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Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone 2012

Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
  • WS89
  • RP89
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3.7 3 Ratings
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3.7 3 Ratings

Winemaker Notes

Two grape sources have composed this wine for many years now and one can't help but be impressed by the way they are consistant in quality whatever the vintage is. Vinsobres brings the freshness, the complexity, the strength and the balance. The "villafranchiennes terraces" from the Gard area (huge terraces of rolling stones) generate the color, the power, the generosity of a southern Syrah. In 2012, the wines are exceptional and this vintage shows notes of redcurrant, blackcurrant, licorice, and violet.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 89
Wine Spectator

A solid, gutsy version, with note of plum paste and black currant preserves studded with hints of licorice and singed vanilla. Briar and tobacco details check in on the finish, which shows pleasant grip. Drink now.

RP 89
The Wine Advocate

A step up, the 2012 Cotes du Rhone is almost all Syrah that comes from higher elevation vineyards in Vinsobres and the Gard region (western side of the Rhone River). Offering big, bright berry fruits, pepper, olive and hints of meatiness, it is a medium-bodied, elegant and rock-solid Cotes du Rhone that has loads of character.

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Saint Cosme

Domaine de Saint Cosme

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Domaine de Saint Cosme, , France - Rhone
Saint Cosme
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.

Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region and also home to whites of equivalent quality but lesser renown. Made up of three different sub-regions of varying elevation—Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, and Rioja Baja—wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although single-zone wines are beginning to gain in popularity. Rioja Alta, at the highest elevation, is considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier Rioja Baja produce wines with deep color and high alcohol which mainly serve to add body to a blend. While fresh and fruity Riojas labeled “Joven” undergo minimal aging before release, a hallmark of more serious Rioja wines is the aroma and flavor of new oak—traditionally American, which imparts characteristics of dill, coconut, vanilla, and spice to the wine. Tighter-grained, subtler French oak, however, is becoming increasingly common. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged at least one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two, but in practice this maturation period is often quite a bit longer—up to about fifteen years.

Tempranillo provides the backbone of Rioja red wines, providing complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body and alcohol. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés. White wines are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura, which is usually blended with aromatic Malvasia and weighty Garnacha Blanca. White Rioja has traditionally been made in a nutty, oxidative style, though a bright, unoaked version is currently in vogue.

Tempranillo

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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Douro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.

In the Glass

Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.

Perfect Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew, or paella.

Sommelier Secret

The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.

VIR104348_2012 Item# 124225

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