Delas Frères St. Joseph Sainte-Épine
February 28, 2023, James Molesworth
“Restrained and tightly focused, this has a sleek mineral edge that carries a core of gently mulled raspberry and black cherry fruit, while light violet, savory and incense hints fill in the background. Sneaky long, too. Best from 2024 through 2034.”
December 2022, Josh Raynolds
“Brilliant purple color. Pungent dark berries, licorice, smoked meat and potpourri on the highly perfumed nose. Shows very good depth as well as energy on the palate, which offers nervy, spice-accented cassis, bitter cherry and black pepper flavors that become sweeter as the wine opens up. Steadily building tannins frame a very long, focused finish that echoes the floral and smoke notes.”
February 16, 2022, Jeb Dunnuck
“The 2020 Saint Joseph Sainte-Epine comes from a cool, windy site of fine granite soils and was brought up in barrel. Its inky purple hue is followed by a brilliantly pure, elegant, yet concentrated wine offering lots of darker berry fruits, notes of peppery herbs, leather, and spring flowers, terrific overall balance, and the fresh, focused, yet classic style of the vintage front and center. It's a brilliant looking barrel sample that will be loved by the classic Saint-Joseph lovers out there.”
This wine was reputed in the 16th century for its delicacy, and was poured at the table of the kings of France. It was the Jesuits of Tournon who gave the area its current name in the 17th century. Between 1956 and 1969, all the vineyards from this area which used to be named Côtes du Rhône were regrouped and established under the appellation Saint-Joseph.
This cuvée is a vineyard plot selection only made in the very best years and production is deliberately limited to 4,000 bottles per year.
The grapes for this wine come from a single plot selection of "Sainte-Épine," which forms a south-facing slope hillside on the commune of Saint-Jean de Muzols in the heart of the appellation. The vineyards of Saint-Joseph stretch more than 35 miles along the right bank of the Rhône river, from Chavanay in the north, to Guilherand in the south. The soil is light and gravelly, comprised of schist and gneiss rock over a granite base. The climate is moderate, with hot, dry summers and normal rainfall the rest of the year. The vineyards have southern and southeastern sun exposure.
The "Sainte-Épine" grapes are harvested by hand, at optimum maturity. Fermentation takes place in traditional, open-topped concrete tanks, after three days of pre-fermentary skin contact at cool temperatures. Maceration continues at controlled temperatures of 82°F to 86°F. Daily cap pressing and pumping takes place for about 10 days, with a total maceration period of up to 20 days. The wine is aged for 14 to 16 months in oak barrels in one half new, one half one-year-old barrels. The barrels are topped up regularly.
The wine has a deep ruby color with purple tinges. Its nose shows aromas of blackberries and spices, lifted by some mineral and gently wooded notes. Well concentrated, this has pure flavors that come to the palate in successive layers of varying aromas, all of equal intensity.
This wine pairs well with game, marinated beef in sauce, grilled food, green peppers and any kind of cheese.
Varietals: 100% Syrah