Login | Subscribe
twitter

The Wines

Syrah 30% from clay-limestone, 70% from sandy granite soils, hand harvested, destemmed, 12-15 day vinification in closed steel vats at 30-32°C, pumping overs, cap punchings, aged 15-20% steel vat, 20% 1-year 228-litre oak casks, 55-65% 2-4 year 228-litre oak casks 12 months, fined, filtered, 50-60,000 b

2018 ()

shiny red, purple top. The nose is compact from reduction, post bottling, too. There is a stream of raspberry, red berry, mulberry fruit at its core. The palate has a swish, immediate delivery of black cherry fruit, a clutch of powder grain tannins following. It’s modern, up tempo St Jo, few complications, is best to drink on its young fruit when the energy is up. Great with steaks, which will cover the slightly basic finish. 14°. 2025-26 Dec 2019

2017

largely dark red colour; this has a pretty classic southern sector St Jo nose that lines up blackberry fruits, a note of road tar, fruit gums, mulberry. It drinks easily, carries alert black berry fruits, with marked licorice and a softening towards the finish. There are fine powder tannins on the late stages. It’s a busy, easy to drink, modernista St Jo, good with grills, roast chicken. There is a clipped side to it, a tiny bit sharp. Best to drink this young, on the up. 13.5°. 2025-27 Feb 2020

2016 ()

(steel vat, bottling in 10 days) dark robe. Bright blackberry fruit, with mulberry, comes forward on the nose, which gives plenty right away. The palate has a fresh thread, good, salted content, bustling tannins. This is exuberant, w.o.w. wine, has flavours of blackberry pastilles. The link between nose and palate is close. Tannins are present, and give it life. Great for the restaurant CHR trade. “It’s not complicated, but is easy to drink,” Laurent Courbis. To 2022 Nov 2017

2015

dark red robe. The bouquet has ways to go, with a compact bearing based on prune, tangy black fruits and licorice for now. There is a little dustiness, the mark of a hot summer. The palate holds peppery, black fruited content, with a firm line of freshness acting as its spine. It is upright, a little stiff, but can absolutely expand and pick up more obvious flesh. The finish is good and clear, a touch of menthol there. It carries the 2015 freshness signature well. 14°. From late 2018. 2026-28 Nov 2017 Previously Oct 2016 ***(*) (vat/casks) shiny dark red robe. The bouquet is inky, replete with sweet and ripe black berry fruit and a touch of pepper-dust, tea leaves, that introduce a little mineral. The palate comes with rather thick juice from black fruits and a chewy set of tannins that deepen the finish, which is round and pretty clear. 13.5°. 50,000 b. GB £162 12 b i/b Clarion Wines info@clarionwines.co.uk www.clarionwines.co.uk +44(0)208 747 2069. From mid-2018. 2026-27 Oct 2016

2014

dark red robe; this has an open, rounded blackberry aroma, a joli abundance setting a good tone for the rest of the wine. The palate delivers a straight run of blackberry fruit, has 2014’s freshness through it, picks up some late, licorice-coffee styled tannins. It is lightly scented with rose flowers. From spring 2016, since the finale is still grainy. To 2020  Oct 2015

2013 ()

dark, black-tinted robe. The bouquet is nice and deep, presents a roasted air with prominent blackberry. The palate is good and vibrant, combining lively fruit, with weight and crisp tannins, and a note of menthol clarity towards the finish. There are oak traces, charcoal, lining the late stages. With the vintage’s rocky style tannins and the oak, this needs leaving until spring 2017. It is on the go St Jo. 13°. 2022-24  Oct 2015

2012 ()

red robe; road tar, reduced, mulled red berry air, with small notes of pepper – this bouquet is going in the right direction. The palate is tucked together, has a gras richness side to it, and clean tannins with a low-key crunch in them. A good, safe St Jo with sound length; it has decent depth and appeal. 13°. 2019-20  March 2015 Previously Nov 2013 ***(*) (casks) dark red. Has a sleek air of blackberry with wisps of oak smoke adding darkness. The palate debut is neat, with lucid, flowing black fruit; it eases along well, takes on a lightly salted clarity towards the finish, also oak in the final strides. Very sound Saint-Joseph – it does what it should – it is drinkable, suited to foods, has local granite cut. A polished wine. From mid-late 2014. 13.5°. 50,000 b, €9.35 export. 2019-20  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(casks) dark, quite shiny. The nose gives sleek cassis fruit, a note of chicken stock adding depth, and the sense of unfinished business – there is more knitting to do here. This is traditional style Saint-Joseph, grounded, notes of damp woods, a fat black berry and plum flavour that has a dusty note of tannin late on. Good, natural wine that is not prettied up, comes with a slight hound dog, high meat note on the finish. I like its country wine appeal. 2018-19  Nov 2012

2010 ()

dark colour. Well curved, serene air, offers crunchy blackberry fruit, with licorice, damp black soil, black olives – its richness skews it towards the south, has a little grilling. The palate is rich and pretty well defined, in the here and now; it is going to be less oaked on the finish in spring 2013. The mid-palate is juiced before the oak wades in. Sound gras here, but less oak would be preferable. 13°. 2020-21 Nov 2011

2009

(pre-bottling) full, dark red; reductive but largely dense nose that comes with packed-in ripe black fruits, licorice in the air – it is broad, offers sweetness. Its sweet-toned black fruit is smooth on the palate, has a sunny centre and accentuates its gras and fat all through. The finale is tighter – correctly so. Very drinkable, a real good w.o.w. wine. I like the flesh in it. From spring 2011, get on and go. 2018-19 Nov 2010

2008

(casks) pale purple; the nose shows red fruits stewing en route to jam, but there is also a clear top air, which is nutty. Gentle red fruits on the palate – are just about fresh, deliver some late roundness. Possible volatile? From mid-late 2010. To 2014. Dec 2009

2007 ()

good, mid-level red. Jam lead air on the nose, honey, black oloive, licorice in behind. Pliant, ripe fruit start to the palate, smoky, clear airs late on. A tickle of late tannin here. Easy drinking wine, a bit plain. “It is well ready – the last seven months have helped it,” Laurent Courbis. 13°. To 2013. Dec 2009 Previously Dec 2008 **(*) (casks) dark, bright robe; the black fruit aroma shows very ripe fruit with the air of having been soaked in its maceration so it emerges towards black jam, also black chocolate and menthol. The blackberry palate fruit is accessible, is open. It ends a tiny bit short, so promises solo drinking, fun drinking – there are not many cards beyond its primary fruit. To 2013. Dec 2008

2006 ()

dark, bright plum colour; pretty full bouquet here – black fruits with a ripe, meaty air and some menthol. The palate bears crisp fruit – its pepperiness grows and is outward on the finish. Has an undertow of red berry fruit. This is cleanly fruited, and bounds along with some energy. Has a round, tannic finale that works well: cassis, licorice and pepper come through there. Solid quality. 2014-15 Dec 2007

2005

bright, quite dark red; alert fruit aroma, has an oily centre, is still young, nutty air still. Typical, live Syrah fruit with grip and late licorice and tannin. Not that full, but agreeable – a good tooting wine, has a tarry presence. Needs leaving until mid-2008 to integrate its tannins. Plenty of life in this. To 2014 or so. Oct 2007 Previously Feb 2007 *** (pre-bottle) quite a full, matt robe; simple, already savoury bouquet, with berry fruit present. Sound, compact palate fruit, laced with a licorice, mineral thread, as if the limestone is having a say. Crisp, clean finish, its tannins are embedded, and there is a little black jam late on. Does fine for nice, early, complete drinking without too much effort. To be bottled Feb 2007. 2010-12. Evidently a different set of casks from the earlier sample tasted a month before. Stylistically, is one in the eye for the en primeur hustlers, then. Dec 2006 Previously Nov 2006 *** dark robe; toasted, oak top note to bouquet, with quite ripe black fruit underneath – at a dumb stage now. Direct fruit on palate – is a real road runner, moves straight ahead. Bit gamey at the end. Is rather stiff, but has the potential for a stylish evolution. Oak is very evident on the aftertaste now. From 2009. 2015-16 Nov 2006

2004

soft fruits, an agreeable, mild bouquet with a little pepper. Smoky, sinewed wine with an oak imprint here. Carries likeable fruit - mulberry, plum at its core. Upright now, though has some flesh to allow evolution. Mid-palate is good, but rather vacant on the end now. Esp 2008 on. 2014-15 April 2006

2003

(cask) solid aroma; cooked, ripe fruit. Quite rasping end tannins. Chunky.

2002

robe is matt; smoky bouquet, restrained though has potential. Prune/plum mix of flavour, good richness, peppery finale, length good. Full wine, but can be drunk early. Tannins evident, well ingrained. 2005 on. 2011-13 Dec 2004 Previously ** violet, scented nose. Easy blackberry fruit, some zest. Bit burnt at end. 2009-10

2001

reduced, earthy, mid-weight nose; stewed plum fruit, bit obscure. Earthy/locked up, needs a good shake to clear it. Can move into shape 2009-11

2000

earthy/raspberry nose; there is a touch taut cooked fruit on the palate, but it lasts OK. Nice for early drinking. 2007-08

1999

sound red; clean, quite modern, closed bouquet, bears airs of black berry fruit, raspberry also. This attacks in winning fashion, has good style, and cut, is centred on smoked berry fruit. It tightens at the end, shows some tannin there. Good, correct wine, still upright. Especially 2005 on. 2010-12  Nov 2003

1998 ()

dark red. Quite soft cooked fruit aroma, ripe but not overstated. Expressive blackcurrant fruit on palate, very pure texture. Rounded, friendly tannins. Open wine.

1997

red fresh bouquet, lively and open. Accessible, mid-weight palate. Nice blackcurrant, with a live tickle to it. Get up and go wine, ideal for restaurants.