The Black Swan
Good Afternoon and Happy New Year.
With the New Year comes new wine from classic and proven producers. I've long been a fan of the Rhone and the new wave of 2015 wines is proving to be fantastic. The growing season was hot and dry, creating perfectly ripened fruit come harvest and wines that express freshness and vibrancy of the grapes. With that, I come to one of my favorite wineries, Saint-Cosme, and their 2015 entry level Cotes-du-Rhone that really captures the essence of the region at a startlingly affordable price. So, if you're like me and you are really watching your wallet after the holiday spending rush, this comes as a welcome sigh of relief.
The small Chateau of Saint-Cosme sits just north of the town of Gigondas and has been family owned since 1490 with the past 14 generations being winemakers. To say they currently have the pedigree to make great wine is an understatement. In the winery's words their goal is "total"... to best express the extraordinary potential of the terroir combined with the old vines that average 60+ years old. In practice, this translates to them utilizing time-proven wine making methods, organic viticulture, and deep knowledge of the terroir.
Now to the wine. The 2015 Cotes-du-Rhone is somewhat of a black swan (in the best way possible) in that it is entirely Syrah while most other Cotes-du-Rhones are almost always dominated by Grenache. I found the resulting juice to be deep, brooding, and complex. The color is blood red and concentrated with aromas suggesting ripe blackberry and blueberry along with an underlying mineral and floral component that deeply suggests its origin. On the palate, the freshness of the fruit reigns with good acid and balanced tannin providing structure to a long finish that is complimented by a nice spice on the finish. The goal of Saint Cosme's Cotes-du-Rhone is to produce a great everyday wine that also retains the ability to age. That goal is achieved here. I can see it pairing perfectly with hearty beef stews, lamb, and that cave aged Gruyere from Kroger that I am so addicted to. Personally, I paired it with nothing and was quite happy.
Anyway, if you don't want to take my word for it, those guys over at The Wine Spectatorreally dig it too. It recently scored 91 Points and was #43 on the Top 100 list of 2016that just came out. To be clear, I liked it before they did (Jay can confirm this!). Or at least I'd like to think so. The 2015 Saint Cosme Cotes-du-Rhone retails for $15.99 a bottle or $172.70 for the case which includes your 10% discount but doesn't include tax. Not sure how long supplies will last as those Top 100 wines tend to disappear quickly, so let me know!