Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone Les Deux Albions 2018
After the ‘cosmic’ 2016s and 2017s, 2018 Deux Albion offers a slightly softer version, suffused with charming floral aromas. What more beautiful a sight to behold than nature waking up after its winter slumber? Strawberry, gingerbread, violet.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This Syrah-dominant blend augmented by Grenache, Carignan, Mourvèdre and Clairette is sourced from three Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages communes of Plan de Dieu Saint Maurice and Cairanne. Vinified in wooden vats and matured in concrete, it offers decadent cassis and black-plum flavors accented by tar, charred sage and licorice. Supple and piercing, the wine is ready now but will hold through 2026.
Mainly Grenache, with smaller portions of Mourvèdre and Syrah, the 2018 Cotes du Rhone Les Deux Albions matured in wooden and concrete vats. Black cherries and blueberries mark the nose, picking up hints of garrigue and black olives along the way. Medium to full-bodied, plush and expansive, it turns almost velvety on the finish. It's another terrific bargain from Barruol.
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.