2007 Jean-Louis Chave St-Joseph

Posted by CrushWine

The Real St-Joseph, Please Stand Up
2007 Jean-Louis Chave St-Joseph
The Complement to Hermitage,
Less Than a Third of the Price

"The issue is that St-Joseph as an appellation doesn't mean much..." - Jean-Louis Chave

Except, of course, in his own case.

No big surprise, really, that Jean-Louis stated it flat-out to Wine Spectator last fall... most will agree that the appellation, sadly, has sprawled too far, hasn't maintained enough specificity.

Not in the case of Chave. Here is the region's benchmark, the beau ideal, the "O.G." if you like.

This is head-turning, terroir-screaming, reference point St-Joseph Syrah from one of the exemplars of the Northern Rhone. Today we offer this super-allocated St-Joseph at $53.40 a bottle.

The Chaves have been focused on crafting the best possible version of St-Joseph ever since the family settled there in the 15th century. This is real St-Joseph standing up for itself and for its class.

The 2007 glides across the palate, a tail of bright, multi-colored and rippling fruit, flower, olive and spice streaming out behind it. The vintage expresses itself through a surprising lightness of being - especially for Syrah - even as it finagles impressive concentration and wily complexity.

On the finish is a mineral element that evokes the very image of vines clinging to slopes of schist, as they do in this part of St-Joseph.

I've walked - or more like mountainclimbed - these vineyards, which are just outside of Mauves, the Chave's home village and the site that has traditionally been considered the area's best, with granitic soils very similar to Hermitage across the river. These are by far the steepest slopes I've ever been on, a serpentine terrace providing entrance to wise old vineyards that peer down through the fog towards the Rhône River far, far below. Completely outrageous.

Though Chave's justly famous Hermitage may be the most sought-after, most collectible bottling from the estate, the St-Joseph is certainly the greatest value. Consider for a moment that the Hermitage, Chave's only other estate bottling (don't be confused by the "Offerus" or "Mon Coeur," which are part of a negociant deal), will run you at least triple the price of today's St-Joseph.

And while the Hermitage's ageworthiness is admirable, the St-Joseph may be its perfect foil - a bottle to savor in the meantime... though it can also certainly hold its own for the better part of a decade - at least.

This is the first time we've received enough of this highly allocated wine to do an email offer; the entire production of Chave's "domain" St-Joseph is only about 400 cases. All orders today are subject to confirmation.

To place your order, please reply to this email or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Robert Schagrin
Managing Partner
Crush Wine & Spirits


2007 Jean-Louis Chave St-Joseph

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