2009 Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Cuvee Valbelle

Year: 2009
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 94
Wine Advocate: 88
Vinous Media: 90
Red Wine
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"This is gorgeous, with an interplay of ripe, dripping blackberry, cassis and plum sauce flavors providing the flesh, offset by smoldering charcoal, tobacco and bittersweet cocoa notes, which provide the angles. The long finish has nice intensity. Best from 2012 through 2022. 200 cases imported." (WS)

"I had the same issue with the 2009 Gigondas Valbelle, which had shown extremely well from barrel, but the hail damage seems to have given the wine a much more pinched, tannic and astringent side to it. There’s plenty of concentration, some very pretty black fruits, licorice and truffle, but the tannins are coarse and the wine seems to suffer a bit from the tannins.

It has taken a while, but one of my favorite producers in the southern Rhone, Louis Barruol of Saint-Cosme, is getting very good publicity just about everywhere I look. It is certainly well-deserved, considering the broad range of wines he produces, from his inexpensive and over-delivering Cotes du Rhones and Vins de Pays, to his top-flight, world-class wines made in Gigondas. This is all a matter of hard work and understanding viticulture and great terroirs. As for the estate wines from Gigondas, 2009 was a more challenging vintage for Louis Barruol than many people probably understand, because he had some serious hail issues that cut into his Grenache crop. His best vintage to date is 2007, but 2010 is going to come close, and he has certainly excelled in a much more difficult vintage for him personally, 2009. The 2010s are probably Barruol’s greatest vintage since 2007, yet slightly more tannic and backward at a similar stage in their development than the 2007s were. All of the following wines are 100% Grenache, with the exception of the first two." (WA)

"Deep ruby. A powerfully scented, heady bouquet of cherry compote, fresh flowers, spicecake and minerals. Round and seamless on the palate, offering juicy red fruit and floral pastille flavors and lively acidity. Rich but energetic wine with impressive finishing clarity and cling." (IWC)

Winery Notes:
90 % Grenache - 10% Syrah

Co-fermentation of five different 80 old vineyards. Limestony sands – Marl from Miocene – Limestony clay

Aged for twelve months: 30% in new oak – 40% in one year old barrels - 30 % in two years old barrels.

We didn’t release Valbelle in 2008 because the wine had been blended into the Gigon- das Classique. This is nice to see Valbelle coming back in 2009 with its very specific style. The co-fermentation method is one the most interesting tradition left by our grand-fathers. It generates complexity, depth and balance. Those things are a lot more difficult to achieve by fermenting the grapes separately. Harmony is a difficult thing to get but it is necessary to have it if we want a « well-tuned » wine. This idea is the heart of Valbelle. 2009 Valbelle combines well the tannic power of the vintage with the roundness and the softness always found in Valbelle. It will be important to wait for a while before drinking it since the 2009’s wines are quite muscular and will need time to get civilized. The tiny crop offered us a tight wine with a lot of energy.

Strawberry, thyme, white pepper, graphite

Bottled without filtration