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Saint Cosme Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • WS95
  • RP92
14.5% ABV
  • WS93
  • JS93
  • WS92
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  • WS93
  • RP92
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5.0 2 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

My Chateauneuf 2009 is a sort of 2007 with less exuberance, less outspoken. 2009 is a vintage of powerful and meaty wines. It was necesary more than ever to work with full clusters, have nice and well-ripe mourvèdre, age without any racking to preserve the heart of the fruit. It has notes of Christmas cake, gingerbread, fennel, garrigue and rosemary.

50% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah, 8% Cinsault, 2% Clairette

Critical Acclaim

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WS 95
Wine Spectator
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.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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.
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Saint Cosme

Domaine de Saint Cosme

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Domaine de Saint Cosme, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
2009 Chateauneuf-du-Pape
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.

Chateauneuf-du-Pape

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Famous for its full-bodied, seductive and spicy reds with flavor and aroma characteristics of silky black cherry, baked raspberry, garrigue, olive tapenade, lavender and baking spice, Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the leading sub-appellation of the southern Rhone River Valley. Large pebbles resembling river rocks, called galets in French, dominate most of the terrain. The stones hold heat and reflect it back up to the low-lying gobelet-trained vines. Though the galets are typical, they are not prominent in every vineyard. Chateau Rayas is the most obvious deviation with very sandy soil.

According to law, eighteen grape varieties are allowed in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and most wines are blends of some mix of these. For reds, Grenache is the star player with Mourvedre and Syrah coming typically second. Others used include Cinsaut, Counoise and occasionally Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Picquepoul Noir and Terret Noir.

Only about 6-7% of wine from Chateauneuf-du-Pape is white. Blends and single-varietal bottlings are typically based on the soft and floral Grenache Blanc but Clairette, Bourboulenc and Roussanne are grown with some significance.

The wine of Chateauneuf-du-Pape takes its name from the relocation of the papal court to Avignon. The lore says that after moving in 1309, Pope Clément V (after whom Chateau Pape-Clément in Pessac-Léognan is named) ordered that vines were planted. But it was actually his successor, John XXII, who established the vineyards. The name however, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, translated as "the pope's new castle," didn’t really stick until the 19th century.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

WBO30083151_2009 Item# 116111

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