2015 Delas Frères "Sainte-Epine" St. Joseph Rouge

SKU #1353191 95 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Even better, with more minerality and elegance, the blockbuster 2015 Saint Joseph Sainte Epine comes from this cool, windy, granite site located just outside of the small village of Saint-Jean-de-Muzols. Destemmed and brought up in 40% new oak, its vibrant purple color is followed by full-bodied notes of black raspberries, cassis, crushed rocks, and spring flowers. It’s concentrated, has awesome purity of fruit, and stays compact and tight on the palate. Hide bottles for 3-4 years. This wine should evolve for 10-15 years or more.  (1/2018)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Less aromatic than the François de Tournon bottling, the 2015 Saint-Joseph Sainte-Epine is nonetheless a stellar effort that may be even longer lived. It shows great concentration, pouring across the palate in a single jolt of dark fruit, expanding and intensifying on the powerful finish. Black cherries and plums carry hints of molten rock, charcoal and other inorganic complexities, which are brightened by crisp acids and buffered by firm tannins. (JC) 94+  (12/2017)

93 points Vinous

 Bright violet color. Dark berries, potpourri, peppery spices and smoky minerals on the highly perfumed nose. Juicy, penetrating and alluringly sweet, offering densely packed blackberry, cherry compote and violet flavors that are lifted and sharpened by a spine of juicy acidity. Supple tannins add grip to the impressively persistent, mineral-laced finish, which strongly repeats the floral note. (JR)  (4/2018)

92 points James Suckling

 Plenty of oak. A toasty, sappy and spicy edge, with peppery nuances and ripe blackberry fruits. The palate has slick, fleshy plum-flavored fruits with a core of ripe, plush tannins and a cola-flavored finish. Drink now.  (9/2017)

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Price: $49.99

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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.


- 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.


- 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.