Jean-Pierre Monier in his cellar, 2009 (Blurry photo: D Lillie)

The Beautiful 2018 Saint-Josephs of Monier-Perreol; 2018 "Les Iles Feray" from Domaine Pierre Gonon!

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We first tasted the lovely Saint-Josephs of Jean-Pierre Monier at the Grenier Saint-Jean in Angers in 2009. We were so impressed with the wines (and with the gracious Monsieur Monier) that we immediately made an appointment to visit him at his "garagiste" winery in Brunieux, in the hills above Saint-Desirat. Like many Saint-Josephs from the northern zone, the wines here emphasize beautiful high-toned Syrah fruit and can be less dense than those from the vineyards further south around Saint-Jean de Muzol and Tournon. But Monsieur Monier, now associated with Philippe Perreol, has long practiced biodynamic farming (since 1996) and natural vinifications with minimal SO2, producing wines of such beauty and freshness that we appreciate them just as much, in a different and very delicous way!

The estate produces four different cuvées of Saint-Joseph red on their 6 hectares of high altitude vineyards, three of which are on offer today. 2018 is superb vintage here with elegant, velvety ripe fruits, beautifully preserved by the unforced, natural vinifications, and with vibrant expressions of the domain's unique terroirs. These are rare and beautiful wines both for drinking now and for cellaring for ten to fifteen years!

Jean-Pierre in the vines

The Tradition Cuvée is remarkably pretty and enjoyable now - produced from 5 plots of 20 - 40 year-old vines in Brunieux on decomposed granite soils. The wine shows a bright, deep purple/black color with extravagant aromas of violets and blackberry liqueur, with black cherry, blueberry and thyme. The palate is densely fruited but velvety, bright and light on its feet wih beautiful black plum/cherry/blueberry flavors that are fresh, long and lingering. (Drink until 2030)

The sensational 2018 cuvée "Chatelet" is from a vineyard belonging to Philippe Perreol on the hill above Saint-Desirat with a unique terroir of decomposed granite with topsoils of "aerien" limestone - a windblown limestone sand. The ruins of a Roman temple on the site and an underground river below add mystic powers! This is a rare and elegant Saint-Joseph from a unique terroir that can be enjoyed immensely as a young wine in this sunny vintage. The palate is supple, complex and lush but backed with a unique minerality - best perhaps to wait 5 years and enjoy until 2035.

"Terre Blanche" is from 40 - 45 year-old Syrah vines at 300 meters on "Brunieux" in Saint-Desirat on soils of decomposed granite with veins of white clay. Approximately 80% de-stemmed, total SO2 is  20 - 30 mg/L, aged in 228 liter  and 400 liter barrels, some new. Normally the most age-worthy of the four cuvees, the nose is expressive and perfumed, with a mélange of violet, blackberry, blueberry, spice, mineral smoke aromas, with a suspicion of bacon fat and pepper. The palate is concentrated, ripe, and supple, though there’s a “zangy,” electric minerality that dances through the mid-palate. This offers plenty of earth and savory St. Joseph character underlying the ripe dark fruit, but the overall impression is one of profound stoniness. "A true pleasure to drink now, though this has the structure to warrant cellaring for 10-15 years. This is a cracking St. Joseph and well worth a look. Bravo!" says John Mcilwain.

Pierre and Jean Gonon

One of the finest domains in the northern Rhône is undoubtably Domaine Pierre Gonon in Mauves, named after the father of brothers Jean and Pierre who took over in 1989.  The work here is exemplary in every way (reminding me of Domaine Bernard Baudry in Chinon!) and the estate possesses magnificent, predominantly granite terroir with all massale-selection vines. And there is no new oak in the cellar. A small quantity of Vin de Pays de l'Ardeche is made, called "Les Iles Feray," from vines within the Saint-Joseph AOC on lower parcels in Mauves/Tournon and from young vines in the coteaux vineyards. It's a particularly gorgeous junior Saint-Joseph in 2018, to enjoy over the next 5 to 8 years. We're happy to offer a small quantity, please 3 bottle max per person.

All wines arrive Monday 9/21 and discount 10% on a case or mixed-case purchase.

Domaine Monier Perreol 2018 Saint-Joseph

(100% Syrah from 5 plots in Brunieux, Saint-Desirat, 80% de-stemmed, aged in 2 to 6 year-old barrels, minimal SO2 after malo, none at bottling.)  The Saint-Josephs from Monier-Perreol are outstanding in 2018 - it's perhaps the best vintage ever for their "Tradition" cuvée which is vibrant and delicious! The wine shows a bright, deep purple/black color with extravagant aromas violets and blackberry liqueur, with black cherry, blueberry and thyme. The palate is densely fruited but bright and light on its feet wih beautiful black plum/cherry/blueberry flavors that are beautifully long and lingering. The palate is lush and supple  over a core of minerality and firm, slightly bitter acidity from the granite soils. Not intended for long-term cellaring, I would drink this wine within 5 to 8 years, but it's so delicious that one could happily consume multiple cases within that time - don't delay there's very little available in the US.  Serve cool, highy recommended. David Lillie

  • red
  • 18 in stock
  • $44.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Domaine Monier Perreol 2018 Saint-Joseph Chatelet

This beautiful Saint-Joseph is produced by Domaine Monier Perreol from the "Chatelet" vineyard belonging to Philippe Perreol on the hill above Saint-Desirat. The vines are on decomposed granite with an interesting topsoil of "aerien" limestone - a windblown limestone sand. The ruins of a Roman temple on the site add mystic powers! The vines are about 40 years old, the grapes are 80% de-stemmed and undergo a three to four week vinification, with aging in new to 2 year-old barrels. Tasted with Samuel Monier last January, the wine showed beautiful aromas of blackberry, plum and cherry, very floral and deep. The palate was extremely complex, fresh and long with black cherry and blueberry fruit, bright and beautifully balanced, with an intriguing minerality from the limestone/granite soils. Beautiful now, best 2025 - 2035.  David Lillie

  • red
  • 7 in stock
  • $56.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Domaine Monier Perreol 2018 Saint-Joseph Terre Blanche

(From 40 - 45 year-old Syrah vines at 300 meters on "Brunieux" in Saint-Desirat (northern zone of Saint-Joseph) on soils of decomposed granite with white clay. Approximately 80% de-stemmed, total SO2 is  20 - 30 mg/L, aged in 228 liter  and 400 liter barrels, some new.) Inky, purple robe to the meniscus. Upon opening the nose is expressive and perfumed, with a mélange of violet, blackberry, blueberry, spice, mineral smoke aromas, with a suspicion of bacon fat and pepper. The palate is concentrated, ripe, and supple, though there’s a “zangy,” electric minerality that dances through the mid-palate. There’s a plenty of sap and certainly ripeness here, but the the stoniness is entrancing and all the structure radiates from core and carries over on the long, rising, lingering finish. And while this offers plenty of earth and savory St. Joseph character underlying the ripe dark fruit, the overall impression is one of profound stoniness. A beautiful bottle with, pan-roasted lamb blade steak and roasted pepper salad, but the tannins are sophisticated enough to warrant pairing with roast duck or a salmis of guinea hen. A true pleasure to drink now, though this has the structure to warrant cellaring for 10-15 years. This is a cracking St. Joseph and well worth a look. Bravo! John Mcilwain

  • red
  • 5 in stock
  • $65.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Gonon 2018 Vin de Pays de l'Ardèche Les Iles Feray (3 btl max)

From 20+ year-old Syrah vines on the plains and lower slope in Mauves and young vines in the Tournon coteaux vineyards, all actually in Saint-Joseph, all massale selection.  Approximately 40% de-stemmed in 2018. (Tasted just before bottling in late January) Bright black/red color. Elegant bright floral black raspberry/blueberry fruit aromas with violet, licorice. Fresh supple palate with lush fruit, cherry, blackberry, blueberry, very fine and bright with hints of bitter chocolate, rose, citrus, mint, licorice, with a firm mineral core. Quite serious and elegant for this second wine, drink over the next 8 - 10 years. David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $44.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur