Château St. Cosme is one of the top producers of Cotes du Rhone. Little James' Basket Press is a blend of grenache from new and old vines. Aromas and flavors of Provencal herbs, pepper, cherry, and hint of apricots emerge from this medium bodied wine. It proves that creative thinking, good sourcing, and minimal intervention in winemaking can result in fantastic value. This is a fruit-forward wine but with plenty of structure and old-world earthiness, made in a rustic style.
Here is an opportunity to experience the benefits of short-term cellaring. This wine is very enjoyable now, but will really begin to show its stuff in about six to twelve months. Enjoy on it's own or with hearty fair like braised beef or sautéed mushrooms.
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.
A small category representing the wines that either fall outside of appellation lines or don’t subscribe to the law and traditions set forth by the French government within certain classified appellations, “Vin De France” is a catch-all that includes some of the most basic French wines as well as those of superior quality. The category includes large production, value-driven wines. It also includes some that were made with a great deal of creativity, diligence and talent by those who desire to make wine outside of governmental restrictions. These used to be called Vin de Table (table wine) but were renamed to compete with other European countries' wines of similar quality.
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.