Bright yellow-gold color; peach, flowers on the nose; peach, pineapple, tangerine, citrus, apricot, liquorice on the palate.
A blend of 30% viognier, 30% marsanne, 30% Picpoul de Pinet (the white version of piquepoul), 10% clairette. Nicely fresh with lively flavors, medium body, good acidity, hint of honey; smooth, fun to drink; the finish is supple and enjoyable with no rough edges.
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.
Louis reports 2015 was a testing year for white Côtes du Rhône production. Viognier responded to a hot summer by ripening particularly early. As happens with higher temperatures, all the grapes achieved full ripeness, producing the vivid flavors in this effort. Louis writes on the château’s website: “Picpoul demonstrated its significance more than ever this year. Without it, we would have been totally unable to produce a balanced white. Also, the varietal has the ability to support the other grapes, without overshadowing them—it always takes a back seat to the expressive varieties Marsanne and Viognier. Basically, Picpoul is a real gentleman—it can play the bagpipes, but does not, as one famous French comedian once said.”
Saint Cosme Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc 2015 is superb example of Southern Rhône white blend. Very approachable, will pair well with an apple, baked brie, roast chicken. In addition to this very nice white, the winery excels at Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas red blends. $19-20
Other photos: Entrance to property; Château de St. Cosme; vineyards near Gigondas hill; barrel room; bottle aging