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Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2011

Rhone White Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
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    Winemaker Notes

    Frankly, the vinification of the Cotes du Rhone white 2011 has been a race. A race against the heat at the end of august. A race against over-ripening, a difficult race to get the holy grail: the freshness. In this difficult quest, the Picpoul saved us. We will never say enough how wonderful is this magnificent forgotten grape, so well adapted to the southern climate. It is aromatic, it is fresh, it is sharp without being agressive, it has purity and limpidity. The most important: it does lift the other grapes, keeping the secrecy of the civilised being. Our grand-fathers have planted many «acidic grapes» such as picpoul, bourboulenc, colombard, ugni blanc…etc… I think the best is the picpoul! I am happy with the Cotes du Rhone blanc 2011. Think about it when you'll taste it: try to find this taste of picpoul which is a far cousin of the famous sauvignon.

    Fermentation in old barrels and ageing on the lies

    Peach, apricot, gooseberry, grapefruit.

    30% Roussanne (gravels and red clay)
    20% Viognier (limestone)
    20% Marsanne (limestony sands)
    30% Picpoul de Pinet (limestony sands)

    Critical Acclaim

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    Saint Cosme

    Domaine de Saint Cosme

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    Domaine de Saint Cosme, Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
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    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.

    Cotes du Rhone

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    Typically thought of as a baby Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the term Côtes du Rhone 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 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 varieties include most of the Chateauneuf-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.

    Rhône White Blends

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    Full-bodied and flavorful, white Rhône blends originate from France’s Rhône Valley. Today these blends are also becoming popular in other regions, proving most successful in Spain, Australia and California. Typically some combination of Grenache blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier form the basis of a white Rhône blend with varyiong degrees of flexibility depending on the exact appellation.

    In the Glass

    Each variety contibutes something unique and different. Round, textural Grenache blanc gives green apple and white stone fruit flavors; weighty Marsanne adds structure and honeysuckle aromas; russet-colored Roussanne lends intriguing herbal, tea-like notes while Viognier provides a creamy texture and elegant aromatics. The flavor of the final wine will depend on the chosen components of the blend and their respective proportions.

    Perfect Pairings

    White Rhône blends are quite versatile food pairing wines and can work with light to medium rich meals that might often be matched to red wines. Heavier fish dishes with bold seasoning like grilled swordfish with caper butter or baked, herb-crusted mahi mahi are natural allies for these flavorful wines. Other ideal dishes include roast pork in mustard sauce, poached lobster with beurre blanc, or a rich and savory vegetable quiche. `

    Sommelier Secret

    In the Northern Rhône, blends of Marsanne and Roussanne are common in the appellations of St.-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage and St-Péray. Condrieu and Château-Grillet can produce single-varietal Viognier only. The Southern Rhône, on the other hand, has much more variety, with many more permitted grapes including the ones named above as well as Bourboulenc, Clairette, Picpoul and Ugni Blanc.

    EPC20588_2011 Item# 118083