97-99 points Jeb Dunnuck - All Grenache from a single vineyard just down from the estate, the 2019 Gigondas Le Claux offers more minerality as well as structure and is another 2019 that’s going to benefit from bottle age. A complex bouquet of redcurrants, loamy soil and dried garrigue, camphor, and licorice emerges from the glass, and this beauty has building tannins, flawless balance and a great, great finish. Always one of my favorite tastings in the Rhône is with Château de Saint Cosme’s Louis Barruol and this feisty, talented, and passionate vigneron makes some of the best wines in France. The estate is located just outside the village of Gigondas and the lineup has been simplified today to include a classic Gigondas and three single vineyards. The wines are all made in the same fashion, with no destemming and aging in just about 100% used barrels, so what you get is a clean expression of each of the vineyards. Looking at the 2018s, these are undoubtedly more plush, soft, charming wines, yet they are still going to benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and should evolve beautifully. The 2019s look to be on another level, and my money is on this being another truly special vintage from this estate. These are gorgeous wines across the board, and I certainly have plenty in my personal cellar.
96 points Decanter - Very dense, somewhat earthbound for now with an extremely dense tannic structure. Great energy and salinity, very vibrant with a lovely acid structure. Will take a long time to come round but will be good. Organically grown Grenache planted in 1870, planted on Miocene marls and yellow clay. Fermented in concrete, no destemming, indigenous yeasts, and matured 100% in barriques; 30% new, 30% second use, 30% third use. Drinking Window 2028 - 2045.
Château de Saint Cosme is the leading estate of Gigondas and produces the benchmark wines of the appellation. The property has been in the hands of the Barruol family since 1490. Louis Barruol took over from his father in 1992 making a dramatic shift to quality and converting to biodynamics in 2010.
Château de Saint Cosme Gigondas Le Claux is the estate’s oldest vineyard and sits near the entrance to the winery. “It was first planted in 1870 following phylloxera. My uncles thought it wasn’t producing enough fruit and planned to uproot it in 1914,” says Louis Barruol, but “World War I interrupted that plan.”
The 1.8-hectare Le Claux—meaning “Clos” in old French—is a field blend of predominately Grenache. Louis Barruol believes 10% of the vineyard is from the original 1870 planting. Vines are replaced by massal selection and the average vine age is 60-years. The wine is made with whole cluster fermentation from indigenous yeasts, is aged in 20% new 228-liter barrels, and bottled without fining or filtration.
Tasting Notes - The soil at Le Claux is a yellowish limestone marl and produces the most “Burgundian” wine at Saint Cosme. “It’s extremely refined and fresh with lots of bouquet. Its propensity to mature is excellent,” says Barruol. The wine features aromas and flavors of wild strawberries, violet, peat, Chinese Five Spice, and camphor.
Food Pairing - Grenache is the pale-colored, red-fruited, and potpourri-scented red grape variety of the southern Rhône and can be paired with both rustic and sophisticated dishes. Full-bodied Grenache-based wines are ideal with stews, braises, and grilled meats, while lighter versions can work well with dark fish and tomato-based dishes such as ratatouille.