Chateau de Saint Cosme Saint-Joseph 2018
100% Serine (ancient variety of Syrah). 70% Destemmed fruit – 30% Whole cluster fermentation. Granite sand from Malleval vale. Twelve months’ ageing: 20% in new casks – 40% in casks used for one wine - 40% in casks used for two or three wines. I never name my sources - it is a matter of principle and my duty to refrain from disclosing information. But sometimes I really feel the urge to do so, and so today I will, anonymously. Our Saint Joseph has beenproduced from the same source and with the same person for 20 years. We have experienced everything together: the great vintages and the bad ones, the easy times and the hard, the joys and the sorrows. But what makes me happiest is that we have constantly progressed together in our knowledge of the soils, in adapting techniques, in our search for the best translation of the terroir and maturation process. That's exactly how I envisage the negociant business, in the same way as our predecessors did before the Second World War. For the past few years, Saint Joseph has finally received due recognition - at last! Aglorious destiny inevitably awaits an appellation with such a close bond to the concept of terroir.
Our 2018 is sanguine, it has texture. It has the brooding depth that we love in a mature Saint Joseph: it makes you suddenly feel like eating a nice peppery steak. We picked very late in 2018 - in October as usual. I love the slow ripening afforded by cool climates - it combines texture and balance. I am very grateful to the family who make this wine with me: thanks to their professionalism and above all their loyalty for the past two decades I can offer you this beautiful wine decorated with an Indian ink drawing by my grandfather, the historian Jean Barruol. Peony, blackberry, liquorice, mild tobacco.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Juicy and still youthfully compact, with singed mesquite and incense wrapped around a core of lightly mulled cherry, plum and blackberry fruit flavors. Incense note curls around the finish too. Should blossom with a touch of cellaring. Best from 2022 through 2030.
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.
Spanning the longest stretch of river in the northern Rhône—from Condrieu in the north, to Cornas in the south—the heart of St.-Joseph lies directly across the Rhône River from Hermitage. While its soils are basically the same as Hermitage: granite, supplemented by sand and gravel, its east facing slope receives less sunlight than Hermitage, which causes less overall berry ripening on its Syrah vines. However, some of the best of them can rival any fine expression of Hermitage, Cote-Rotie or Cornas with concentrated black fruits, dark spices, crushed rock and violets. A general advantage of the region is that its Syrahs typically don’t need as much time in the bottle compared to a Cote-Rotie or Hermitage and are much easier on the bank account!
A textbook St.-Joseph red is firm with a core of minerality that is enhanced by savory and peppery qualities. Aromas and flavors of smoke, olives, herbs, and violets are common; its wines are dense in red and black fruit.
St.-Joseph is also a source of fine northern Rhône white wine. Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne grow well here and can be blended or made into single varietal wines. St.-Joseph whites are full and silky with citrus, pear and pineapple flavors and a rich bouquet reminiscent of honeysuckle, toasted nuts, spice and caramel.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Rhône Blends of the south, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”