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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Saint Cosme Saint-Joseph 2008

Syrah/Shiraz from Rhone, France
  • WS91
0% ABV
  • JS94
  • RP93
  • W&S93
  • JS92
  • WS91
  • WS92
  • RP92
  • WS92
  • RP94
  • WS93
  • WS92
  • RP90
  • RP91
  • WS91
  • WS89
  • RP88
  • W&S89
  • WE88
  • RP92
  • RP92
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

I will defend forever the granitic terroirs of Saint Joseph which match perfectly with the ancient Serines sélections massales. Those two had to meet once in the right place, under the right climate, to go for a great adventure together. This year was cool and gave wines with freshness carrying a classical style. It was ripe, with significant sweetness. There is no austerity in this wine. The Serines express on a very precise way in such a cool year and the aromas are well shown because "the acidity shows off" as my great uncle Albert would say. This phenomenon can be shown on the white wines. The bottling was done earlier than usual in order to keep this great fruit full of finesse. I imagine this wine with a piece of veal with morels, or with stuffed quails. Such pleasures given by granitic rocks combined with very small grapes: isn't it a great story? Jasmine, bergamot orange, blond tobacco, roasted bread."
-Louis Barruol

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
Wine Spectator
Sleek and ripe for the vintage, featuring tangy damson plum, fig and boysenberry fruit laced with vibrant minerality, backed by a long, sanguine finish. Drink now through 2012. 250 cases imported.
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Saint Cosme

Domaine de Saint Cosme

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Domaine de Saint Cosme, 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.

A long and narrow valley producing flavorful red, white, and rosé wines, the Rhône is bisected by the river of the same name and split into two distinct sub-regions—north and south. While a handful of grape varieties span the entire length of the valley, there are significant differences between the two zones in climate and geography as well as the style and quantity of wines produced. The Northern Rhône, with its continental climate and steep hillside vineyards, is responsible for a mere 5% or less of the greater region’s total output. The Southern Rhône has a much more Mediterranean climate, the aggressive, chilly Mistral wind and plentiful fragrant wild herbs known collectively as ‘garrigue.’

In the Northern Rhône, the only permitted red variety is Syrah, which in the appellations of St.-Joseph, Hermitage, Cornas and Côte-Rôtie, it produces velvety black-fruit driven, savory, peppery red wines often with telltale notes of olive, game and smoke. Full-bodied, perfumed whites are made from Viognier in Condrieu and Château-Grillet, while elsewhere only Marsanne and Roussanne are used, with the former providing body and texture and the latter lending nervy acidity. The wines of the Southern Rhône are typically blends, with the reds often based on Grenache and balanced by Syrah, Mourvèdre, and an assortment of other varieties. All three northern white varieties are used here, as well as Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Bourbelenc and more. The best known sub-regions of the Southern Rhône are the reliable, wallet-friendly Côtes du Rhône and the esteemed Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Others include Gigondas, Vacqueyras and the rosé-only appellation Tavel.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by 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.

EPC16750_2008 Item# 107865