2020 Herve Souhaut Saint Joseph Sainte Epine
Hervé Souhaut is one of a kind, producing some of the most lithe, perfumed, and exuberant wines from the Rhone. He and his wife converted the cellars of her parents' centuries-old hunting lodge into the winery and now draw on four parcels of vines totaling 8.5 acres in Saint Joseph, as well as 20 additional acres of Vin de Pays vineyards on the plateau, planted primarily to Gamay, Roussanne and Viognier. The AOC wines are labeled under Souhaut's name, while the Vin de Pays cuvées are named Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet, in homage to the name of her parents' estate combined with Béatrice's family name.
The methods of Jules Chauvet are followed here, which is to say grapes are hand-harvested and then the whole bunches undergo a pre-fermentation maceration at low temperature. Fermentation follows using natural yeasts in wooden and concrete tanks – the wine is then aged on fine lees in seasoned oak casks for eight to twelve months. Following that there is just a teeny dose of sulfur at bottling, which is done without filtration.
The iconic Saint-Joseph Sainte Épine hails from vines over 100 years old and is the jewel in the crown at this estate. It's a wine of contemplation and inspiration displaying Syrah’s nobility and virility alongside myriad exquisite fragrances and the superfine texture that are the hand of the maker. Something very rare indeed and will repay careful cellaring handsomely.
Opaque magenta. Smoke- and mineral-accented aromas of cherry pit, cassis, olive and cured meat, along with a suave floral top note. Youthfully chewy and focused on the palate, offering bitter cherry and dark berry and licorice flavors that turn sweeter as the wine opens up. The mineral note comes back steadily on the penetrating finish, which features youthfully gripping tannins and a resonating cherry note. Drink 2025-2033.
Josh Raynolds - Vinous