2015 Domaine Coursodon "La Sensonne" Saint-Joseph

SKU #1310605 95-97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The inky, black and blue-colored 2015 St-Joseph Sensonne is a tiny-production release (200 cases) that comes from very old vines around the villages of Mauves, Tournon and Saint Jean de Muzols. Aged in 100% new barrels, it offers sensational notes of cassis, black raspberry, toasted bread, spice and dried flowers, as well as full-bodied richness and fabulous mid-palate depth; it has building, fine tannin and a great finish. There is an inherent elegance and purity here, but it's going to take a decade to hit maturity. One of my favorite estates in the Northern Rhône is that of the young Jerome Coursodon, who makes a bevy of brilliant St-Josephs from his roughly 16 hectares of vines. He’s another progressive winemaker who has one foot in the past and one foot in the future, and the wines shows impeccable purity of fruit while remaining classic St-Joseph. These 2015s are sensational wines and I suspect will be the greatest wines made yet from this estate. Don’t miss these wines! (JD) 95-97+  (12/2016)

92-94 points Vinous

 Dark purple. Heady scents of blackberry liqueur, cherry compote and licorice are enlivened by smoky mineral and floral notes. Sappy and expansive on the palate, offering sweet, impressively concentrated dark berry, violet pastille and spicecake flavors and a touch of vanillin oak spice. Aeration reveals more vivacity on the strikingly persistent, incisive finish, which is firmed by juicy acidity and youthfully chewy tannins. (JR)  (4/2017)

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Price: $59.99

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- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.


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