Delas Frères St. Joseph Les Challeys Blanc
94 Points, #84 Top 100 Wines of 2020
December 30, 2021, James Molesworth
“Very bright and engaging style, with a flurry of honeysuckle and acacia notes out front followed quickly by lively white peach, Jonagold apple and star fruit flavors. Light quinine inlay adds an extra note of intrigue. Lovely. Drink now through 2027.”
One of three Saint-Joseph wines from Maison Delas, Les Challeys broadens the spectrum of soils by including south and southeast-facing slopes in the northern part of the appellation. Nourished by the granite bedrock, this white is in line with the house signature: freshness and tension in friendly confrontation with the almost exotic perfumes of the Marsanne and Roussanne. This cuvée is a blend of wines from the terroirs of Sainte-Épine, Mauves et Saint-Pierre-de-Boeuf.
Following a manual harvest, the grapes travel to the winery in small boxes. Gentle pressing produces a must that is fermented at low temperatures 16 to 18°C (61 to 64°F) in closed tanks. This is in order to make the most of the complex aromas of the Marsanne and Roussanne varieties. After malolactic fermentation, the wine is racked and then matures on its fine lees in stainless steel in order to improve richness and structure while keeping its exceptional varietal aromas. Bottling takes place around mid-April.
A brilliant, green gold color. The nose shows very pure floral aromas that mingle with citrus and preserved fruit. On the palate, the wine has similar flavors, with an added touch of honey. Its finish is clean and clear, with flavors of flowers and fresh almonds.
Small waterfowl, steamed fish in sauce, poultry stuffed with fruit, and aged hard cheeses.
Varietals: 80% Marsanne, 20% Rousanne
Soil Composition: Light schist and gneiss over a granite bedrock