2019 GIGONDAS 'LE CLAUX', CHATEAU SAINT COSME
This is a very limited, pre-shipment offer. The wine is offered subject to availability and is due to arrive late October.
Having focused our recent offers on wines to provide immediate enjoyment and great value, we are changing course a little here, to offer the opportunity to purchase a true 'vin de garde', one of the greatest expressions of Gigondas, from the fabulous 2019 vintage.
2019 is an exceptional vintage in the Southern Rhone. Following a recent pattern of hot summers, with certain localized areas registering record temperatures, considerably in excess of 40 degrees, some had feared that the wines might mirror those of 2003. Fortunately, however, the peaks in temperature were not prolonged and more importantly, in contrast to the summer of 2003, the evenings were much cooler, allowing the vines a respite from the heat and enabling them to preserve acidity. As always, correct vineyard management, also proved a key factor to the quality of wines produced. It is undoubtedly worth seeking out the wines from the good estates, which possess an incredible concentration and ripeness of fruit, combined with a good structure and fine balance of acidity. Chateau St Cosme, of course, is undoubtedly among the elite!
CHATEAU ST. COSME
Louis Barroul is a true 'tour de force'. Producing great wine and real vins de terroir, is not just his quest, but his whole raison d'etre.
As previously stated, if there is one person determined to prove the great potential of the terroir of Gigondas, it is Louis Barroul, with his simply outstanding single vineyard cuvees. These are truly phenomenal wines! Indeed, all the wines of St Cosme are produced not only with great skill and ethos, but also with real pride and passion, from the superbly consistent and well balanced Cotes du Rhone, through the classy examples of the single appellation wines, not only from Gigondas, but from vineyards he works within Cote Rotie, Hermitage and St. Joseph etc. Indeed, Louis is one of those producers, with an incredible understanding of each plot he works with, who uncompromisingly strives to achieve the ultimate expression from each parcel of vines.
The Le Claux vineyard represents some of the oldest vines of the estate. In fact, the vineyard was one of the first in the Rhone valley to be replanted after the devastation of Phylloxera in 1870, with the mixed variety of Grenache vines being grafted onto a root stock seldom seen today, 'Glorie de Montpellier'. The terroir here is Miocene limestone marl.
Produced with a whole-bunch fermentation and matured for 12 months in cask. In recent years, Louis has reduced the percentage of new oak, which I personally feel has further enhanced the balance, purity of expression and finesse in these already sublime wines. The 2019 saw just 20% new oak, with 50% matured in casks of one wine and the remainder in casks of two wines. Although only a stones throw from St. Cosme's other great lieu-dit, Hominis Fidis, there is no mistaking the awesome character of Le Claux. Indeed, the incredible intensity and profound complexity of Le Claux is phenomenal.
2019 Gigondas 'Le Claux' Opaque in the glass. Deep ripe, wonderfully pure on the nose, with a glorious fragrance of ripe berry fruits with echoes of the garrigue and the herby spicy notes of camphor. Wow! Amazing depth and power on the palate, serious structure of ripe, healthy tannin encase layers of wonderfully deep and pure, blackberry fruits, combined with peppery spices hints of dark chocolate and earthy minerality. Glorious balance and infinite length. Sensational! The 2019 Le Claux is a wine any serious collector would be privileged to have in the cellar. A wine that offers its own unique individuality, with breathtaking complexity. Leave to slumber for 8 to 10 years and enjoy over the next decade plus.