Pierre Gonon Saint-Joseph 2019


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Gonon’s 2019 Saint Joseph retains the typical floral signature on the nose, but it is more dark-fruited than usual, with notes of black cherries, blackberries and even black olives. It’s medium to full-bodied, the first vintage recorded over 14% alcohol, according to Jean Gonon (14.2%). Concentrated, rich and velvety in feel, it boasts a long, gently chewy finish and should age well. Drink: 2025-2038. 94+ points

When I visited with Jean Gonon on September 17, 2021, harvest was yet to commence. Sugar levels were around 13 or 13.5 degrees in the whites and only 11.5 degrees in the reds. “We had this in 2012 and 2013, and the wines were not bad,” said Gonon. “It could be like a vintage from the 1980s.”

The emphasis at Gonon remains on the vineyards. While he said recent years have seen improvements in how others work their vines, he expressed some reservations as well. “People have abandoned chemical spray but don’t work the soils because it’s too expensive, and the vines suffer. Bad habits become big problems in difficult vintages,” he said. The domaine has been certified organic since 2010.

Gonon finds that 2018 and 2020 are somewhat similar in style, but he said 2019 stands apart for its concentration and presumed longevity. “C’est une cuvée pour garder.” About 40% of the domaine’s grapes come from Saint-Jean de Muzols, 50% come from Tournon and just 10% come from the family’s home village of Mauves.


Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate (01/22)