Château de Saint Cosme, Deux Albion Côtes du Rhône 2018
This is a CdR ostensibly made from Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre, although the label mentions ‘cinq cépages’ and hints that a little extra something might get chucked in at any point during the fermentation if Louis suddenly gets an idea. The standard SC CdR is 100% Syrah, so it makes for an interesting comparison between the northern and southern styles. The Deux Albion still has a deal of leathery Syrah, but whatever else goes in gives it an added herbaceousness and smokiness. I think it’s slightly more interesting than the Guigal, but I’m more than happy to keep a decent stock of both. All three in fact, if you include both SCs. The Guigal is of course legendarily good value, but has been sneaking up in price quite sharply over the last few years. It’s already around the same price as the Syrah and not that far behind the Deux Albion.
Incidentally, the name comes from the plot that is home to some of the grapes. The lieu-dit is ‘Albion’ and it used to be owned by an Englishwoman. So that makes two. And why does it have ‘Chateau de Saint Cosme’ on the label when the Syrah merely states ‘Saint Cosme’? Because this is made from Louis’ own grapes, whereas the Syrah is bought-in. Don’t mention it, all part of the service.