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  • By Richard Jennings
    8/20/2010, (See more on 89 points

    (Saint-Cosme Côtes du Rhône) Opaque dark red violet color; garrigue, tart black fruit, green herb nose; garrigue, tart black fruit, green peppercorn palate; medium finish


  • By Jon Rimmerman
    2/11/2010, (See more on Garagiste...)

    (ST COSME Cotes du Rhone) Debray Burgundy

    Dear Friends,

    The Domaine Debray offer a few nights ago caused a rash of interest in this small winery and it is certainly justified (they called me this morning wondering why so many people had sent them emails asking for allocations? All of this is somewhat befuddling for an old-school winery - they don't live in the internet era and only check their email once every few days - imagine their surprise when 200 emails were in their in-box instead of 3). As a "courtesy", they suggested I offer the 2008 Mercurey Blanc sooner rather than later as it is almost sold out and has only been available for a few weeks.

    For those of you unfamiliar with this wine, the Mercurey Blanc is arguably the wine that made Debray's young reputation. It is the first wine I tasted from the winery several years ago and it's what peaked my interest in the Domaine. The Mercurey Blanc sells out the fastest at the winery (mostly to locals) and, like the St. Aubin, it is a combination of 1er and village material that they choose to bottle as one wine instead of stripping the best material into separate bottlings. Produced with the local market in mind, the result is a coddled white Burgundy of breed, harmony and depth at a pittance of a price. In 2008, that breed was accentuated by a cool vintage that enabled them to produce a wine that has a Montmains-like character with the tone and palate presence of something from Chassagne. In other words, this is a wine for fans of real, terroir-infused Burgundy...priced like Bourgogne (which explains why it sells out so quickly). Like the St. Aubin last year, this wine is sure to be among the most admired entrants of 2010.

    VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for lovely, artisanal quality at a price that all of us can admire.

    FIRST COME FIRST SERVED up to 36/person until we run out:

    2008 Domaine Debray Mercurey Blanc

    ...and, because we only have a few bottles, I will bury this here:

    2008 Domaine Debray Corton Grand Cru (rouge)
    This is Debray's flagship red wine and it is exceptional in 2008 - it literally made me sit down to study its textbook presence. I nursed a bottle over three nights and, as much as I don't want to admit it, there is a difference between the finest Grand Cru Pinot Noir and everything else. The 2008 Corton drips spice, sifted minerality, sensuality and electric red fruit around the tasters mouth with the most graceful, light-bodied hand. It defines the nobility of red Burgundy and why so many of us chase this often fleeting experience. Be sure to decant or allow at least 1-2 hours of air. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and underpriced for the league it is playing in. EXTREMLEY LIMITED

    Thank you,

    Jon Rimmerman
    Seattle, WA


    2545 2009 Southern Rhone 2009 Southern Rhone

    Dear Friends,

    Last year's offer for a special bottling of 2007 Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone (in magnum only) was so popular, requests for it continue to this day. My guess is that a number of the magnums were opened at holiday/New Year's parties across the country and they struck a particular nerve. It's easy to see why - the wine is a price/value star with deep, dark fruit and a certain gaga factor that is difficult to resist. From neophyte to astute oenophile, the 2007 magnums offered something for everyone and that's a rare occurrence indeed.

    I have good news and bad news.

    The bad news is that we don't have any additional 2007 to offer and neither does Saint Cosme. The next vintage, 2008, is not in the same league as the 2007 but it certainly produced a number of fine examples (I'm in the minority with 2008 Rhones as I've found a number of medium-weight, low alcohol wines that combine a sense of finesse with transparent terroir - similar to 2007 in Burgundy). I know "fine" and "medium weight" is not what you're after with this wine so I asked to skip 2008 and go right to the behemoth that is 2009.

    The good news is that they said ok.

    In a nutshell, this is the same offer as last year but from 2009 stock - a special bottling from Louis Barruol's best barrels of Cotes du Rhone bottled for us in magnum only. You can check reviews of Saint Cosme's 2007 Cotes du Rhone to get an idea (I believe Parker gave it a 90 or 91) but this 100% Syrah cuvee is head-spinning to say the least. The 2009 material is even richer than the 2007 (a common trait of the vintage) and the black-stained fruit that glugs from the glass is almost a solid matter, not a liquid. Traditional? Not really but I doubt anyone will care. In addition, a unique trait of this wine is that it would appear to have high alcohol (from the massive extract impression) but it doesn't. A dense and dark treat that is going to make 20 of your favorite dinner party guests swoon with delight (although you're going to have some explaining to do when they find out it was a one-time wine - in other words, there won't be any available to order by the time they taste it).

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED as an outright steal in today's fine wine market. The magnums would also be a terrific gift or impressive glass pour at a summer wedding (it's not often you come across large format, high-end bargain wine to pour at an important event).

    ONE BOTTLING ONLY directly from the winery cellar with the freshest and finest provenance available:

    2009 Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone 1.5lt

    Thank you,

    Jon Rimmerman
    Seattle, WA

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