Saint Cosme Gigondas Valbelle 2011
Grenache from Gigondas, Rhone, France
In this kind of vintage, the way the old vines adapt to the weather is stunning. The fruit is focused and crunchy. It expresses well the combination of wild strawberry, blackcurrant, and graphite.
Blend: 90% Grenache, 10% Syrah
Wine Spectator - "A solid, fleshy and amply toasty style, with coffee and ganache notes out front, backed by a solid core of currant paste and plum cake flavors. A strong charcoal accent takes over on the finish, stitched up by fine acidity. Should settle in with moderate cellaring. "
The Wine Advocate - "The amazing 2011 Gigondas Valbelle illustrates what a strong vintage Louis Barruol produced in this more challenging harvest. Deep berry fruit, melted licorice, camphor, white chocolate, boysenberry, blackberry and smoked duck-like characteristics are found in this rich, full-throttle red.
International Wine Cellar - "Saturated ruby. High-pitched aromas of red berries, potpourri and smoky minerals, with a subtle note of white pepper building with air. Juicy and precise, offering gently sweet raspberry and cherry flavors that show very good depth. Tangy acidity adds cut and lift to a long, penetrating and gently tannic finish. This wine will be delicious young but it is balanced to age.
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Domaine de Saint Cosme Winery
Louis Barruol is the 14th generation Barruol to make wine at Saint Cosme. The Chateau was built in the late 16th Century on the site of a former Roman villa, and the remains of a Roman wine cellar, carved into the stone of the hillside, still exist in the chateau's caves. There are 37 acres of vineyards and the vines average 60 years of age. The old plots (pictured on the Gigondas label) and stitch across the escarpment of the ragged Dentelles de Montmirail, an oft-painted mountain range. View all Domaine de Saint Cosme Wines
About GigondasView a map of Gigondas wineries (jhee-gon-dahs) Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Notable FactsThe wines of Gigondas are muscular and robust. Kind of an old-school type wine if you will. Not concentrating on being high-tech, easy-drinking or smooth, this wine is an in-your-face red, daring the consumer to try it's spicy, leathery, soulful juice. Good producers are making wines able to age for up to 10 or 15 years, although if you like robust wines, you'll love them now too. Grenache is the main grape, making up to (but not to exceed) 80% of the wine, Syrah & Mourvedre make up the majority of the extra 20%, although some other Cote-du-Rhone varietals can be found in small amounts. Rosé is seen less in the export market, but make good, spicy, dry wines.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.