delas francois de tournon saint-joseph 2020 750ml
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The ancient vineyards of Saint-Joseph, planted almost exclusively with Syrah, cover more than 600 acres on the right bank of the Rhône river. The vineyard stretches from Chavanay in the north, to Guilherand in the south – it covers 23 "communes" in the Ardèche region, and three in the Loire. The grapes are planted in terraces on the rocky granite hillsides, where Delas selects only the best grapes for this cuvée. The "Francois de Tournon" is a blend of grapes from the terroirs of Vion, Saint-Jean de Muzols, Mauves and Tournon.
Exposure is south and south-east and the soils consist of light schist and gneiss over a granite bedrock. The climate is moderately continental, with hot and dry summers, and normal rainfall the rest of the year. The 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 (a monk community) 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.
The grapes for this cuvée are picked by hand at optimum ripeness. Fermentation is traditional in open-topped concrete tanks, and is preceded by two days of cold maceration. It is conducted at controlled temperatures of 82°F to 86°F. Daily cap pushing down and pumping over are carried out for about 10 days. The total vatting time lasts up to 20 days. After drawing-off and pressing, malolactic fermentation takes place in oak barrels. The wine is matured between 10 to 14 months in oak barrels of one to three years of age. Part of the cuvée is aged in vats to preserve the freshness of the fruit.
The color is a deep, dark ruby red with a garnet reflection. The nose is clearly marked by delicate aromas of cassis and spices. On the palate, this cuvée shows a smooth and voluptuous texture that masks a good tannic structure, fine and silky. this wine has great potential for aging.
This wine pairs well with fine meats, spicy stews, grilled meats, game and any kind of cheese.
"Powerfully scented aromas of fresh black/blue fruits, potpourri, licorice and smoked meat show excellent clarity and vibrant mineral lift. Concentrated boysenberry, cassis and violet pastille flavors are joined by a salty olive note that sneaks in as the wine opens up. Finishes smooth, focused and very long, with broad, fleshy tannins, a hint of smokiness and lingering florality."
JS93, James Suckling
"The nose reminds me totally of my grandmother’s blackcurrant jelly. On the palate it is dry and linear, to the point of being slightly austere, but there’s so much minerality and a smoked-bacon note is neatly woven into this complex picture. Long, straight and precise finish. From granite soils in the southern part of this appellation. Drink or hold."
JD93, Jeb Dunnuck
"Classic, slightly reductive Granite notes of cassis, damp earth, violets, and both red and white pepper emerge from the 2019 Saint Joseph François De Tournon, a pure, elegant medium-bodied Saint Joseph that brings good ripeness yet also a terrific sense of purity and freshness."