Delas Freres / 2013 St Joseph "Sainte Epine".

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93 POINTS / The Wine Advocate 31st Dec 2015.
Delas Freres / 2013 St Joseph "Sainte Epine".

COUNTRY/REGION: France/Rhone Valley.


UNIT: 1 x 75cl Bottle.

VINEYARDS: The vineyard stretches from Chavanay in the north, to Guilherand in the south, the Rhone: it covers 23 "communes" in the Ardèche region, and 3 in the Loire.

SOILS: the soils consist of light schist and gneiss over a granite bedrock.

CLIMATE: The climate is moderately continental, with hot and dry summers, and normal rainfall the rest of the year.

EXPOSURE: south and south-east.

HISTORY: This wine was reputed in the 16th century for its delicacy, and was made for the table of the kings of France. It was the Jesuits (a monk community) of Tournon who gave the area its current name, in the 17th century. Between 1956 and 1969, all the vineyards of this area which used to be named "Côtes du Rhône" were grouped and established under the St. Joseph appellation.

SURFACE AREA UNDER PRODUCTION: 1,095 hectares (2,705 acres), for an annual crop of 40,000 hectoliters (444,444 cases). Authorized maximum yield is 40 hectoliters / hectare (2.3 US tons / acre).

CHARACTERISTICS: The cuvee is a vineyard plot selection. Grapes come exclusively from the plot known as "Sainte-Epine", a south-facing slope hillside on the commune of Saint-Jean de Muzols, in the heart of the Saint-Joseph appellation. Only made in the very best years, its production is deliberately limited to 4,000 bottles (75cl.) per year.

WINE MAKING: The "Sainte-Epine" grapes are harvested by hand, at optimum ripeness. Fermentation takes place in traditional, open-topped concrete tanks, after 3 days pre-fermentary skin contact at cool temperatures. Maceration continues at controlled temperatures of 82°F to 86°F (28°C to 30°C). Daily cap pushing down and pumping over are carried out for about 10 days, with
a total maceration period of up to 20 days.

MATURING: The wine is aged for 14 to 16 months, half in new barrels, the other half in one year old barrels. Barrels are topped up regularly.

TASTING NOTES: The wine has a deep ruby colour with purple tinges. Its nose shows aromas of blackberries and spices, lifted by some mineral and gently wooded notes. Well concentrated, this wine has pure flavours that come to the palate in successive layers of varying aromas, all of equal intensity.

FOOD AND WINE PAIRING: Games, marinated beef in sauce, grills, green peppers. It goes well with all types of cheese.

DELIVERY: All our wines are stored in our importers bonded warehouse’s, which have the optimum environment for fine wine storage, by carefully regulating temperature, humidity and other microclimatic factors.

As such, please allow between 7 and 10 days for your delivery to arrive.