“Lively cherry and boysenberry aromas are complemented by smoky mineral, olive nuances and a hint of cracked pepper. Sappy black/blue fruit flavors show very good depth. Hints of allspice and licorice build as the wine opens up. Shows very good power and energy on a long, energetic finish that features supple tannins and lingering olive paste and smoky mineral qualities” Vinous Media
These are the kinds of tasting notes we like to see when it comes to Shiraz. Smoke, olive, cracked pepper, blue fruits, power, energy. Welcome to the wines of Vincent Paris and to the wines of the Northern Rhone in France. Vincent is a young and talented Syrah (Shiraz) winemaker in the town of Cornas, in the Northern Rhone. He only owns 8 hectares of vineyard and produces a couple of thousand cases each year. The vineyards in the heralded appellations of Cornas and St. Joseph.
The Northern Rhone is Syrah (Shiraz) country and produces the finest examples on the planet (sorry Australia). It’s most important regions, from north to south, are Cote Rotie, St. Joseph, Hermitage (where Grange got its Hermitage tag from, now disallowed), Crozes-Hermitage and Cornas. The best vineyards of these regions are on steep, granite rock inclines that peer down over the Rhone river, as it stretches from Lyon to Valence.
This wine is from St. Joseph, and more specifically, from just north of the beautiful town of Tournon. It mirrors the majestic hill of Hermitage across the river. The winemaker is Vincent Paris and he is a young lad and label for the region, commencing his first solo vintage in 1997. However, his roots are as deep as his sideburns, as he produced these first wines from his uncles vineyards who has long been one of the most respected growers in the region. Vincent farms all of his vineyards organically and produces generously fruited (relative to the region) wines that still lean in to the regions restraint, structure and savoury qualities.
In St. Joseph we look for gamey, spicy, aromatic wines with olive tapenade, smoke, aniseed, white pepper and floral aromas. On the palate, we look for medium bodied, elegant, creamy, juicy black and blue berry fruit flavours, with fresh structure and balance. It is difficult to describe without tasting, but if you imagine a warm climate Australian Shiraz feeling heavy and unctuous on the palate, true examples of St. Joseph should move through the palate with a weightlessness that is flavoursome but clean and leaves you looking for another glass.
2017 is a warmer than average season so it is important to look for producers that farm well and harvest healthy and balanced fruit. Vincent does this and his results have been some of the best of the region. We’re truly excited about the wines of the Northern Rhone and St. Joseph present one of the last great deals in quality French wine. If you like this and want to explore more, we have a core group of about ten producers we look at and would be happy to share.
Decant (an hour), serve in large Bordeaux stems and serve with any grilled meats, vegetables, charcuterie or roasts. Drink in it’s youth, from now up until 2026.
Please get in touch if you would like more info.
Tom and Dan