2012 St Joseph, Domaine Pierre Gonon

2012 St Joseph, Domaine Pierre Gonon

Product: 20128016890
Prices start from £1,250.00 per case Buying options
2012 St Joseph, Domaine Pierre Gonon


Eighty percent whole clusters have gone into this wine, a most accomplished illustration of the ascent in popularity of this appellation. Violets, cassis and wood smoke tempt the nose, and there is similar temptation on the palate which will rejoice in spicy black fruit, ripe but measured tannins and an heroic finish.
Simon Field MW, Rhône Wine Buyer 

Brothers Pierre and Jean Gonon farm 10 hectares in St Joseph, all on prime ground and mainly divided between the key communes of Mauves and Tournon. Two distinct terroirs inform the style; one is granitic with clay as a tops-soil and the other, where the younger vines and located, has even poorer soil, virtually all decomposed granite.  The challenge of 2012 was to avoid oidium (powdery mildew) after the rains of late June and early July. Having successfully negociated this potential obstacle, Jean is very happy with the vintage, describing is as ‘intellectual’, by which I suspect he means less approachable than 2011 and with a longer life ahead of it.
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About this WINE

Domaine Pierre Gonon

Domaine Pierre Gonon

Likeable brothers Pierre and Jean Gonon make exemplars of fine St Joseph wines. Their red wine is sourced from six hectares covering the three best communes in the appellation, namely Tournon, Mauves and St Jean de Muzols.

Pierre and Jean Gonon farm dramatically steep vineyards and back-breaking work follows organic practices, with no use of herbicides or pesticides and only natural composts to nurture the uncompromising soil of decomposed granite and calcareous limestone

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St Joseph is the second-largest appellation in the Northern Rhône with 50 growers producing wines from over 600 hectares of vineyards. Established in 1956, over 90 percent of the wine is red – made exclusively from the Syrah grape. The white wines, meanwhile, are typically a blend of Marsanne and Roussanne varieties. Its vineyards run due south on the west side below Condrieu, and are in six communes: Mauves, Tournon, St Jean-de-Muzols, Lemps, Vion and Glun.

The styles of wine in St Joseph tend to be much lighter than other red Appellations d'Origine Contrôlee and the quality can vary dramatically. The soils and climate differ, as it is a long, narrow AOC. There is no particular characteristic of the commune as some wines are produced near Côte-Rôtie, while others are near to Cornas.

The best St Josephs are still produced in the original heartland of the appellation between St Jean-de-Muzols and Mauves, where soils are predominately granitic with patches of limestone and schist. Typically, even the finest St Josephs are slightly lighter and faster-maturing than the wines of Hermitage, as St Joseph's east-facing vineyards lose the sun up to two hours earlier in the crucial ripening season.

To meet demand, some extensions of the appellation have been made on less than ideal land, producing wines of indifferent quality.

Recommended producers: Pierre GaillardJerome Coursodon, Paul Jaboulet
Best vintages: 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2000, 1999, 1996, 1990

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A noble black grape variety grown particularly in the Northern Rhône where it produces the great red wines of Hermitage, Cote Rôtie and Cornas, and in Australia where it produces wines of startling depth and intensity. Reasonably low yields are a crucial factor for quality as is picking at optimum ripeness. Its heartland, Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, consists of 270 hectares of steeply terraced vineyards producing wines that brim with pepper, spices, tar and black treacle when young. After 5-10 years they become smooth and velvety with pronounced fruit characteristics of damsons, raspberries, blackcurrants and loganberries.

It is now grown extensively in the Southern Rhône where it is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to produce the great red wines of Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas amongst others. Its spiritual home in Australia is the Barossa Valley, where there are plantings dating as far back as 1860. Australian Shiraz tends to be sweeter than its Northern Rhône counterpart and the best examples are redolent of new leather, dark chocolate, liquorice, and prunes and display a blackcurrant lusciousness.

South African producers such as Eben Sadie are now producing world- class Shiraz wines that represent astonishing value for money.

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Customer reviews

The Wine Advocate91-93/100

Critic reviews

The Wine Advocate91-93/100
Most likely just as good, the 2012 Saint Joseph, which I was able to taste from multiple barrels, offers up a classic bouquet of black pepper, olive paste, bouquet garni and copious dark fruits. Medium to full-bodied, supple and nicely concentrated, with excellent mid-palate depth and ripe, chewy tannin, it should be given a handful of years in the cellar and drink nicely through 2024.

Drink 2015-2024

Jeb Dunnuck - Wine Advocate #210, Dec 2013 Read more