About This Wine
Gaillard's Saint-Joseph comes from parcels located in Côte Bellay, Malleval and Buis. The vines all lie in the far north of St Joseph, closer to Vienne and Condrieu than to Tournon-sur-Rhône. The steep, cool soils here have plenty of granite, which contributes to the style of this perfumed and vibrant Syrah. The individual vineyard parcels are kept separate and are mostly destemmed before crushing. Each parcel is then vinified separately to bring out its own individuality, and to allow more options when assembling the wine. In short, Bellay lays down the wine's elegant foundations, which is complemented by the spicy power of the Malleval wines and juicy, primary fruit from Buis. The final wine is then aged in Allier and Nevers barrels, only 20% new, for 18-20 months. Bottled unfiltered, this is a spicy and fragrant, 100% Syrah with good flesh but also plenty of classic, savoury Northern Rhône freshness. A healthy seasoning of black pepper and nettle hums in the background, underpinning the wine's core of fleshy, dark cherry fruit. Gaillard's Saint-Joseph often benefits from a few years in bottle to find its sweet spot-not so with the 2017, which is already drinking beautifully.
Wines of Rhone Valley
The Rhone wine region is situation in the south of France in the Rhone Valley. The region is split into north and south with distinctively different winemaking styles. In the north, the main grape used is Syrah and is sometimes blended with white varietals. In the south however, reds are a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Cinsault. You may be familiar with this sort of blend; in Australia it is labelled GSM.
Wines are produced under various Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) designations. The most prestigious of which is Chateauneuf-du-Pape. You may also have heard of other AOC names such as Gigondas, Hermitage, Lirac, St Joseph. Wines coming from these and other AOCs are all on the higher end of the market.
On the value end we have wines produced in Cotes-du-Rhone AOC. Cotes-du-Rhone often refers to wines made in the Rhone Valley that do not fall under any other AOC, often from the flatter areas around Southern Rhone. However, it also does include the fringes of well-respected northern appellations as well. In terms of volume, a majority of Rhone wine falls under the Cotes-du-Rhone AOC and it offers some of the best value in France and even some first-rate and age-worthy reds.
Full-bodied and flavourful white wine blends are also made in the region. These are typically a combination of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier.
World Wine – Mid crimson. Energetic, lightly stemmy dark-red fruit, a touch of pepper. Firm and dry but super juicy on the palate. Totally mouth-watering and deliciously moreish. I could drink this now! jancisrobinson.com
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