2017 Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Les Claux

Year: 2017
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 92-94
James Suckling: 97
Jeb Dunnuck: 94-96
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 16.0%
Price :

"Showing plenty of big purple fruit and hints of charred oak, the 2017 Gigondas le Claux was practically embryonic in terms of its development. Full-bodied, supple and rich, it should be approachable by 2020 and drink well for a decade or more after that.

Proprietor Louis Barruol continues to turn out some of the most exciting wines in his home appellation of Gigondas while expanding his négociant activities. For those who didn't know, he also has a joint venture to produce Riesling and Pinot Noir in New York's Finger Lakes. He's bullish on the Southern Rhône 2016s. As he said to me, "Maybe it is as good as 2010." He's tinkered with the Gigondas lineup, eliminating the Valbelle bottling and blending it with his Gigondas. The other bottlings are all single-parcel, 100% Grenache wines from le Claux, Hominis Fides and le Poste. Barruol is a champion of Gigondas's move to add white wine to the appellation. I reviewed his 2016 Côtes du Rhône le Poste last year, a barrel-fermented Clairette, and it has opened up a bit since then, making a more convincing case. Reviews of the Northern Rhône bottlings will be included at a later date." (WA)

"This has a very rich and deeply ripe nose with a stony, savory edge with coal smoke and blueberries and dark plums on offer. The spice is deeply sewn in and the palate carries such depth and richness with a fleshy expression of pure grenache that was originally planted in 1870 and has been replanted over time. Phenomenal wine with such power and purity. Best from 2025 and for such a long time after that." (JS)

"Notes of camphor, dried soil, crushed rocks, and loads of red and black fruits define the 2017 Gigondas Le Claux, which is 100% Grenache from a site just down the road from the estate. I always find a certain Burgundian character in this cuvée and it’s certainly present in the 2017. With medium to full body, a beautiful elegance and purity, and fine tannins, give bottles a few years and enjoy over the following decade or more." (JD)

Winery Notes:
Very old mixed plantings of Grenache in the ‘Le Claux’ named vineyard. Whole clusters. Miocene limestone marl in the Font des Papes alluvial fan.

Aged for twelve months: 20% in new casks - 50% in casks used for one wine - 30% in casks used for two wines. What if Claux were Saint Cosme’s finest wine? Our latest tasting of mature wines at the estate certainly warrants the question. Admittedly, Le Claux is the oldest vineyard at Saint Cosme and one of the first post-phylloxera plantings in France, but why does this soil produce such high quality? We are touching upon the most fascinating aspect of our profession: accepting that we can observe things, but are at a loss to explain them. Having said that, the microclimate at Saint Cosme probably has a significant impact on this site: the cool airflow from the small Font des Papes valley constantly cools the area, yielding intensely aromatic fruit. The fact that Le Claux is our last vineyard to ripen tends to substantiate the influence of the cold. We almost always finish harvesting at Le Claux. The grapes therefore ripen slowly, as for many top wines... This reminds me of something my father said to me one day, when I was performing a task badly because I was in too much of a rush: “If you want to move fast, slow down”.

Peat, oriental spices, camphor, truffle

Bottled without filtration.