Maison Les Alexandrins Saint-Joseph - 2020
A partnership between three winegrowers from the Rhône Valley – Nicolas Jaboulet, Guillaume Sorrel and Alexandre Caso – Maison les Alexandrins produces northern wines in a style at once contemporary and timeless, always from exceptional vineyards unearthed by Alexandre Caso, a specialist in the terroirs of the northern Rhône Valley. Classics with a twist, these wines and how they are aged and blended are guided by the quest for perfect harmony from a very young age. Our vines are located in Saint Jean de Muzols and Tournon.
The Saint-Joseph vines wind along the Rhône. They are planted on slopes covered in granite (decomposed in parts) facing east/south-east.
After the hail damage of 2019, we had to nurse our vineyards back to health with a range of gentle but complementary nutrients. This made 2020 a technically exacting year, especially since the weather reserved many surprises for us. Spring was extraordinarily hot and dry and, despite a short break in June when some welcome rain fell, summer saw a continuation of drought conditions right up until the harvest. With a high risk of mildew at the start of the season, constant and unpredictable winds, powdery mildew half way through the season and the threat of high temperatures and scorching, we were spared nothing, and it required a major effort to cope. Fortunately, the occasional shower, fairly cool nights and morning dew meant the vines did not suffer too much from the summer heat, and all our hard work seems to have paid off with the promise of a fine vintage. To avoid the hottest moments of the day, we began picking from 6 am so as to pick the grapes while they were cool. We began with the whites on August 19 and continued with the reds through until September 16. First tastings revealed aromatic wines of great freshness, with degrees rarely exceeding 13.5°. After so many twists and turns, it is a vintage that reverts to origin in a very “Northern Rhône” style, after the mediterranean vintages of 2018 and 2019.
The Saint-Joseph vineyard stretches 40 km along the right bank of the Rhône on the 45th parallel, planted on steep slopes that were first terraced in Roman times. Once called “Vin de Mauves”, Jesuits in the 17th century gave it its current name. It achieved AOC status in 1956. At that time, it spilled into six villages (90 hectares). It was restructured in 1994 and now embraces 26 villages, covering an area of 1,330 hectares. The vineyard winds from Chavanay to Guilherand, connecting Condrieu and Côte-Rôtie in the north with Saint-Péray and Cornas in the south. Nowadays, the appellation is known for its red wines made from Syrah – simultaneously powerful and elegant – and, on a smaller scale, for its whites made from Roussanne and/or Marsanne grapes.
This wine is produced each year upholding a style in which the granite terroir that brings mineral notes has to blend with the classic black fruit notes of the Saint-Joseph appellation.
- Maceration and fermentation for about 20 days with pumping over for the first few days and then punching down towards the end.
- Ageing in conical vats for 12 months.
Superb colour of an intense black red with ruby reflections. This wine opens up with a particularly concentrated nose with aromas of black fruit, pepper and spices typical of this granite terroir. An intense bouquet that still requires a little time to reveal its full extent. Elegant and powerful on the palate, it offers peppery and black fruit notes and very present, precise and delicate tannins, finely balanced by a beautiful minerality. The finish is very long, carried by the mineral freshness.
This wine will pair perfectly with grilled meat or in a sauce.
Serve at 17°C. Drink within 3 years.
Syrah : 100 %