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Chateau de Saint Cosme, Gigondas, 1999

June 30, 2008

~$25US, approx 80% Grenache, 20% Syrah, Gigondas, Southern Rhone, France.

I had fun with this one…Saw the single ’99 sitting in a bin-end & having read great things about Barruol and the Gigondas appellation but never having the opportunity to try either, I bit. I had intended to pick up a Chateauneuf, but I couldn’t miss an opportunity to try something new.

Popped and decanted on Saturday. Had a sip and it tasted good – but the fruit, alcohol and herbiness seemed out of wack. Ended up drinking beer…Put it back in the bottle after 3-4 hrs in the decanter, recorked and threw it in the fridge.

Sunday afternoon, I took it out of the fridge and let it warm up a touch. Beautiful. The time had softened the wine considerably – to almost Pinot-Noir suppleness. Really exciting stuff coming into play. The Thyme/Sage herbal flavors really locked themselves into sweet strawberry and red cherry juice. Great acidity and medium body. Firm and lengthy finish; after all this playing around, the end-grip balanced the fruit’s fullness perfectly.

After nearly a decade, this wine was showing all kinds of beautiful, and had the cojones to go another 10 in bottle. This is a tough wine, but kinda  tough in it’s principals and resolve more than brute force or brawn.

While Chateauneuf-du-Pape is getting expensive and trendy (though always near and dear),  I’ll be buying up all the older Gigondas that I see, thank you very much. And playing with wine for a day or two can be really rewarding.

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