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Saint Cosme Cote Rotie 2008

  • WS90
750ML / 13% ABV
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750ML / 13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

100% Serine (ancient Syrah) planted on schist terroir. Aged 15 months in new oak barrels and bottled without filtration. "Côte Rôtie is often a good subject: its inimitable personality makes people talk! This terroir is the most extraordinary one in the northern Rhone, I'm convinced about this. We keep going with our work on the Ampuis terroirs and 2008 brought this great freshness we always look for. The wine is balanced and has the entire aromatic spectrum going from the empyreumatic smells ending up in the ancient roses. I know exactly when to open a bottle of Côte-Rôtie: it has to be shared with the right person at the right time. It's always a time of joy which gives some meaning to life. This bottle of 2008 is very classical, it's not heavy, it's straightforward, it gets precision, it's open, aromatic and tender. The way 2004 tastes at the moment makes me think that some vintages deserve to get a fundamental right: be judged only after a couple of years, when they get their proper expression. Bacon, cold ash, graphite, coal, violet, rose."

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Crisp, but fresh and lively, boasting some snap to the tobacco leaf, pepper, blackberry and olive notes. Lightly firm, but well-focused on the finish. Best from 2011 through 2015.
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Saint Cosme

Chateau de Saint Cosme

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Chateau de Saint Cosme, France
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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.

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Cote Rotie

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The cultivation of vines here began with Greek settlers who arrived in 600 BC. Its proximity to Vienne was important then and also when that city became a Roman settlement but its situation, far from the negociants of Tain, led to its decline in more modern history. However the 1990s brought with it a revival fueled by one producer, Marcel Guigal, who believed in the zone’s potential. He, along with the critic, Robert Parker, are said to be responsible for the zone’s later 20th century renaissance.

Where the Rhone River turns, there is a build up of schist rock and a remarkable angle that produces slopes to maximize the rays of the sun. Cote Rotie remains one of the steepest in viticultural France. Its varied slopes have two designations. Some are dedicated as Côte Blonde and others as Côte Brune. Syrahs coming from Côte Blonde are lighter, more floral, and ready for earlier consumption—they can also include up to 20% of the highly scented Viognier. Those from Côte Brune are more sturdy, age-worthy and are typically nearly 100% Syrah. Either way, a Cote Rotie is going to have a particularly haunting and savory perfume, expressing a more feminine side of the northern Rhone.

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Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

STC621002_2008 Item# 105180