2012 Saint Cosme Cotes-du-Rhone

Hello friends. Just like last year, we’ve been offered an excellent (albeit short-term) tariff on a reference-point Southern Rhone Syrah.

Unlike last year, the Wine Spectator review is not out yet. But considering the wine has received 90pt reviews in five of the past six years, a prediction can be made with some measure of confidence. This wine also claimed a spot on the Spectator Top 100 list in 2010 (for the 2009 vintage), and with its release price of $16 (which has also held steady for the past six years, making it a better and better value with each passing year), it’s always a threat to land on Spectator’s year-end list. But let’s aim for something a little lower than that $16 release price:

Now a quick logistics note: we only get one shot at this pricing, and it’s volume-based (one of those times when we all benefit from Full Pull’s growth this year). I’ll try to build in a buffer for late orders and *some* reorders, but once we exceed that buffer, any reorders beyond that will be at a tariff closer to this wine’s normal $15-$16 range.

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 Basket Press (another list favorite that will be making an appearance before the end of the year). 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 large terraces of medium-to-large rolling stones). Done entirely in concrete, it’s a deep inky purple-black and presents a singing nose of boysenberry/blackberry fruit, lovely topnotes of white flowers and violets, and dustings of black pepper. The purity and intensity belie the tariff, as they always seem to do for this bottling from Cosme, and there’s cooling mineral cut to balance the rich fruit and hoisin flavors.

I was struck by one of Barroul’s notes this year – “I am not necessarily searching for an ageing potential, but apparently, this bottle does age.” – because I recently unearthed an older vintage (08, I believe) that I had accidentally held for what I thought was too long. Instead, it was a charming little marvel, full of complexity and supply textured. You don’t expect $10-$15 wines to hold and even improve for five years, but this is not your everyday $10-$15 bottle.

Because this wine has a history with our list members, and because it’s a killer for winter parties/weddings, let’s open it up to first come first served up to 60 bottles, and the wine should arrive in about a week, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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