2015 Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Cuvee Valbelle

Year: 2015
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 96
Wine Advocate: 94
James Suckling: 92
Jeb Dunnuck: 96
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 15.0%
Price :

"This is packed with rich, succulent flavors of fig, boysenberry and blackberry compote, layered with anise, ganache and toasted apple wood notes. The strong, grippy spine is well-embedded through the lengthy finish, while the fruit easily keeps pace. Best from 2019 through 2035. 475 cases made. –JM " (WS)

"The 2015 Gigondas Valbelle is 90% Grenache, blended from five parcels planted more than 80 years ago. Like all of the Saint Cosme Gigondas, it's classically built, with enough tannin to support a decade or more of aging. Plummy yet fresh, it's dark and velvety, with a sexy, silky finish.

It is always fun to taste with the energetic Louis Barruol in his Roman-era cellar. There seems to be a nearly endless supply of wines to taste, as he now produces five different Gigondas and numerous bottlings under his négociant label (plus a joint venture in New York's Finger Lakes, for those who might not know). The prospective samples of Barruol's 2016 Gigondas were tasted blind at the local syndicat earlier the same day, while reviews of his Northern Rhône wines are scheduled to appear in issue 234." (WA)

"Bright ruby. Cherry, black raspberry and garrigue on the seductively perfumed nose. Broad, palate-coating dark berry flavors show outstanding depth and energy, picking up exotic floral pastille and spice character with air. This seamless wine finishes with excellent clarity, power and lingering spiciness." (VM)

"Blend of 90% grenache and 10% syrah and a more spicy and structured take on the appellation. Attractive dark cherry and plum fruits on the palate. Drink now to 2025. " (JS)

"There are 500 cases of the 2015 Gigondas Valbelle and it’s another winner from this estate based on the normal 90/10 split of Grenache and Syrah. Fermented without destemming and aged in 20% new barrels, this beauty boasts a huge nose of smoked meats, pepper, camphor and layered black raspberry and cassis-like fruit. Full-bodied, opulent and powerful, with a big mid-palate and building tannin, it too will benefit from short-term cellaring and keep for two decades. All of these 2015s from Barruol are up near the top of the vintage and well worth the extra effort to track down." (JD)

Winery Notes:
90% Grenache - 10% Syrah. Whole cluster fermentation.

Co-fermentation of old vines (averaging at 80 years’ old).

Limestone sand – Miocene marl – Clay-limestone.

Twelve months’ ageing: 20% in new casks -50% in casks used for one wine -30% in casks used for two wines.

After a year without Valbelle in 2014, our old vine label is back. Over the last 24 vintages, Valbelle has been produced 16 times. It is therefore not uncommon for our Valbelle to be blended into our classic Gigondas. This time, we are again treated to an ample, balanced Valbelle, slightly reminiscent of the 2012. Grapes from five different vineyards are blended into this wine. Hautes Garrigues, which imparts ripeness and intensity; Le Travers, power and length; Les Sables, elegance and depth; Le Grand Plantier, finesse and aromatics; and Bermèze, freshness and colour. All these vineyards form a whole and, as you will be aware, making wines from them is a totally different discipline to vinifying a single vineyard separately. The process itself is different, but above all, the thought that goes into it bears no relationship – it’s like comparing collective and individual sports or the performance of a solist with that of a chamber musician. My father always used to ferment them together but he had a huge understanding of what each vineyard would render and could spot the effect of a missing vineyard on the co-fermentation blend effortlessly. Amazing considering he had virtually never fermented a single vineyard separately! He didn’t need to have done everything, to know everything.

Wild blueberry, candied liquorice, white pepper and peony. Bottled without filtering.