The Northern Rhône Untamed
2016 Lionnet St-Joseph Rouge Terre Neuve

Posted by Joe Salamone

Neal Rosenthal was introduced to Lionnet by his Côte-Rôtie producer, Bernard Levet.

Levet is certainly a good jumping off point for getting a sense of Lionnet's wines.

In short, they are uncompromisingly honest and wild expressions of the Northern Rhône. In this regard, they are more extreme than Levet.

We've always admired Lionnet's wines, but some earlier vintages had a rustic edge that kept them from being ready for prime time.

Without a doubt, that changed with the 2016 vintage. Lionnet's 2016s do not sacrifice any of the Lionnet's frankness or soul. What you get is a wine that's a more seamless weave of savage elements. The 2016 St. Joseph is a wine that leaves a deep impression.

I'm starting to reach a point where I've tasted a good amount of the 2016 Northern Rhônes. St. Joseph is one of the places that really stands out. The vintage casts the appellation in a very flattering light. 2016 is a fairly concentrated and nicely ripe vintage. The exciting part is how it's presented in such a graceful, mineral and energetic sort of way.

Lionnet's 2016 offers up black berries steeped in crushed rock, game, spice and floral elements. There's both a bright feistiness and chewy edge. There's something brutally candid, and ultimately compelling, about the wine.

This is a personality-filled bottle that makes for really exciting drinking, especially when you factor in the price. We expect it to age very well over the next 7-10 years and created 4-packs to encourage you to watch it evolve.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone

Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits