2010 Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes-du-Rhone Les Deux Albions Rouge

Year: 2010
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 91
Wine Advocate: 90
Vinous Media: 91
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :
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"Roasted and perfumy, with mesquite and espresso notes weav- ing through the crushed plum and red currant fruit. Tobacco and ganache hints flitter in on the finish, adding length and definition. Drink now through 2015." (WS)

"The inky/purple-colored 2010 Cotes du Rhone Les Deux Albion represents fabulous value. Offering up lovely notes of marmalade, honeysuckle, white peaches, cassis and black cherries, this full-bodied, luscious, supple-textured 2010 will offer beautiful drinking now and over the next 2-3 years.

Louis Barruol has been at the top of his game since the late 1990s, and over the last few vintages, he has been making some of the finest wines in the southern Rhone as well as France. The glories here are Barruol’s single vineyard/special cuvees of Gigondas, but consumers should not overlook the terrific value offered by his Cotes du Rhones. The wines are sold under two monikers, Chateau Saint-Cosme and simply Saint-Cosme (his negociant line-up). Barroul produces a small quantity of Chateauneuf du Pape that is usually about 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 10% Cinsault and 10% Syrah." (WA)

"(based on 40% syrah, which is co-fermented with grenache, carignan, mourvedre and clairette and raised in older casks and concrete vats): Deep ruby. Pungent, assertively perfumed aromas of cherry, cassis, potpourri and white pepper. Juicy, penetrating and refreshingly bitter, offering an array of dark fruit and spice qualities and an exotic floral pastille nuance. Finishes long and spicy, with impressive clarity and cut." (IWC)

Let’s review the last five vintages in Southern Rhone.

2006: Good

2007: Great

2008: Okay

2009: Great

2010: Greatest

Which vintage do you want to drink wine from? I pick 2010, so in the interest of bringing the best wines (at the best prices) to our readers, I’ve picked several 2010′s to drink this month. The first is the Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes-du-Rhone Les Deux Albions Rouge. I’ll reiterate that if the French would simplify their wine names, they would sell WAY more wine in the U.S.

Maybe us savvy wine consumers are the beneficiary because this wine should be at least twice the price. At $16.95 you are getting a super polished, focused and downright delicious wine for not much. This is juicy, spicy and complex, likely due to the blend of 4 different grapes and the 30% presence of Mourvedre, a rarity in the Cotes du Rhone appellation wines. With wine like this, there is no excuse to drink the high production cookie cutter wines you find on the top two shelves at the grocery store. There is NEVER an excuse for drinking the swill on the bottom shelf.

The Rhone Valley (and Rhone grapes in general) produces some of the best values on the planet, and we’re not talking about some unproven newcomer (are you listening Argentina?). The vines are old, the vineyards proven and the winemaking is better than ever, with the adoption of modern techniques becoming more prevalent. Best of all, they produce tons of wine and, generally speaking, only the better stuff gets imported to the United States.

With a slew of 90 and 91 point scores, this one is a keeper. (Nickel and Dime)