The Old St. Joe Two Step

Posted on: 02/7/19 7:30 PM


We call it the Old St. Joe Two Step.

Two fabulous under the radar, consistently excellent producers from the Northern Rhône that deliver way, way, more than their asking price suggests. 2016, as we’ve said many times before, has become a moment for the Rhône. Both bottles offer more depth and grandeur than other St. Josephs we’ve come across in some time. Perfect to accompany our rustic winter fair, these are fresh, mineral accented wines that combine the vintage’s superb balance and focus with the dark, sweet, savory fruit that makes us all salivate. So, for purple tongued Syrah drinkers (and there are growing number of you by the day), today’s two outstanding wines are simply no brainers.

Are your feet tapping yet? Bring out the braised beef!

2016 Domaine Durand “Les Coteaux”

“Bright violet. Vibrant and focused on the nose, displaying intense blue fruit, olive and cracked pepper scents and a hint of cola. Appealingly sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering juicy boysenberry and cola flavors and a touch of allspice. Supple tannins build steadily on the clinging finish, which features rounded tannins and a hint of candied flowers.” 92 Points, Vinous

2016 Domaine Emmanuel Darnaud “La Dardouille”

“The 2016 Saint Joseph Lieu Dit La Dardouille comes from a fabulous terroir (Jean-Louis Chave also works with this vineyard) and was brought up a mix of once- and twice-used demi-muids and barrels. It offers ripe, sexy notes of crème de cassis, violets, and graphite, with subtle new oak covered by beautifully pure fruit. With medium to full-bodied richness and depth, sweet tannins, and a great finish, it’s a gem of a Saint Joseph that will be better with 2-3 years of bottle age and cruise for a decade. Hats off to the young Emmanuel Darnaud for another beautiful wine.” 94 Points, Jeb Dunnuck

More About the Wine

While many haven’t heard of either Domaine Durand, or Emmanuel Darnaud, the estates have been delivering superb St. Joseph for years and deserve far more attention than what is currently given to them.

Durand has been run by two brothers, Eric and Joël, since 1991. The domaine is based in Châteaubourg in the Ardèche and covers just about 20 hectares, 8.5 of which located on granite slopes of St. Joseph. The wines lean modern, are completely destemmed and undergo cold maceration. They are polished, candied, and are delicious out of the gate.

Based in Pont De L’Isère, in the southern end of St. Joseph, Emmanuel Darnaud won the lottery by having Bernard Faurie, the legendary Hermitage producer, as a father-in-law. Though we aren’t claiming they are on the same level as Faurie (nor are they priced that way) the wines are exuberant, fruit driven and impressively long. Mr. Darnaud, like the Durand brothers, did fabulous work in 2016, with the wines carrying a freshness and vitality absent in the sensational 2015’s. Worth mentioning that “La Dardouille” is a gem of a vineyard with vines planted from 1930. The other two growers who bear vines here? Faurie (surprise, surprise) and Chave.

Posted in Daily Flash By Tim Sellon