Jean-Claude Marsanne, Syrah, Saint-Joesph, Northern Rhône, France 2018
This is wonderful, real-deal, old-school Saint-Joseph here. It offers a fresh, graphite mouthfeel and a light, peppery nose, with hints of olive and tapenade as it goes down.
Fermented in stainless steel tanks.
Aged for 12-15 months in 600L demi-muids (70-80%) and 228L barrels (20-30%).
The Marsanne family, as their name attests, has a long and deep-rooted history in the northern Rhône, in particular around Mauves, the birthplace of the Saint-Joseph appellation. In 1920, current owner Jean-Claude’s grandfather, Jean-Pierre, became the first in the family to focus solely on vineyards — no easy task given the impossibly steep slopes of Mauves, where everything must be worked by hand and pickaxe. Jean-Pierre started with just a few small parcels, selling off his crop to prestigious négociants, and was quickly renowned throughout the region for the exceptional quality of his grapes.
His untimely passing in 1950 forced his son, Jean, to quit school at age 16 to take over the domaine. He continued his father’s work in earnest, his vineyards often being recognized amongst the village’s best, not just for their exposition and soil, but also for the attention to detail young Jean paid to each vine. The grape sales financed some small land purchases in and around Mauves, and the domaine slowly grew to 3 hectares. In 1970, Jean made the leap to begin making and bottling the wines himself.
Over time, a small, but loyal following developed, especially among France’s fine dining establishments, which valued the finesse and elegance of Marsanne’s cuvées. The domaine remained largely unknown on the international scene, overlooked by many journalists and clients who sought out bolder, more extracted styles.
Region: Northern Rhône
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