Producer: Château de Saint Cosme
Region: Côtes-du-Rhône, France
Tasting Notes: Black Fruit, Sour Cherry, Licorice, Tobacco, Black Pepper
Pairings: Barbecue and grilled meats, roast pork, aged hard cheeses, mushroom risotto
Price (approximately): $17
A bit of a surprise to me initially for a Côtes-du-Rhône wine because it is made with 100% Syrah, rather than the characteristically lighter bodied, food-friendly red blends that are brilliant for the dinner table. Syrah isn't what you would classify as lighter bodied, with its medium-to-firm tannins and tobacco, leather and black pepper flavor profile. This wine, however, managed to find the sweet spot - almost as though it were a combination of the Northern and Southern Rhône Valley. Pleasant aromatics of black fruit, sour cherry, licorice, pepper and tobacco entice the nose. On the palate, acidity characteristic of the region frames the fruit, leather, tobacco and black pepper spice. Tannins were medium and firm, particularly on the finish, and the wine probably could have benefited from a quarter to a half a percent less ABV. However, still a pleasant wine that can be enjoyed with a wide variety of foods. The tobacco, black pepper and medium tannins afford pairings with grilled meats and hard, aged cheeses. However, unlike a typical Syrah, the wine was solidly medium-bodied and would not overpower lighter dishes, such as roast pork, duck or mushroom risotto. It is also pleasant just to sip on a cool autumn evening with a few friends!
Pick this up in Honolulu at Fujioka's Wine Times for under $17 bucks! A great bargain wine in one of my favorite regions in the world.
For those Costco fans out there, I will throw in a bonus this week. We also opened the 2011 Kirkland Signature Ribera Del Duero Gran Reserva. For $12.99, really a delightful wine and a great expression of the Spanish appellation and its most famous grape, Tempranillo. Ribera del Duero neighbors the more prestigious Rioja appellation and, in many respects, is the little brother. Some excellent value wines come out of this region, and this bottle is no exception. On the back of the label, if you read the fine print (which of course I do, being a lawyer and all), you will notice that Kirkland Signature has sourced this wine from Bodega Viña Solorca, a reputable producer whose non-Reserva wines are often priced above $13! Once again, Costco brings the deals. This and the Ti Point Sauvignon Blanc are the best Kirkland Signature wines I have tasted all year.