Gonon St. Joseph 2010: Without Artifice

Posted by CrushWine

Northern Rhône Without Artifice
2010 Gonon Saint-Joseph
Syrah of Elegance and Quiet Complexity

The Rhône's old guard have mostly retired and their bottles are now being hoarded and cherished as a style of winemaking that's all but extinct - names like Verset, Trollat and Gentaz-Dervieux.

It's been incredible to watch, really.

Only five years ago one could pickup great vintages of Verset's Cornas for $50-$60, easily. Now, if you can find a bottle they are off-vintage and well over $100.

Gentaz-Dervieux is even more extreme; we just bought a single bottle of the 1986 Côte-Rôtie at a crazy price. Why? Because we had the chance to buy a Gentaz-Dervieux, and at this point you don't pass that up.

Watching the wines of these masters disappear has been difficult. Something very real has been lost. Back then, winemaking reflected a very local, very tangible culture based more on intuition and experience than science. Much of this style of winemaking simply can't be recovered.

It is in this context that the wines of Gonon are so important, to say nothing of the fact that they are delicious, delicate, authentic, without artifice... they are also, relatively speaking, affordable.

Over the last five years, these wines have gained a very serious following; they have become cult. They have a purity, a clarity and breed that is uncommon. It's that simple.

This is St. Joseph, 100% Syrah, that is delicate and intricate, that is slightly wild, a finely detailed presentation of blackberries, olives, violets, spice and forest floor notes wrapped around a smoke-infused minerality.

Today we present the first release of their 2010 St. Joseph - a vintage that looks to be one of the greatest, most classical vintages in many years.

It may also be the ideal introduction to Gonon's wines; to a style of winemaking that obviously references Trollat and Gentaz, et al. This is a vintage with a crisp, stony acidity, with a porcelain purity and with tremendous overall harmony. Gonon's St. Joseph will easily age for the next ten to fifteen years all the while revealing further layer after layer of refined nuances.

These are St. Josephs of classical portions; having as much, if not more, to do with Burgundy than with the muscular, extracted brutes this region has become internationally known for.

The days of Trollot, of Gentaz, of Verset are fading, things are changing - but all is not lost. There is a new generation of great traditionalists, and when the book is written the Gonons will figure very prominently, no doubt.

You know the story here - one parcel only, very limited, and likely to sell out with some rapidity. To order, email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Stephen Bitterolf
Wine Director
Crush Wine & Spirits

2010 Gonon Saint-Joseph