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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Saint Cosme Gigondas Valbelle 2009

Rhone Red Blends from Gigondas, Rhone, France
  • WS94
14.5% ABV
  • WS96
  • RP94
  • JS92
  • RP94
  • WS93
  • RP93
  • WS97
  • RP96
  • RP95
  • RP95
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#10 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2011

We didn't release Valbelle in 2008 because the wine had been blended into the Gigondas Classique. This is nice to see Valbelle coming back in 2009 with its very specific style. It generates complexity, depth and balance. 2009 Valbelle combines well the tannic power of the vintage with the roundness and the softness always found in Valbelle. Find notes of strawberry, thyme, white pepper and graphite.

Blend: 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah

Critical Acclaim

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WS 94
Wine Spectator
A gorgeous wine, with an interplay of ripe, dripping blackberry, cassis and plum sauce flavors providing the flesh, offset by smoldering charcoal, tobacco and bittersweet cocoa notes, which provide the angles. The long finish has nice intensity. Best from 2012 through 2022. 1,175 cases made.
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Saint Cosme

Domaine de Saint Cosme

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Domaine de Saint Cosme, Gigondas, 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.

Gigondas

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The Southern Rhone region of Gigondas extends northwest from the notably jagged wall of mountains called the Dentelles di Montmirail, whose highest point climbs to about 2,600 feet. The region and its wines have much in common with the neighboring Chateauneuf-du-Pape except that the vineyards of Gigondas exist at higher elevation and its soils, comprised mainly of crumbled limestone from the Dentelles, often produce a more dense and robust Grenache-based red wine.

The region has a history of fine winemaking, extending back to Roman times. But by the 20th century, Gigondas was merely lumped into the less distinct zone of Côtes du Rhône Villages. However, it was first among these satellite villages to earn its own appellation, which occurred in 1971.

Gigondas reds must be between 50 to 100% Grenache with Syrah and Mourvèdre comprising the bulk of the remainder of the blend. They tend express rustic flavors and aromas of wild blackberry, raspberry, fig, plum, as well as juniper, dried herbs, anise, smoke and river rock. The best are bold but balanced, and finish with impressively sexy and velvety tannins.

The Gigondas appellation also produces rosé but no white wines.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

STC211390_2009 Item# 113067