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Wine of the week: Saint-Cosme Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2012

rhone_sud_saint_cosme_cotes_du_rhone_rouge_2012The Wine Curmudgeon has long been a fan of Saint-Cosme’s cheapest wines, the wonderfully-named Little James Basket Press red and white (and I can’t believe I haven’t done the white as a wine of the week yet). So I had high expectations when I stepped up a notch to the winery’s basic Cotes du Rhone red ($13, purchased, 14.5%).

These hopes were not disappointed. The rouge, made of syrah, was full of dark fruit (currants?), some earthiness and even a touch of licorice, which seemed like a lot to get from something at this price. Best yet, the high alcohol — about a point more than I expected — doesn’t get in the way of the wine. The higher alcohol seems natural, and not forced on it to get more fruit flavor and higher scores, as often happens in California. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the tasting notes are almost apologetic about alcohol level.

Highly recommended, and another example of what French wine that hasn’t sold its birthright to the International Style of Winemaking can be. This is a winter wine for stews and soups and strong cheeses after tramping snow and ice off at the front door.

 

  • Amy

    I’m having a glass of the Saint Cosme Cote du Rhone this evening on your recommendation, and enjoying it very much. I’m trying to learn more about Cote du Rhone and in this one I like both the earthiness and what I perceive as spice. Thank you for the review and the recommendation.

  • http://winecurmudgeon.com Wine Curmudgeon

    The Rhone is one of the most interesting wine regions in the world, and can offer some great value, Amy. If you liked this, try the winery’s Little James Basket Press red and whites — http://winecurmudgeon.com/?p=122

  • brian fitzsimmons

    I tried this a few weeks ago as an all(mostly?) Syrah CDR and loved it. I looked into them more and found out they’ve (St. Cosme) got quite a history in winemaking, even by French standards.

    Will be trying the Gigondas and maybe their others when I splurge with my tax refund. A great change of of pace from the more common gs/gsm blends of CDP. Will try the Basket Press next. Thanks.

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