I am a big fan of the Southern Rhone for everyday values as well as some of the great village level wines from places like Chateauneuf du Pape, Rasteau, and Gigondas. I first discovered Saint Cosme through their phenomenal and incredibly consistent Gigondas, and I have enjoyed many vintages of this delicious but not inexpensive (about $40 per bottle now) Grenache driven blend over the years. It was only recently that I discovered that Saint Cosme also has a great Cotes-du-Rhone that you can take home for a little over $10/bottle. It has quickly become one of my everyday favorites.
The 2011 Saint Cosme Cotes-du-Rhone is rather unique in that it is a Southern Rhone wine that is not Grenache based. It is 100% Syrah, which is much more typical of the Northern Rhone. In your glass, the wine is intense purple in color. The nose brings aromas of blackberry, black raspberry, and black pepper along with a bit of garrigue and that almost gamy, meaty smell that most of my favorite Syrahs have. In your mouth, this wine is very true to the nose with great blackberry fruit. The little bit of funky game, garrigue, and mild tannins give remarkable balance and complexity to a wine that I paid less than $12 for. This wine is a steal.
Pair this delicious and inexpensive Syrah with lamb, game, or any grilled red meats, or at $12 a bottle just sip it on its own.