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Pierre Gonon

St Joseph Rouge Pierre Gonon 2018

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  • Size: 750ml
  • Vintage: 2018
  • ABV: 13,5%
  • Origin: Rhone/France
  • Grapes: 100% Syrah

Description

Pierre Gonon was a mainstay at Mauves for many years, making quietly understated wines. He was joined by his two sons Jean in 1986 and Pierre in 1988, with the brothers sharing most tasks. Their father had to retire early due to ill health in 1989, and since then the brothers have worked with a passion to raise this domaine to the point where it is now generally considered as the leading domaine in Saint-Joseph.

They initially made wines from two cramped cellars, but in 2002 they finished construction of a new winemaking cave and cellar, still linked to one of the two ancient, atmospheric cellars. The domaine's vines are planted in the original heart of the Saint-Joseph appellation, the granitic terraced hillsides of Mauves and Tournon (a good number of the vines in Mauves were planted by German prisoners of war during the second world war), and their wines came from these two sources until they started renting 1.5ha of old vines in St Jean de Muzols (which represents 20% of their main red cuvée) from the legendary Raymond Trollat in 2004, which in more recent years they have now purchased.

Incorporates three hectares of 80 year old vines purchased from the legendary Raymond Trollat in St Jean de Muzols (representing one third of the wine) and Jean noted during my visit last year that no syrah clones are used at all now for this wine, just massale selection. Made from 100% whole bunches in 2017, it’s quite floral on the nose (violets), with typical stamp of blackberry fruit and notable tapenade and liquorice, and the palate staining quality typical of fruit from St Jean de Muzols – the dry extract and mineral print from this vineyard is such that it almost sucks all the saliva out of your mouth when young, and provides a perfect backbone to help the wine age very well – as a guide Jean Gonon recommends six years. The wine possesses great energy, balance and finesse, and is long, irony and saline on a mineral infused finish.

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