Maison Les Alexandrins Saint-Joseph - 2020
Saint Joseph was originally called “Vin de Tournon”. The monks who lived in this little village used to produce wine from the vineyard at the top of the hill behind the village.
The terroir in Saint Joseph is mainly composed of granite. The vineyard spreads out 40km along the right bank of the Rhône river. Since our first vintage in 2007, we look for a balanced wine using grapes from the north of the appellation, which bring minerality and fruit, and ones from the historical centre of Saint Joseph that give more flesh to the wine. The blending makes wines with great distinction and extremely balanced.
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.
In the north of the appellation, the villages of St Pierre de Boeuf, Chavanay and Tournon.
Maceration and fermentation for about 20 days with pumping-over for the first few days followed by punching-down. Ageing in 1 and 2 year old barrels for 12 months to bring concentration to the wine.
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.
Serve at 17°C on grilled meats or small game.
Syrah : 100 %