2017 Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Hominis Fides

Year: 2017
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 96
Wine Advocate: 95
Vinous Media: 96
James Suckling: 97
Jeb Dunnuck: 98
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 15.5%
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"Alluring, featuring a wave of crushed boysenberry, raspberry and black currant fruit that melds with tar, roasted tobacco, alder and dark earth notes as this moves along. A sleek sanguine accent and fine acidity skirt underneath, giving this subtle lift and cut. One for the cellar. Best from 2021 through 2035. From France. -J.M." (WS)

"More peppery and floral than it was looking last year from barrel, the 2017 Gigondas Hominis Fides is another gorgeous Gigondas from the talented Louis Barruol. Boasting vibrant cassis fruit and hints of dark chocolate, this full-bodied, velvety-textured wine is a real beauty, showing terrific harmony and elegance on the finish.

When I stopped in to visit in mid-June, proprietor Louis Barruol had a lot to smile about. Efforts to add white Gigondas to the appellation seem to be moving ahead, his Finger Lakes project (Forge Cellars) is ticking along and the last four vintages in the Southern Rhône have been good for quality, even if quantities aren't always what they could be. His activities in the Northern Rhône are going well too (more about those in the Northern Rhône report). "I'm really happy with '18," he said. "I've become not a great believer in crazy low crops—it's not that natural." In 2018, his average yields were a reasonable 32 hectoliters per hectare. "It's not going to be as good as '16, but it's very good."" (WA)

"Full vivid ruby. Highly expressive, mineral- and spice-driven aromas of ripe red berries, potpourri and incense show sharp definition, and suggestions of candied lavender, cola and vanilla build in the glass. Shows impressive depth as well as energy on the palate, offering powerful raspberry, cherry preserve and floral pastille flavors and an emerging suggestion of exotic spices. Finishes with a jolt of juicy acidity, alluring sweetness and harmonious tannins that lend shape to a wonderfully long, spice- and floral-drenched finish." (VM)

"From limestone sands, this has a very attractively sweet, hung-meat edge to the ripe dark plums and spiced berries on offer. Really intense, rich dark fruit and spices. Super clearly articulated and very, very deep. This has strength and power at its core. Great wine. Best from 2025." (JS)

"The 2017 Gigondas Hominis Fides plays in the same realm. As with the Le Claux, it’s all Grenache, not destemmed, and was brought up in roughly 30% new Burgundy barrels. Blackberries, freshly ground pepper, light gunpowder, and crushed rock notes all define the bouquet, and it’s full-bodied, powerful and concentrated on the palate. Possessing incredible elegant and ultra-fine tannins, this beauty just glides over the palate with no hard edges. Nevertheless, it has loads of structure and will benefit from 2-4 years of cellaring." (JD)

Winery Notes:
Very old mixed plantings of Grenache on Miocene limestone sand in the ‘Hominis Fides’ named vineyard. Whole clusters.

Aged for twelve months: 20% in new casks – 50% in casks used for one wine - 30% in casks used for two to three wines.

Miocene sand stems, in Gigondas and in the rest of the Rhone Valley, from a geological event subsequent to the great uplift of the Dentelles de Montmirail. When the Alps rose, they ‘opened up’ the Rhone Valley in the same way as if you tilted a sheet of paper, thus allowing the sea to gush in and snake its way along the valley. At that time, the sea covered Lyon, and extended all the way around the Alpine arc; the Luberon and the Ventoux were mere islands, prehistoric fish frolicked in the chapel of Saint Cosme and ammonites amassed in phenomenal quantities. It was then that sand settled in our region. It can be found in many sites across the southern Rhone Valley: in the uplands of Uchaux, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas... Much later, the painstaking workers that we are decided to grow vitis vinifera on this sand, and ultimately it is here that Grenache would find an incredible environment to express itself. Old vine Grenache in Miocene sand equates to aromatic finesse, elegant texture and depth on the palate. As the wine matures, it takes on notes of Morey Saint Denis Pinot with its peony and red berry fruits. What a wonderful idea to have planted this vineyard at the dawn of the 20th century, 12 years before the Great War, one that is still with us today. Obviously, its voice is now more muted, but nevertheless persuasive.

Charcoal, violet, high altitude raspberry, white pepper

Bottled without filtration.