2009ChaveStJoe2009 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Saint-Joseph, Estate, Rhone Red, France.
The Saint-Joseph Estate is a wild and entertaining Syrah with much more finesse than one would imagine from a warm vintage such as 2009, in fact it has a delicacy and brightness that I certainly did not expect to find at this stage, though I will note there was a bit of bottle variation in the four that were opened with one bottle showing a bitter note and much more closed down, in was neither corked or flawed, it was just not as correct as the other three, I think the wine is still evolving and should be laid down another 3 to 5 years to be honest. That all said, this is a beautiful wine with classic Saint-Joseph signatures and details with hints of game, truffle and baked earth adding to the dark ripe black fruits in this terroir driven Syrah. The nose is confusing still, just a little violets, charcoal and a hint of green spice then turning to raspberry and liqueur, the palate shows blueberry, boysenberry, black currant and kirsch, along with mineral notes, gravelly tannins, cranberry skin and tarry licorice. The earthy elements fade quickly in the glass and the play of fruit and texture comes to the fore, this is at it’s best with food and with the acidity cutting some of the vintages flab it feels lighter than it might in another few years time. While this wine lacks the super wow factor of 2010 and 2007 even, it is really good and should get more exciting in the future, if you have this one, be a patient person, drink 2016 to 2021.
($70 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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