Rousset Saint Joseph 2018
100% Syrah. Stéphane Rousset’s wines are built on solid craftsmanship and a clear concession of his voice to that of his terroir. His rough, intense look gives the impression that he might be a tough one to squeeze for information, but fifteen seconds in his smile grows and his soft, humble personality emerges. He and his lovely wife, Isabelle, are gentle and hospitable people. Stéphane works in the Crozes-Hermitage, but this wine comes from just across the river, crafted from a terrific set of side-by-side, east-facing Saint Joseph granite parcels named, Rivoires, in the commune of Tournon. This parcel is from the original zone of Saint Joseph, where the best vineyards are, which means steep east-facing granite hillsides. Sustainably farmed, old vines, and aged almost entirely in neutral oak this wine is elegant and aromatic while being a touch rustic. Clean and complex notes of charcuterie, graphite, and red berries are lifted by an undercurrent of rich earth and minerality. Little by little, people are starting to re-discover the gems of the original Saint Joseph zone and we think Rousset crafts a wine that is one of the crown jewels of the appellation.