2015 Domaine Coursodon "La Sensonne" Saint-Joseph (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1289016 96-98 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Coming from a selection of Granite terroirs and aged all in new oak, the 2015 Saint Joseph Sensonne offers an incredibly pure, silky style as well as pedal-to-the-metal aromas and flavors of crème de cassis, toasted spice, violets and incense. It's a big, rich, concentrated beauty that's already approachable given its fruit, yet has the depth, balance and purity to keep for two decades. I continue to love the wines from the young Jerome Coursodon, who pulls from roughly 16 hectares of vines all in the southern part of Saint Joseph, mostly just outside the village of Mauves. The 2015s are monster, blockbuster styled efforts that I suspect won’t appeal to the traditionalists out there, but are singular wines. The 2016s are more elegant and finesse-driven, yet still pack in more sweet fruit than just about everyone else out there.  (1/2018)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A bit of cedar sticks out on the nose of the 2015 Saint Joseph la Sensonne, so give this a couple of years in the cellar to further integrate its 100% new oak treatment. This full-bodied, richly concentrated wine has the mixed berry and cherry fruit to handle it and the tannic structure to age a decade or more. (JC)  (12/2017)

92-94 points Vinous

 (made from vines that average 60 years of age and raised in all new barriques for 15 months) 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. -- Josh Raynolds  (4/2017)

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Price: $74.99
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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- 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.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.
Sub-Region:

Rhone

- Legendary wine-producing region in southeast France. Stereotypically speaking, Rhone wines are high in alcohol, and the majority produced is red. The northern Rhone is best known for outstanding 100% Syrah wines from areas such as Cote Rotie and Hermitage, as well as for fabulous white wines from Condrieu (where Viognier is king). In the southern Rhone, look for spicy, full-bodied wines that are blends of Grenache, Syrah, and other varietals coming from appellations such as Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, or Rasteau. Wines labeled as Cote du Rhone or Cotes du Rhone Village (a cut above generic Cotes du Rhone) are frequently found here in the US because they often represent some of the best values on the market.