(2021) From Château de Saint Cosme, 15% alcohol is notable following the 12% of the previous wine. It opens with fleshy, meaty notes and a certain smokiness, earthy, plummy fruit beneath. Mouth-filling, sweet and rich on the palate, there is much more chewy substance here, plum skins and roughening tannins, old wood cedar and good acidity, and a fairly muscular style, but fruit is sweet and fleshes out the mid-palate.
(2015) With a relatively modest 13.5% alcohol this 60% Grenache blend also has a relatively pale colour, suggesting a Châteauneuf in a lighter style. The nose has soft strawberry and vanilla, that is pleasing if not terribly terroir-specific. It has a fruity palate too, a lean stripe of liquorice and a very dry finish, but it is spicy and peppery and reasonably long. It just feels a touch too lean for its own good. 86
(2015) A hint of softening to the colour of this for sure, in another Grenache-dominated blend with 14.5% alcohol. Quite creamy, quite gentle on the nose, and back into the soft red berry spectrum of aromas, with a hint of pepper and sweet earth. This fills the mouth with juicy red berry fruits too, a bit of keen raspberry flavour and tart acidity, more earth and leather, a broader base filling in on the mid-palate. The finish shows plenty of spice and a little heat, with easy-going tannins but good overall balance.
(2015) There is 70% Grenache in this blend that comes from young vines of the Château de Beaucastel estate and from Perrin family vineyards. 14.5% alcohol. Aged in large oak foudres, it has a big, meaty and slightly antiseptic nose, the hints of something Bretty and Elastoplast-like in the background. The palate bursts with creamy and ripe fruit, plenty of berries, a gamy and earthy edge, and relatively soft tannins into a juicy, but slightly lean finish. A niggling doubt over that Bretty character marks this down a little, though it does drink well in an open and fairly straightforward style.
(2001) Much more developed syrah nose with notes of bacon-rind, pepper and a schisty, earthy quality. This has a deep, dark palate, again with a tight, liquoricy grip, richer berry and blueberry fruit and a little raspberry brightness too. Good tannins and this is long, delicious and drinking well. Very good indeed.
(2001) St-Joseph sits opposite Hermitage, on the other side of the Rhône river. It is a large appellation. producing good quality syrah reds at much lower prices than Hermitage or Côte-Rôtie. This has a slick of vanilla on the nose, over tight, slightly liquoricy, herbal, peppery fruit. On the palate it is tight and leathery, with a deep seam of serious black fruit, with more ripeness and openness towards the finish. Balanced and promising.