Red, Ready, but will improve

2014 Gigondas Le Claux Château de Saint Cosme

2014 Gigondas Le Claux Château de Saint Cosme

Red | Ready, but will improve | Chateau de Saint Cosme | Code:  53333 | 2014 | France > Rhône > Gigondas | Grenache/Garnacha | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 14.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

The Wine Advocate

94/100

The Wine Advocate - One of the wines of the vintage from Gigondas, and I think the most complete of the three single vineyard releases from Saint Cosme, the 2014 Gigondas le Claux sports a medium ruby, semi-transparent color to go with a Pinot Noir-like bouquet of camphor, sweet cherries, dried flowers, forest floor and lots of minerality. Rich, medium to full-bodied, layered and with a terrific mid-palate and core of fruit, it won't be the longest-lived example of this cuvee, yet my money's on it drinking beautifully for at least another 8-10 years.
Jeb Dunnuck - 28/12/2016

The Producer

Chateau de Saint Cosme

Chateau de Saint Cosme

The Grape

Grenache/Garnacha

Grenache/Garnacha

Grenache (Noir) is widely grown and comes in a variety of styles. Believed to originate in Spain, it was, in the late 20th century, the most widely planted black grape variety in the world. Today it hovers around seventh in the pecking order. It tends to produce very fruity, rich wines that can range quite widely in their level of tannin.

In many regions – most famously the Southern Rhône, where it complements Syrah and Mourvèdre, among other grapes – it adds backbone and colour to blends, but some of the most notable Châteauneuf du Pape producers (such as Château Rayas) make 100 percent Grenache wines. The grape is a component in many wines of the Languedoc (where you’ll also find its lighter-coloured forms, Grenache Gris and Blanc) and is responsible for much southern French rosé – taking the lead in most Provence styles.

Found all over Spain as Garnacha Tinta (spelt Garnaxa in Catalonia), the grape variety is increasingly detailed on wine labels there. Along with Tempranillo, it forms the majority of the blend for Rioja’s reds and has been adopted widely in Navarra, where it produces lighter styles of red and rosado (rosé). It can also be found operating under a pseudonym, Cannonau, in Sardinia.

 

Beyond Europe, Grenache is widely planted in California and Australia, largely thanks to its ability to operate in high temperatures and without much water. Particularly in the Barossa Valley, there are some extraordinary dry-farmed bush vines, some of which are centuries old and produce wines of startling intensity.

The Region

Gigondas

Gigondas

Gigondas has been renowned for the quality of its wines since Roman times, although it was not really until it was classified as a Côtes du Rhône Villages in 1966 that it began to realise its potential.  It achieved AC status in 1971 and today produces some of the finest, most underrated and under-priced wines in the Rhône valley; although, for the last two of these at least, probably not for much longer.

Gigondas' 1,200-hectare of rugged vineyards are located east of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, beneath the famous mountains of Dentelles de Montmirail. Gigondas produces sumptuous, plummy reds with a good structure and a sprinkle of pepper. It is similar to (if a touch less slick than) good Châteauneuf-du-Pape which, at its best, it can challenge and even surpass.

Made with a maximum of 80 percent Grenache, combined with at least 15 percent Syrah and/or Mourvèdre, the rest can be made of any of the varieties authorized for Côtes du Rhône – apart from Carignan. The wines can normally be broached after two to three years, while the best repay ageing for 10 years or more. The region also produces dry, Grenache-dominated rosés which are good but can sometimes lack a little vitality.

Recommended Producer: La Bastide St VincentDomaine Montirius

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