Chateau de Saint Cosme Le Claux Gigondas 2016
The soil at Le Claux is a yellowish limestone marl and produces the most “Burgundian” wine at Saint Cosme. “It’s extremely refined and fresh with lots of bouquet. Its propensity to mature is excellent,” says winemaker Louis Barruol. The wine features aromas and flavors of wild strawberries, violet, peat, Chinese Five Spice, and camphor.
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Jeb Dunnuck The 2016 Gigondas Le Claux has slightly more mid-palate depth compared to the Hominis Fides, yet is also more tannic and structure. Damp clay, forest floor, currants spice and huge minerality all soar from the glass and this full-bodied beauty has an unctuous texture that’s currently hiding serious amounts of tannin. Forget bottles for 4-5 years and enjoy over the following 15+. Louis Barruol’s Chateau de Saint Cosme is unquestionably one of the reference point estates in Gigondas, as well as the entire southern Rhône Valley. The estate lies just to the east of the village and covers 25 hectares, with 15 of those in Gigondas. He makes a classic Gigondas as well as four single vine releases from single vineyards located around the estate. The wines are not destemmed and aged mostly in older barrels, with a small portion in new barrels.
Wine AdvocateMore approachable than the blockbuster Le Poste, the 2016 Gigondas le Claux looks to be another Gigondas legend in the making. Apricot and cherry fruit lead the way, backed by masses of creamy, lush tannins and savory notes of dark chocolate and black olive on the long 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.
Wine SpectatorThis offers a range of sage, savory and bay leaf aromas followed by crushed black cherry, bitter plum and red currant fruit, all supported by racy, mouthwatering chalky cut. Dense, but fresh and well-defined throughout. Long finish.
VinousBrilliant ruby. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red berries, cherry pie and candied lavender, along with a smoky mineral overtone that builds in the glass. Shows intense, impressively concentrated Chambord, floral pastille and spicecake qualities on the palate, which are enlivened by a jolt of juicy acidity. Closes with repeating florality, building tannins and outstanding, red fruit-dominated persistence.
DecanterPlot selection, with no destemming, and maturation in barriques, 30% new. An altogether darker, more brooding, earthy style than Saint Cosme's extraordinary Hominis Fides. Again, the oak is apparent - even more so here - but the fruit can hold its own. Full-bodied and dense in fruit, this is very tannic but also has the fruit, acidity and alcohol to last. It will be a delicious, complex and structured wine, when it is eventually ready. Drinking Window 2024 - 2040.