Domaine de la Sarbèche Saint-Joseph Rouge 2016
Young gun winemaker Cyril Milochevitch knocks it out of the park with this instantly classic, nuanced and meaty Syrah from Saint-Joseph.
Know your terroir: not all Saint-Joseph wines are the same. Because there is so much land under vine in this appellation, quality varies widely so it pays to perform due diligence.
This stunner comes from the "La Rivoire" plot in Tournon – one of the most revered plots in the appellation, directly on the Rhône riverfront perched on crazy-steep vineyards. If La Rivoire sounds familiar, it's because it's the exact same plot farmed by Pierre Gonon, a famed winemaker whose 2016 Saint-Joseph trades for $150+. This bottle is just as good – I'd put it head-to-head with Gonon's any day of the week.
The sloped vineyards hug the river and lie directly across from the famed fill of Hermitage, whose powerful, long-lived wines are well known throughout the world. Standing in this vineyard, you can see down the vertiginous slopes to the river below, and a good arm could throw a stone into Hermitage. It just doesn't get any better than this.
It's all in the glass: smoky bacon tones, thyme, boysenberry, grilled meat, and soft earth. The palate is lean and muscular, like an Olympic sprinter, with grippy tannins and bright fruit that has another two decades of unfolding to do. Texture, polish, and ultimate longevity are all here. A mighty wine. If you drink it now, please decant for a couple hours to release its full potential. We suggest going long on this to enjoy for the next 5-10 years as it evolves. Stunning.