Château St. Cosme NV Little James’ Basket Press

I’ve really been digging this wine lately. With the economy tanking, I’ve been a bit more conscious of the money I’ve been dropping on the vino lately… and I’ve been searching out quality wines at good prices. I’ve found a few and this is the first of the bunch I’ll write up.

I’m a big fan of St. Cosme’s wines… I’ve had many of the Rhones and have also loved their Gigondas. Well, some of the grapes used for the Gigondas make their way into this bottle of juice. Each year they take some of the grapes destined for the Gigondas and, using the Solara method, cascade the vintages down into the blend they label “Little James’ Basket Press”.

If you’re not familiar with what the solera method is, the good folks over at wikipedia.org have the following description:

In the solera process, a succession of containers are filled with the product over a series of equal aging intervals (usually a year). One container is filled for each interval. At the end of the interval after the last container is filled, the oldest container in the solera is tapped for part of its content, which is bottled. Then that container is refilled from the next oldest container, and that one in succession from the second-oldest, down to the youngest container, which is refilled with new product. This procedure is repeated at the end of each aging interval. The transferred product mixes with the older product in the next barrel.

No container is ever drained, so some of the earlier product always remains in each container. This remnant diminishes to a tiny level, but there can be significant traces of product much older than the average, depending on the transfer fraction…

To sum it up, what you get in the bottle of wine is a blend of older and newer vintages. That’s a good thing. For the money, it presents very good layers of flavour from great grapes and it comes from a very good producer.

The nose is a tasty mix of dusty cherries, licorice, herbs and dark berry. The flavours back all that up, with a firm and mineral-laced finish. This is a very tasty wine for the moolah, folks.

Buy it if you can find it.

$24 at Kitsilano Wine Cellars.

4 stars

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