite producers in the southern Rhone, Louis Barruol of Saint-Cosme, is getting very good publicity just about everywhere I look. It is certainly well-deserved, considering the broad range of wines he produces, from his inexpensive and over-delivering Cotes du Rhones and Vins de Pays, to his top-flight, world-class wines made in Gigondas. This is all a matter of hard work and understanding viticulture and great terroirs. As for the estate wines from Gigondas, 2009 was a more challenging vintage for Louis Barruol than many people probably understand, because he had some serious hail issues that cut into his Grenache crop. His best vintage to date is 2007, but 2010 is going to come close, and he has certainly excelled in a much more difficult vintage for him personally, 2009. The 2010s are probably Barruol’s greatest vintage since 2007, yet slightly more tannic and backward at a similar stage in their development than the 2007s were. All of the following wines are 100% Grenache, with the exception of the first two.