2016 Domaine de la Côte Sainte-Epine St. Joseph Vieilles Vignes Cuvée Special, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

This is Syrah from the Northern Rhone Valley in France.  Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, slight bacon fat and spices.  Medium to full bodied.  Light tannins.  On the palate, this seems to be close to peak.  Some depth and complexity.  Juicy black raspberries with some pepper and spice.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This should drink well for another seven to ten years.  It will work better with food although it is nice on its own.  A nice match for a chunky beef tew with roasted veggies.  

2017 E. Guigal St. Joseph Vignes de L'Hospice, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$72.00USD

This is 100% Syrah from older vines in the northern Rhone.  Guigal bought the vineyards from Jean-Louis Grippat upon his retirement: The granite based soil held in place by a series of terraces. The wine is fermented in stainless-steel tanks, followed by 30 months in new oak barrels.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black raspberries, black cherries, black olives and spice.  Full bodied.   Medium tannins.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Ripe black raspberries, some black cherries with underlying char and spice.

2019 E. Guigal St. Joseph, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$42.00USD

This is the basic Saint Joseph from Guigal.  It is 100% Syrah.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is very nice with black raspberries, char, black olives, spice and black pepper.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, black raspberries, spice, and slight coffee grounds.  Delicious.  Nice finish.  A definite step up from the Crozes-Hermitage.  It drinks well on its own and will work very well with food.  Of course a burger, but this will work well with Indian food, too.  Drink over the next eight to ten years.  

2016 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave St. Joseph, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
94
Grade: 
Current Price: 
$85.00USD

Nice showing for this although still on the youthful side.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, slightly meaty with b lack olives.  Full bodied.  Great liveliness.  Nice texture.  On the palate, black raspberries with underlying char and just a bit of black olives.  Nice finish.  This should continue to improve for another three to five years and drink well for ten to twelve more after that.  This drinks well on its own and even better with food.  Stews or chili is a nice choice.  

2016 Domaine des Pierres Seches St. Joseph Sainte-Epine, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$47.00USD

This is a relatively newer producer in the Rhone whose wines should be on your radar.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, white pepper, roasted herbs and a slight violet note.  On the palate, this is full bodied.  Delicious.  Black raspberry fruit over smoke and nice minerality.  Long finish.  This will go great with roasts and casserole but also Indian and more robust Thai food.  It still will continue to improve for the next five to seven years and should be good for ten to fifteen, at least, after that.  

2017 Domaine de la Côte Sainte-Epine St. Joseph Vieilles Vignes, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

These are great values in Northern Rhone Syrah.  Fass Selections is their importer and distributor in the US.  For those looking for some different wines, sign up for their daily e-mail blasts of wines for direct sale.  While this will improve a bit with cellaring, it drinks well now, especially with a bit of air.  Purple in color, ruby swirls.  The nose is nice with black raspberries, roasted herbs and slight black pepper.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, the fruit is a bit lighter but still in the black raspberry vein.  An underlying minerality with some char.  Good acidity.  Nice finish. 

2017 J.L. Chave Sélection St. Joseph Circa, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This is the "Negociant" line of wines although the vineyards are in fact, owned by Chave.  It is what used to be labelled as Celeste.  There are two big differences between this and the Hermitage.  First, this is 100% Roussanne while those are all or mostly Marsanne.  Second, this is grown on granite soils as opposed to limestone and schist giving this wine more minerality.  Yellow gold in color.  The nose is very nice.  Minerals for sure but also a bit of was and vanilla with an earthiness that is intriguing.  On the palate, this has a lovely creamy texture.  Slightly lemon with vanilla an

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