Saint-Joseph


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  • Herve Souhaut Saint-Joseph Les Cessieux 2022

    £51.50

    “All of the wines here are made from biodynamically grown fruit, produced with whole clusters and semi-carbonic maceration, and bottled without fining or filtration. As such, they always display fresh, spicy character and, occasionally, a hint of funkiness that I seldom find intrusive, much less overbearing. Minimal sulfur is used, so cool storage conditions are a must. I also highly recommend buying the wines as soon after release as possible, lest they hang around in less-than-ideal conditions in a warehouse or on a retailer’s shelf. Consider them highly perishable goods.”

    Josh Raynolds, Vinous (04/20)

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  • Herve Souhaut Saint-Joseph Sainte Epine 2022

    £59.95

    “All of the wines here are made from biodynamically grown fruit, produced with whole clusters and semi-carbonic maceration, and bottled without fining or filtration. As such, they always display fresh, spicy character and, occasionally, a hint of funkiness that I seldom find intrusive, much less overbearing. Minimal sulfur is used, so cool storage conditions are a must. I also highly recommend buying the wines as soon after release as possible, lest they hang around in less-than-ideal conditions in a warehouse or on a retailer’s shelf. Consider them highly perishable goods.”

    Josh Raynolds, Vinous (04/20)

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  • J.L. Chave Selection Saint-Joseph Blanc Circa 2020

    £33.95

    “By now it’s no secret that Erin Cannon-Chave and Jean-Louis Chave’s semi-négociant operation is producing a range of consistently excellent wines that clearly show the Chave magic at user-friendly prices. While the Hermitage Blanc Blanche will inevitably be compared to the white Hermitage from the J.L. Chave domaine, the wines that intrigue me are that Crozes-Hermitage Blanc and Saint-Joseph Blanc since neither of those appellations are present under the family’s estate label. There may be a domaine Saint-Joseph Blanc, someday, “that’s probably a job that’ll wait for our children to take on,” Chave told me.”

    Josh Raynolds, Vinous (05/20)

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  • J.L. Chave Selection Saint-Joseph Offerus 2019

    £31.95

    “Full violet color. Heady, spice-accented dark berry, cola and floral pastille scents show excellent clarity and pick up a mineral nuance with aeration. Juicy and expansive on the palate, offering bitter cherry, blueberry and olive paste flavors that are given spine by a core of juicy acidity. Finishes gently sweet, broad and very long, with an echo of candied violet and slowly emerging tannins. Drinking window: 2025-2034. 93 points

    These wines, which often contain a healthy percentage of Domaine J.L. Chave domaine fruit, are not Chave Lite, as many retailers are prone to suggest. These tend to be rounder, fruit-forward and more approachable than the domaine wines, which are extremely long-lived and deserving of extended cellaring. They have steadily become more intensely perfumed and flavored in recent years, with the Crozes-Hermitage Silène of particular interest. It’s made from vines in the granitic soils of the northern sector. At least half of the fruit comes from a young vineyard that Chaves owns, planted and farms, so one can understand the potential quality.”

    Josh Raynolds, Vinous (12/22)

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  • Thomas Farge Saint-Joseph Rouge Grand Angle 2021

    £31.95

    “Fermented with 50% whole-clusters, the 2021 Saint-Joseph Grand Angle offers moderately intense gravel, red fruits and iodine alongside leafy subtleties. It hits the palate with solid concentration and bright acidity, concluding with good energy on the savory finale. Drinking window: 2024-2028. 90 points”

    Nicolas Greinacher, Vinous (03/24)

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  • Domaine du Monteillet Saint-Joseph 2019

    £26.49

    Review to follow

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  • Pierre Gonon Saint-Joseph 2018

    £95.00

    “Deep violet. Intensely perfumed, mineral-accented aromas of red and blue fruit preserves, licorice, exotic spices and potpourri, along with an exotic suggestion of incense. Stains the palate with concentrated black raspberry, cassis, bitter cherry and fruitcake flavors that are given spicy lift by a suggestion of white pepper. A violet pastille nuance emerges with aeration and carries through an extremely long, youthfully tannic finish that shows outstanding definition and mineral thrust. Drinking window: 2026-2036. 95 points

    Jean Gonon’s take on the 2018 vintage is that it’s one “where ripeness and freshness converge.” The wines are on the rich side, relatively speaking, “but not as powerful as 2017 nor as elegant as 2016, and definitely not as structured as 2015,” he said. Worldwide attention to this domaine’s outstanding wines has caused availability to dry up and driven prices increasingly higher, but there’s no question that they are solidly placed in the upper tier of quality in the northern Rhône, which makes them look pretty reasonable, price-wise, when compared to plenty of other top performers.”

    Josh Raynolds, Vinous (04/20)

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  • Thomas Farge Saint-Joseph Blanc Grand Angle 2019

    £29.95

    “Headquartered in Saint-Jean de Muzols, this domaine, now run by Guy’s son, Thomas Farge, owns 22 hectares of vineyards spread across the southern portion of Saint-Joseph and down into Cornas and Saint-Péray. The white wines are varying blends of Marsanne and Roussanne, with portions fermented in steam-bent barrels and the rest made in stainless steel. The exception is the Condrieu, which is all barrel fermented and, of course, 100% Viognier. It’s a bit more variable than the other wines in the lineup but reliably excellent. “I’m looking for tension,” explains Farge. “And I love bitterness in the white wines.”

    He says he’s trying to make some natural wines, but he isn’t sure if he’ll do them within the appellation system. Also worth checking out is Farge’s 2019 Vin de France Oxymore collaboration with Stephane Usseglio, in which they blend 65% northern Syrah with 30% Grenache and 5% Counoise from Usseglio’s vineyards. Along with the current releases, I tasted the excellent 2017 Cornas Reynard, which remains much as I observed last time I tasted it, and the 2011 Cornas Harmonie, which appears to be fading a bit and should be consumed over the next few years.

    For the red wines, Farge does a pre-fermentation cold soak, uses a lot of whole clusters and does some extended maceration but with gentle extraction. “I want to have wines that are good to drink on release,” he says. “The goal is to give consumers a good moment.” Farge’s top cuvées are his Cornas Reynard, from 40- to 50-year-old vines, and his Saint-Joseph Passion de Terrasses, from a parcel planted in 1904.”

    Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate (01/22)

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