Chave St. Joseph Rouge 2016 - $69.99
The Domaine St. Joseph is a product of Jean-Louis' decade-plus long project to restore ancient terraces long-abandoned within the appellation. Sourced from the historic villages of the appellation before it was expanded, Jean-Louis has holdings in Tournon, Mauves, St-Jean-de-Muzols, and Lemps. The wine is fermented in a combination of tonneaux and stainless steel before it is aged in mostly neutral oak for a little over a year.92-94 pts Vinous93 pts Jeb Dunnuck**** JLL (Drink Rhone)
I tasted the components that will ultimately make up this wine, as usual. #1) Chaillets: olive paste, smoky bacon and dark berry liqueur qualities, with subtle floral and mineral undertones. #2): Dardouille: intensely spicy and focused, displaying powerful blue fruit character, impressive depth and building violet and spice notes. #3) Baschasson: heady, mineral-accented black and blue fruit qualities, along with suave incense and potpourri nuances and mounting spiciness. This is looking to shape up as an uncommonly powerful wine for the vintage, but the buffering mineral and spice character could bring its energy level up - the fruit is really blasting away right now.92-94 pts Vinous
Leading off the 2016s and tasted out of bottle, the 2016 Saint Joseph is rock-solid and shines in the vintage. Brought up all in older oak (Jean-Louis stated that he doesn't think Saint Josephs like oak) and offers plenty of darker, mineral, and smoked earth notes that slowly open up with more red fruits and spice. It's beautifully elegant and silky on the palate, with ample mid-palate heft, medium to full body, and sweet tannins. Put a case in the cellar and drink bottles over the coming decade or so.
-93 pts Jeb Dunnuck