A wine that might rival the 2007, the 2015 Gigondas Hominis Fides (100% Grenache from sandy soils located just down from the estate) offers full-bodied, massive and unctuous notes of currants, crushed rocks, smoked meats and licorice. Fermented with 100% whole clusters and aged mostly in older barrels, this sensational Gigondas might end up being the wine of the vintage, from the entire Southern Rhone valley! It has masses of tannin, so it’s going to require patience. Unquestionably one of the reference point estates, not only for Gigondas, but for the entire Southern Rhône, Louis Barruol’s Chateau de Saint Cosme lies just outside the village and covers 25 hectares, with 15 of those located in Gigondas. He makes a fabulous traditional cuvee that has the ability to age for 10-15 years, as well as four single vineyard releases that are primarily Grenache. These single vineyard releases are year in, year out, some of the most impressive wines from the Rhône valley. The winemaking is a mix of modern and tradition, with the wines never destemmed but aged in barrels. Looking at these latest 2015s, Louis bet me a symbolic dollar that these would surpass his 2007s. I think I might win the bet, but not by much, and I’ll certainly be thrilled to lose. Either way, these are undeniably great wines that readers should buy as much as they can afford. The 2014s are more elegant and streamlined, yet they show none of the austerity or firmness that’s common in the vintage and have sweet
The 2015 Gigondas Hominis Fides is another gorgeous wine. This cuvee comes from the lieu-dit of the same name which is located just down from the estate, just across the road from the le Claux vineyard. The soils here are sandier and more limestone-based, and the cuvee is from very old vine Grenache that was fermented with 100% whole clusters in oak tanks and aged in 20% new barrels. It offers gorgeous black raspberry and cassis fruits intermixed with notions of ground pepper, crushed flowers, graphite and loads of sandy/loamy/dried soils nuances. With full-bodied richness, gorgeous tannin quality and a texture that just glides over the palate, it’s going to benefit from 2-4 years of cellaring and keep for two decades. There’s just 100 cases produced. (JebDunnuck.com)
This has a packed core of red and black currant preserves and crushed plum fruit, inlaid liberally with lavender, juniper, bay and tobacco notes. Lots of grippy bittersweet cocoa and licorice root accents score the finish, which is seriously long. A brick house. (JM)
This has a very composed and linear feel to it with plenty of spicy dark plum fruits, mocha and graphite. The palate delivers a wealth of ripe, dark chocolate and blood plum flavor. Tannins frame it nicely. Best from 2020.(NS)
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2016 Raymond Usseglio "Cuvée Impériale - Vignes Centenaires" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)