The Saint Joseph appellation is gaining in traction as the fashionability of the Rhône soars in the world’s top fine wine markets. On the propitious side of the river, south-facing with the better sites riddled with schistous limestone and granite, Saint-Joseph is capable of superlative Syrah. Medium-bodied and vital of freshness, the best wines bridle Côte-Rötie’s soaring aromatics with Hermitage’s mettle. This, blue to dark fruit accented with a potpourri of liquorice, clove and five-spice is driven across the mouth by a skein of white pepper-soused acidity. A delicious and highly versatile expression of temperate Syrah.
"100% Syrah. Fruit from: La Madonne sur Chavanay, Coteaux Vitrine sur Saint-Pierre de Bœuf, Sainte-Epine sur Saint-Jean de Muzols, Les Oliviers and Paradis sur Mauves. 12 months in new- and one-year-old oak plus eight months in foudres (Tronçais and Allier).
Purplish crimson. Aromatic, mid intensity, sweet and salty wine without that much tannin. Quite accessible and not one of the most ambitious St-Josephs (not trying to be Hermitage). Very ‘pleasant’ for medium-term drinking."
16.5 points, jancisrobinson.com (September 2018)
"Vivid purple. Displays powerful aromas of dark berry and cherry preserves, baking spices and incense, with a smoky nuance that builds as the wine gets air. Fleshy and broad on the palate but lively as well, offering intense blackberry, boysenberry flavors and a suave touch of candied flowers. Finishes seamless, juicy and impressively long, with an echo of violet and discreet tannins that add shape and subtle grip. (50% whole clusters)."
(92-93) points, Vinous (July 2019)
"Focused, featuring a mix of cherry, red currant and bramble notes, mixed with light tobacco, savory and sanguine accents. Shows mouthwatering cut on the finish."
92 points, Wine Spectator (December 2019)
"A blend of exceptional St-Joseph terroirs: La Madonne in Chavanay, Coteaux Vitrine in St-Pierre de Boeuf, Ste-Epine in St-Jean de Muzols, and Les Oliviers and Paradis in Mauves. Half of the fruit is destemmed, then it sees 12 months in barrel followed by eight months in foudre. It's a savoury, herbal style with notes of Kalamata olive, bay, marjoram and rosemary. Full, fruity and fairly soft on the palate, it has relatively low acidity but enough to keep things refreshing and brisk. The massy tannins lack a little focus perhaps, but this is a complex, juicy, very Provençal expression of St-Joseph."
92 points, Matt Walls, Decanter (November 2018)
Already in the bottle, the 2017 St Joseph Vieilles Vignes blends fruit from Chavanay with smaller portions from Saint-Epine and les Oliviers. It's floral and herbal, with lovely peppery notes accenting a mix of cherries and blueberries. Medium to full-bodied, it's silky and supple and will be a joy to drink over the next several years.
91 points, Wine Advocate (December 2019)