2018 Domaine Monier Perreol, Saint-Joseph Rouge, Northern Rhone, France.
This 2018 Domaine Monier Perreol Saint-Joseph is stunningly gorgeous stuff, wow, it way exceeds expectations, which were high, and shows Syrah Ian its most flattering light, it is wonderfully perfumed, elegantly structured and full of terroir personality with classic layers of blue and black fruits, savory meatiness, spice, anise and evocative florals. This is a vintage to stock up on, with the generous ripeness of the sexy 2016s, but with inner energy and freshness of details with this Saint-Joseph delivering beautiful boysenberry, blueberry, damson plum and kirsch fruits, plus added sweet dimensions including creme de cassis, liquid violets and fig along with a sultry savory contrast, with black olive, camphor, sanguine, mineral and dried herbs, finishing with a nice vibrantly crisp acidity and a weightless lingering of fruit. This medium to full bodied effort is seriously close to perfect in all areas, I mean, if this was labeled Cote-Rotie and priced twice as much, you’d say yes please and be thrilled to drink this fabulous wine, so at this price, you’ll want to chase this down. This release, divinely and vividly purple, is one of my favorites from this domaine, it comes from hillside plots that average between 15 to 30 year old vines set in mostly granite based soils with some loess and loose pebbles, which really brings out the soulful expression in this wine, it reminds me of the 2010, a wine that really caught my attention and turned me into a fan of this winery.
Jean-Pierre Monier is becoming a legend, his small estate, founded in 2001 produces just about 2,500 cases annually, and his Saint-Joseph is among the elite from this region, including the likes of Gonon, Chave and Yves Cuileron, with vines farmed with certified biodynamic practices and wines made in a traditional style, which is less edgy than some with all of his Syrah being de-stemmed to promote the grape’s prettiest side. Starting with the 2008 vintage, it should be noted, Jean-Pierre Monier entered into a partnership with Philippe Perréol to combine their resources in order to meet the increasing demand and make better economic sense. Perréol works his vines just like Monier and their’s is marriage of total harmony, lucky for us Syrah lovers as this allows for the price to be so reasonable. While Northern Rhone enthusiasts will have coveted these wines for years, most people will have a bit of trouble finding them, but famous Rhone importer Kermit Lynch is bringing Monier’s wine to the US and they know just how good these wines are and has done a lot to promote this underdog producer, I highly recommend following Kermit Lynch’s newsletter and grabbing what they have left of Monier’s latest offerings, especially this one. In the cellar, Jean-Pierre ferments his reds in temperature-controlled cement cuves and employs daily hand pumpovers until primary is done, then after a gentle pressing the wine is racked into used or seasoned tonneaux (oak barrels) for the regular Saint-Joseph cuvee, where it sees a year of aging. This is a total blessing in the glass, it gets better and better with every sip!
($40 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive