Dark purple red. Intense aromas of pepper, black berry, cocoa, chicory. The palate has a good, crisp spark in it, rocks with black fruits at its core and grainy punch of tannin. The stems play a handsome role, and give it kick and weight. Beautiful wine, to drink by 2020.
Organic farming, Manual harvest.
8 years old vines.
Soil: Gore, decomposed granite.
Aged in 600-litres oak casks for 11 months, unfined, unfiltered.
Annual Production: 2,400 bottles.
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|Grape variety||100% Syrah|
|Vines age||8 Years old|
The Domaine Lionnet has been growing grapes in the village of Cornas since 1575. Corinne Lionnet took over the domaine from her father, Pierre Lionnet when he retired in 2003. Today, Corinne, only female winemaker of Cornas, runs the show with her husband, Ludovic.
In 2008, approximately 0.5 hectares has been planted in the area "Côtes Giraud", near the place called "Les Royes", on steep slopes facing East, 300 meters above sea level, in the municipality of Chateaubourg, the southernmost village of the appellation Saint Joseph, just above Cornas.
After many years of effort, the vineyards are organically farmed and certified by Ecocert since 2009. No chemical herbicides, no insecticides, no chemical fertilizers. The soils are mechanically worked with a small tractor or horse each year. The entire vineyards work is done by hand. The grapes are sorted in the plot, quality taking precedence over yields. The winemaking is completely traditional and natural. Each parcel is harvested manually and vinified separately.
The grapes are left intact and put in cement vats. The fermentation starts with indigenous yeasts only. No additives are used in order to have a true expression of their typical terroir.
Maceration is long (three weeks) during which the grapes are stirred several times a day. This practice ensures an aromatic and structured tannic wine.
Residual pulp and seeds are then passed through the vertical wooden press dating from the XIXth century. Wines temporarily stored in tanks resin will achieve their malolactic fermentation at controlled temperature. Once the second fermentation is complete, the wine is racked to be separated from the lees. The wine will rest in oak barrels for two winters to oxygenate and refine the flavors. No new oak is used to avoid giving a woody taste to the wine.
After two winters, all the barrels are assembled and bottled. All work is done by gravity. The wine is neither fined nor filtered.
Saint-Joseph: Demanding by nature!
On the right-bank of the Rhône, the Saint-Joseph vineyard sits upon the 45th parallel, planted on steep hillsides that have been carved into terraces since ancient times. Today, the appellation is known for its red wines made using Syrah grapes. These wines are both strong flavoured and refined, expressing notes of pepper and spices, often accompanied by notes of violet mixed with minerals. Like the terrain itself, the appellation’s winemakers are demanding and seek to produce only the best wine - but they are far from being stern: every year they host the National Comedy Festival.
Within the Saint-Joseph AOC area, 160 winemakers produce predominantly red wines made with a single variety of grape or an assembly of different varieties. Syrah is the primary variety used in the red wine (even if up to 10% Roussanne or Marsanne were authorized in 1980), resulting in a strong end product.
Syrah produces robust wines with notes of pepper, spices, and a hint of violet, and is made into wine exclusively in the northern reaches of the Rhône valley. It is the Syrah grapes that give Saint-Joseph wines their fine, darkly aromatic personality.
The vineyards were first planted by Greek colonies, before being cultivated by the Romans who were seduced by the very steep hillsides on the Rhône’s right bank. The AOC gives its name to the vineyard found between Tournon and Mauves.
A wine served at prestigious tables across Europe and Russia, Charlemagne also enjoyed Saint-Joseph wines. The first written record of the wine dates back to the 17th century, but it was the monks of the monastery that owns the vineyard that gave it its name.
More recently, the wine would be mentioned in Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables”, “My brother served him some fine Mauves wine that he never drank himself, as he said it was very expensive”.
In the 20th century, the winemakers formed a union to protect the Saint-Joseph name. On 15 June 1956, the AOC was made official, running through 6 villages.
In 1994, the AOC was restructured and is today spread over 1082 hectares across 26 local district. The vineyard spreads from Chavanay to Guilherand, and connects Condrieu and Côte-Rôtie to the north, and Saint-Péray and Cornas to the south.
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