• 2015 Domaine Chave Saint Joseph: No Stone Unturned

    2015 Domaine Chave Saint Joseph: No Stone Unturned

    Since 1481, there have been 16 generations of unbroken lineage at the Chave estate along the Rhone River's towering granite slopes. When we look closely at the birthplace of Syrah there's no name more respected than that of Jean-Louis Chave.

    Today, I'm very happy to offer the brand new release of Domaine Chave's 2015 Saint Joseph.

    Additionally, this offer covers vintages 1998, 1999, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013.


    Chave's Saint Joseph captures everything that thrills the senses from Northern Rhone Syrah, while offering an immediacy and generosity upon release that Hermitage simply cannot. Each vintage flaunts a huge spectrum of black, blue, and red fruits. Spices range from exotic Indian to cracked black pepper. And the tell-tale notes of violets, olive tapenade, and roasted meats are always on full display.

    However, it's the underlying mineral component from these granite terraced slopes serving as the backbone of Chave's wines. It's this definition that allows the wines to age effortlessly, and makes reaching for another sip habitual. Examples of the Saint Joseph from the late 1990's have floored me for their sense of vivacity, freshness, and still-present regal structure - Both 1998 and 1999 vintages offered today are in a magical spot.

    Jean-Louis Chave joined his father Gérard in 1992, following his studies in Enology at UC Davis. Once home, he undertook his primary mission of re-planting the steep slopes of Saint Joseph, as his ancestors had done centuries ago. In fact, it was precisely on this hillside that the domaine officially started in 1481. These vineyards had remained fallow since phylloxera decimated vineyards throughout France in the late 19th century.

    Along with carrying on the tradition of producing the the iconic Hermitage bottlings, Jean-Louis knew that these treacherously steep hillsides in Saint Joseph were capable of producing magnificent wines, and offered a value to consumers that Hermitage could not. 25 years have now passed since these terraces began to be re-built by hand, and vines have been re-planted among the traditional échalas stakes. Today, the results are stunning wines that remind us the root of all success in the Rhone comes from hands-on work and fastidious attention to detail, something the Chave family has personified for hundreds of years.

    Since the Saint Joseph appellation was officially given AOC status in 1956 the boundaries have expanded immensely. It's these choice parcels that represent the best and most serious terroir for the zone. Slopes that the Chave's knew were capable of producing intensely concentrated, structured, and age-worthy Syrah. Land where machines were incapable of working, as everything must be done entirely by hand. 


    2015 Domaine Chave Saint Joseph
    $89 per bottle.

    2013 Domaine Chave Saint Joseph
    $79 per bottle.

    2011 Domaine Chave Saint Joseph 
    $79 per bottle.

    2010 Domaine Chave Saint Joseph 
    $89 per bottle.


    2009 Domaine Chave Saint Joseph 
    $89 per bottle.

    1999 Domaine Chave Saint Joseph 
    $179 per bottle.

    1998 Domaine Chave Saint Joseph 
    $179 per bottle.


    1985 Chave Hermitage Blanc 
    $459 per bottle.
    Posted by Max Kogod
  • Syrah's Top Value on the Globe: 2015 Faury Saint Joseph Vielles Vignes

    Syrah's Top Value on the Globe: 2015 Faury Saint Joseph Vielles Vignes

    As the Northern Rhone 2015 vintage rolls in with its massive scores I'm careful to find producers who judged the hot and dry vintage well. Thankfully, with Domaine Faury there really isn't much to contemplate. Each year they produce the single greatest value Syrah on earth: their Saint Joseph Vieilles Vignes, from parcels planted in 1937. While the vintage has given some wines a muscular frame that doesn't always fit the suit, the Faury lineup is again a testament to their emphasis on sophisticated texture and drinkability. In 2015 the concentration of fruit plays perfectly into their sensibilities, and once again at $40 per bottle this top old vine cuvée from the terraces of Saint Joseph is spellbinding. 

    Philippe Faury first took control of the domaine in 1979, a time when peach and cherry production was more common from these vignerons. That year marked a shift toward a newfound vineyard-first focus at the estate. New parcels were purchased on the steeply terraced granite vineyards of Côte Rôtie, Saint Joseph, and Condrieu. Today, Philippe works alongside his son Lionel who took the reigns in 2006. 

    In 2015 the hallmark notes of their old vine Saint Joseph are magnified to a brilliant level of focus. Olive tapenade, smoke, black pepper, and violets meet the tell-tale blackberry fruit with a level of concentration not seen here since the epic 2010.Harnessing the inherent power of the vintage is tricky, but Faury's whole cluster ferments and large barrel aging help bring a freshness and joy of drinking that I'm always crossing my fingers to find in these massive vintages.

    For years I've made it no secret that this is the single bottle of the entire Northern Rhone region that demands everyone's first look. The value is simply unmatched.While other champions of Saint Joseph like Gonon and Chave are tipping over $70 per bottle it only highlights the need to find authentic examples that deliver exceptional value. Huge scores mean that prices will surely rise throughout the region for the 2015's, and while it lasts the Faury Saint Joseph V.V. should be your prime target.

    2015 Faury Saint Joseph Vieilles Vignes
    $40 per bottle.

    Special 4-Pack Price: $147 ($36.75 per bottle)

    Also available:

    2015 Faury IGP Collines Rhodaniennes Syrah
    $22 per bottle.
    Sourced from vines planted high above Saint Joseph on a granite plateau. 20% whole cluster fermented. Aged in large old demi-muid barrels.

    2015 Faury Collines Rhodaniennes Syrah “l'Art Zélé”
    $32 per bottle.
    From vines located just 150 feet from the Côte Rotie appellation line.
    The translation is “zealous, enthusiastic Art” - a play on words on the name of the lieu-dit where these vines grow: “L’Arselié

    Posted by Max Kogod
  • No Stone Unturned: Domaine Chave Saint Joseph

    No Stone Unturned: Domaine Chave Saint Joseph

    The Syrahs of Jean-Louis Chave are perhaps the most regal and majestic in the world. No name embodies tradition and grandeur in the Northern Rhone Valley quite like Chave does. Since 1481, there have been 16 generations of unbroken lineage at this estate along the Rhone River's towering granite slopes. Their Hermitage Rouge, and rarer Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin sell for current release prices of $500 and $4,000+ per bottle, respectively. Today, we take a close look at the third red wine in the Domaine Chave lineup, the Saint Joseph Rouge.

    Jean-Louis Chave joined his father Gérard in 1992, following his studies in Enology at UC Davis. Once home, he undertook his primary mission of re-planting the steep slopes of Saint Joseph, as his ancestors had done centuries ago. In fact, it was precisely on this hillside that the domaine officially started in 1481. These vineyards had remained fallow since phylloxera decimated vineyards throughout France in the late 19th century.

    Along with carrying on the tradition of producing the the iconic Hermitage bottlings, Jean-Louis knew that these treacherously steep hillsides in Saint Joseph were capable of producing magnificent wines, and offered a value to consumers that Hermitage could not. 25 years have now passed since these terraces began to be re-built by hand, and vines have been re-planted among the traditional échalas stakes. Today, the results are stunning wines that remind us the root of all success in the Rhone comes from hands-on work and fastidious attention to detail, something the Chave family has personified for hundreds of years.

    Since the Saint Joseph appellation was officially given AOC status in 1956 the boundaries have expanded immensely. It's these choice parcels that represent the best and most serious terroir for the zone. Slopes that the Chave's knew were capable of producing intensely concentrated, structured, and age-worthy Syrah. Land where machines were incapable of working, as everything must be done entirely by hand. 

    Chave's Saint Joseph captures everything that thrills the senses from Northern Rhone Syrah, while offering an immediacy and generosity upon release that Hermitage simply cannot. Each vintage flaunts a huge spectrum of black, blue, and red fruits. Spices range from exotic Indian to cracked black pepper. And the tell-tale notes of violets, lavender, olive tapenade, and roasted meats are always on full display. But, it's the underlying mineral component from these granite slopes that serves as the backbone of Chave's wines. It's this definition that allows the wines to age effortlessly, and makes reaching for another sip habitual. Examples of the Saint Joseph from the late 1990's have floored me for their sense of vivacity, freshness, and still present regal structure.

    2009 Domaein Chave Saint Joseph 
    $72 per bottle.

    2010 Domaine Chave Saint Joseph 
    $69 per bottle.

    2011Domaine Chave Saint Joseph 
    $69 per bottle.

    2012 Domaine Chave Saint Joseph 
    $69 per bottle.

    2013 Domaine Chave Saint Joseph

    $69 per bottle.

    Also available:


    1987 Chave Hermitage Rouge 
    $339 per bottle.

    2001 Chave Hermitage Blanc
    $199 per bottle.

    2001 Chave Hermitage Rouge 1.5L
    $799 per bottle.

    2009 Chave Hermitage Rouge

    $499 per bottle.

    Posted by Max Kogod