Delas Freres Saint-Joseph "Sainte-Epine" 2013
(Northern Rhone, France) - [WS 94] [RP 93] [VM 93] [ JS 93]
Regular price $90.00 Sale price $65.97 Save $24.03
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About this wine:
The vineyard stretches from Chavanay in the north, to Guilherand in the south, over about fifty kilometers along the right bank of the Rhône : it covers 23 "communes" in the Ardèche, and 3 in the Loire.
The soils are light and stony, with schist and gneiss over a granite base.
The climate is moderately continental, with hot and dry summers, and regular rainfalls the rest of the year.
Exposure : south and south-east.
History : the wines were reputed in the 16th century for their delicacy, and were drunk 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, this section of what used to be called Côtes du Rhône was re-arranged under the appellation Saint-Joseph.
Production area : 1,005 hectares (2,482 acres), for an annual crop of 36,000 hectoliters (400,000 cases). Authorized maximum yield is 40 hectoliters/hectare (2,3 US tons/acre).
The "Sainte-Epine" grapes are harvested by hand, at optimum ripeness. Fermentation takes place in traditional, open-topped concrete tanks, after 3 days pre-fermentary skin contact at cool temperatures. Maceration continues at controlled temperatures of 82°F to 86°F (28° to 30°C). Daily cap pushing down and pumping over are carried out for about 10 days, with a total maceration period of up to 20 days. After devatting and pressing, malolactic fermentation is carried out in oak barrels.
The wine has a deep ruby colour with purple tinges. Its nose shows aromas of blackberries and spices, lifted by some mineral and gently wooded notes. Well concentrated, this has pure flavours that come to the palate in successive layers of varying aromas, all of equal intensity.
Ratings & Reviews
"This is gorgeous, with freshly picked black cherry, loganberry and plum fruit flavors pouring forth, lined with subtle violet and incense notes and racing through a long, mineral-edged finish. Shows blazing purity. Drink now through 2023. 52 cases imported." - JM (Nov 30, 2015)
93 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:
"A blockbuster northern Rhone is the 2013 Saint Joseph Sainte Epine, which comes from a single vineyard of pure granite soils. This site is basically identical to the granite soils prevalent in the Bessards lieu-dit in Hermitage, yet the soil is slightly more acidic and it is cooler and windier. Harvest normally stretches into October and it’s completely destemmed, vinified in concrete tank and aged 18 months in 40% new French oak. Inky colored and possessing more than a passing resemblance to a top flight Hermitage, it offers classic powdered rock, graphite, cassis, creosote and smoked earth. Medium to full-bodied, pure, with good acidity and a full mid-palate, it needs short term cellaring -- but will hold for two decades." - Jeb Dunnuck (30th Dec 2015)
93 Points - Antonio Galloni's Vinous:
"Saturated ruby. Intensely perfumed dark berry aromas, complicated by violet pastille, olive and licorice nuances. Sweet and perfumed in the mouth, showing excellent lift and clarity to the fresh blackberry, boysenberry and candied violet flavors. Sappy and penetrating, offering excellent finishing thrust, harmonious tannins and lingering spiciness. This suave wine is balanced to age, but I find it very sexy now." - Josh Raynolds (Mar 2016)
93 Points - James Suckling:
"This is fully matured in barrel and has an impressive dark-purple color that's really deep. The nose carries ripe black plums and licorice in combination with some sarsaparilla. The palate shows pepper-dusted black cherries, dried plums and fine but sturdy tannins. A serious wine, yet full of charm, too. Saint-Joseph does this well! Best around 2018 and for a decade after that. A single granitic plot up behind their location in Tournon-Sur-Rhône." - (October 29, 2016)