Chateau de Saint Cosme Les Deux Albion Red Côtes du Rhône 2018

Deep ruby color; blueberry, black cherry, plum, leather, violets on the nose; plum, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, black cherry, licorice, pepper on the palate.

Chateau de Saint Cosme Les Deux Albion Red Côtes du Rhône 2018

Dry; dusty tannins with moderate acidity. Co-fermented blend of syrah, grenache, and mourvèdre. This is GSM wine from a top maker in Gigondas. Whole-cluster fermentation delivers woody dustiness to the tannins, but the grenache and winemaking prevents puckering tannins. This is vinified in wooden vats, almost certainly many times used, then matured in concrete. That means there is no oaky element and a softer, more pliant mouthfeel. Garigue notes on the nose reflect the shrub, small trees notes in the overall experience. Also, elements of iron/rust on the finish—the polite term in wine reviews is “sanguine”, a reference to red rather than blood. 15% ABV

Medium-plus body. Evolves nicely in glass to blow off some of its scrubland earthiness and become more plush. Throw in a velvety finish after sufficient swirling. I did not decant, maybe should have, but was pleasantly pleased how quickly it evolved in the glass.

Château de St. Cosme

Château de Saint Cosme is the oldest wine-making estate in Gigondas, dating from 1416. It is built on the site of a Roman-era villa that likely had a vineyard, meaning the soil may have been producing wine for more than 2,000 years. Château de Saint Cosme and its surrounding vineyards is located north of the village of Gigondas and has been in the Barroul family since 1570. Louis Barruol, the 15th generation, took over the estate from his father, Henri Barruol, in 1992. Louis sources grapes for this effort from plots around Gigondas, acting as a micro-négociant, and labels such efforts “Saint Cosme” while wines made from estate-grown grapes are labeled “Château de St. Cosme”. The estate is regarded as one of the best in the Southern Rhône.

St. Cosme vineyards near Gigondas hill

Chateau de Saint Cosme Les Deux Albion Red Côtes du Rhône 2018 is a GSM value from the Barroul family—top makers in Gigondas since the 16th century. Earthy notes of leather, garigue, iron rust complement the blue and red fruits to produce a complex, intriguing experience. Experienced wine drinkers and lovers of GSM and Gigondas efforts will find much to like about this wine. Pair with beef dishes—the tannins won’t cut through the fat, but the rich medley of dark fruit flavors will more than save the day; lamb—without question; wild game—venison and boar; pork. Versatile with meats. $20-24

Château de Saint Cosme website

Entrance to St. Cosme property
St. Cosme barrel room
St. Cosme bottle aging