It has taken a while, but one of my favorite producers in the southern Rhone, Louis Barruol of Saint-Cosme, is getting very good publicity just about everywhere I look. It is certainly well-deserved, considering the broad range of wines he produces, from his inexpensive and over-delivering Cotes du Rhones and Vins de Pays, to his top-flight, world-class wines made in Gigondas. This is all a matter of hard work and understanding viticulture and great terroirs. As for the estate wines from Gigondas, 2009 was a more challenging vintage for Louis Barruol than many people probably understand, because he had some serious hail issues that cut into his Grenache crop. His best vintage to date is 2007, but 2010 is going to come close, and he has certainly excelled in a much more difficult vintage for him personally, 2009. The 2010s are probably Barruol’s greatest vintage since 2007, yet slightly more tannic and backward at a similar stage in their development than the 2007s were. All of the following wines are 100% Grenache, with the exception of the first two. - Robert Parker 91-93 Points
(based on 40% syrah, which is co-fermented with grenache, carignan, mourvedre and clairette and raised in older casks and concrete vats): Deep ruby. Pungent, assertively perfumed aromas of cherry, cassis, potpourri and white pepper. Juicy, penetrating and refreshingly bitter, offering an array of dark fruit and spice qualities and an exotic floral pastille nuance. Finishes long and spicy, with impressive clarity and cut.
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