I was blown away by the 2018 Saint Joseph. We’ll see if it matches the blockbuster 2015, but my money is on it being in the running for one of the finest to date. A blockbuster styled Saint Joseph with considerable power and minerality, it nevertheless has loads of class and elegance as well as classic aromatics of dark fruits, crushed stone, damp earth, and olive tapenade. Despite the warmth of the vintage, there’s a sense of coolness and elegance here paired with serious fruit that makes this wine special. Note, while the 2017 was 100% not destemmed, the 2018 was 10% destemmed.
Gonon's 2018 Saint Joseph is a tremendous effort that, according to Jean Gonon, was blended in March 2019 but won't be bottled until February 2020. Picked the second week of September, it weighs in at a balanced 13.7% alcohol, artfully combining aromatic nuances of black cherries, black tea, rose petals and licorice. It's medium to full-bodied, with ripe fleshiness surrounding a concealed spine of firm but ripe tannins—a structure to make it enjoyable relatively young yet capable of aging through 2035. (JC)
Deep violet. Intensely perfumed, mineral-accented aromas of red and blue fruit preserves, licorice, exotic spices and potpourri, along with an exotic suggestion of incense. Stains the palate with concentrated black raspberry, cassis, bitter cherry and fruitcake flavors that are given spicy lift by a suggestion of white pepper. A violet pastille nuance emerges with aeration and carries through an extremely long, youthfully tannic finish that shows outstanding definition and mineral thrust. (JR)
Jean Gonon says the 2018 reminds him of the 1990 and the 2015, 'soft, ripe but with something deep.' I would add however that this is a wine with remarkable consistency of quality from year to year. The 2018 has lovely depth to the black fruit, a touch of oregano behind it, all in a vibrant, vivid style. The tannins are ripe, with a crunchy element to the fruit, alcohol is high but not unbalanced, thanks in part to the remarkable concentration and depth for 2018. (MW)
The final blend from demi-muid, this has such complex, dark-spiced cherries, licorice, iodine and wet dark stones with subtle, spicy fragrance. The palate offers supple, fresh and pure, red to dark cherries and very defined tannins. This has such balance, evenness and attractive layering and is already packing a sanguine twist of mineral at the finish. 13.5% abv. Try from 2024.
Magical nose: blackberry, meat, blood, flint-sparks, rust. A real wine of the elements. Fragrant perfume on the palate, with medium body and high acid. Wonderful, ready and compelling. 17.5/20 points (RH)
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