2011 Saint Cosme Cotes-du-Rhone

Hello friends. Because of our list’s strong support for our initial Saint Cosme offering (the NV Little James Basket Press back on November 8), we have been offered a fine tariff on the next step up the ladder:

Wine Spectator (James Molesworth): “($16); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 90pts.”

Quick logistics note: we only get one shot at this pricing. We might be able to fulfill reorders, but it will  be at a tariff closer to the normal $15-$16 range. I’ll be placing my order Monday, so please try to get requests in by the end of the weekend, and I’ll try to build in a buffer for latecomers. The wine will arrive on Wednesday and be available for pickup on either of our open days next week (Thursday Dec 20 and Saturday Dec 22).

What is rare (and in my view, exciting) about Saint Cosme’s version of Cotes-du-Rhone is that it’s 100% Syrah. Most CdR’s are majority-Grenache, but we already know where Louis Barroul’s Grenache goes: into Little James. So that leaves us with 100% Rhone Syrah at a price point that cries out for exploration.

It comes from two of Cosme’s holdings: one in Vinsobres (a bit cooler, on limestone and sand) and one in Gard (warmer, on terraces of medium-to-large stones). The result is a wine that balances freshness and generosity. The nose combines deep, brambly black fruit, with something dark and earthy: hot rock and sun-soaked asphalt. It’s a complex, attractive combination. The palate brings blackberry and black raspberry fruit, star anise, and graphite/mineral notes. There are some well-managed espressoey tannins on the back end, but really, this bottle is all about the rocks and fruit.

Lovers of Washington Syrah who are ready to explore what the Rhone could do should carefully consider this one as a reference point for well-priced Syrah from this region. First come first served up to 24 bottles, and the wine should arrive in about a week, at which point it will be available for pickup or shipping during the spring shipping window.

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