2018 DOMAINE DE SAINT COSME LES DEUX ALBION
Grapes: 40% Viognier, 20% Marsanne, 30% Picpoul, 4% Clairette, 3% Ugni Blanc, 3% Bourboulenc
Location: Côtes-du-Rhône, France
Owner: Louis Barruol
Approximate Retail Price: $20
Color: Very clear and reflective with a golden straw hue
Aroma: Rich, ripe melon and heavy floral attributes with lingering citrus
Taste: Dense, full palate with great fruit and just a kiss of oak
Just outside the Gigondas Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée and the village/AOC of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, near the commune of Orange in France, stands one of the oldest wineries in existence today, Château de Saint Cosme. Its first vineyards were planted in 1480, when Orange hadn’t even become part of France yet – that wouldn’t occur until 1703.
The vines were planted on the slopes surrounding the Chapel of Saint Cosme, a Gallo-Roman structure dating from the 11th century. In 1490, a man named Esprit Vaton purchased the estate, and nowadays, centuries and many generations later, his descendants still run the winery.
Over the centuries, Château de Saint Cosme has expanded its land and vineyards and also has become a négociant (upscale wine merchant), purchasing grapes from other area vineyards. It often will change the name on its labels to differentiate among regions and premiere wines, using Château de Saint Cosme, Domain de Saint Cosme and, simply, Saint Cosme.
Known mostly in southern Rhône for its Gigondas and Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds, Saint Cosme also produces two whites, Château de Saint Cosme Le Poste and Domaine de Saint Cosme Les Deux Albion. The latter refers to a vineyard planted entirely by Saint Cosme in the IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée) Principauté d’Orange region – a careful blend of six varietals, dominated by viognier, marsanne and picpoul, with small amounts of clairette, ugni blanc and bourboulenc.
The viognier and marsanne provide weight and heavier aroma and flavor components, while the remaining varietals help to lift the weight of the wine by adding crispness, acidity and lighter aromas. This results in an amazing wine: complex and well-balanced, an absolute pleasure from the first sip to the last drop.
Food Pairings: Les Deux Albion splendidly complements medium to soft cow’s or goat’s milk cheeses, pâté, sautéed mushrooms, grilled or roasted chicken or fish (especially white fish such as seabass), cream sauces and pork loin.
Certified Sommelier Stanley Browne owns Robust Wine Bar in Webster Groves.
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