Friday, November 27, 2009

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas 2006

With the outstanding 2007 Rhone vintage being released recently, you can expect to see a lot of reviews from me in the coming months from this wonderful region in Southern France. For today, though, we are looking at a red from the Southern Rhone from the 2006 vintage, the 2006 Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas 2006.

Although it can no longer be considered a well kept secret, Gigondas is one of a few appellations in the Southern Rhone that are turning out some outstanding wines, but that are not as well known as the much more famous Chateauneuf-du-Pape appellation. Other appellations in this group include Vacqueyras and Rasteau. In all cases these villages are in pretty close proximity to the famed Chateauneuf-du-Pape region and are making some excellent wines.

Gigondas, which became its own appellation in 1971, is located a mere 10 miles to the southwest of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Gigondas wines are predominantly made from Grenache, and the most common blending varietals are Syrah and Mourvedre. The wines are typically bold and muscular and have quite a bit of stylistic similarity to Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

The Chateua de Saint Cosme Gigondas 2006 has an intense purple color in your glass. This blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsault has a bouquet that is dominated by cassis and also brings notes of blackberry, a floral element, and just a hint of raw meat. In your mouth you get a wonderful full body with mixed black fruit flavors. I get quite a bit of black cherry on the palate that I didn’t necessarily pick up on the bouquet as well as some cassis and blackberry. The tannins and very nice acidity give this wine some serious backbone, and the finish is sneaky long.

I decanted the wine for an hour before drinking it, and I have to say that after an hour in decanter it was still pretty tight. It was when I poured my second glass after about two hours in decanter that this Gigondas really started to shine. With some serious decanting, this wine is drinking well now, but with the structure this wine has I suspect it will be drinking much better after a couple more years or even much longer in the cellar.

Retailing for about $35, this wine is an outstanding value. It drinks as well as many Chateauneuf-du-Papes that are almost twice the price. From a pairing standpoint, this would be perfect with a rack of lamb or grilled game.


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