2017 Chateau de Saint Cosme Les Deux Albions Blanc

Year: 2017
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 90
Wine Advocate: 89
James Suckling: 90
Jeb Dunnuck: 88
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.0%
Price :
$18.95

"A plump, fun-filled wine overflowing with yellow apple, apricot, melon and star fruit flavors. A light bitter almond note keeps this just focused enough through the finish. A crowd-pleaser. Viognier, Marsanne and Picpoul. Drink now. 3,300 cases made. -JM " (WS)

"Even better than last year's version, the 2017 Les Deux Albions Blanc blends Marsanne and Viognier with 30% Picpoul, all from limestone soils near Orange (the appellation is IGP Principauté d'Orange). It's full-bodied and round in the mouth, with notes of struck flint and toasted marshmallow, turning dry and chalky on the finish. Drink it over the next year or so.

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)

"An array of ripe, sweet, peach, banana and melon character here. Sweetly perfumed and bright. Good weight on the palate with density and depth. Some pastry-like richness into the finish. Drink now." (JS)

"A winner from this estate, The 2017 Principauté d’Orange Les Deux Albion Blanc comes from mostly limestone soils and is a blend of Viognier, Marsanne, and Picpoul. Lovely notes of orange blossom, citrus, and honeysuckle all give way to a medium to full-bodied white that has both richness and freshness." (JD)

Winery Notes:
The Saint Martin named vineyard in Violès is located right on the boundary with the Gigondas appellation, across the river Ouvèze which marks the border between the two villages. This proximity is of paramount importance. Firstly, the two villages share historical bonds: Gigondas and Violès have always been part of the Principality of Orange, annexed to France during the French Revolution. The principality has had a deep-rooted influence on our agricultural practices, our culture and our mindset. Hence our strong attachment to the “Principauté d’Orange” appellation which is freighted with significance. Before the French Revolution, a royal prerogative allowed Saint Martin and Saint André to produce white wines from Muscat. I find it quite extraordinary that just a few metres away from Gigondas, now so famous for its top-flight Grenache noir wines, Saint Martin can lay a claim to recognition dating back much further, but for white wines. History always influences agricultural practice. I love this setting bordered by woodland and the river. I have often found it inspirational. I found it incomprehensible that it should be abandoned by wine growers after being a prized location for white wines for so long. When the opportunity arose to buy 14 unbroken hectares, I did not think twice. Being able to shape a new vineyard, exactly the way I imagined it, was an exhilarating challenge. We have kept the four hectares of woodland and planted ten hectares of white varietals using field selections, planting vines in stages from 2014 until now