Stéphane's St. Joseph is made from three parcels in Tournon, Glun, and Mauves—three of the original six villages, in the southern part of the appellation near Cornas—from vines dating back to the 1920s. The granite-dominated soils of these parcels imbue the wine with a pungent, almost powdery minerality that is so prominent as to be almost puzzling (in a wonderful way). The fruit is pure, and very deep, but also extremely bright, displaying a Burgundy-like combination of power and weightlessness. Furthermore, the wine is unmarked by the influence of new oak, as Stéphane dislikes those flavors in northern Rhone syrah, ageing instead in four-to-six-year-old casks. His wines are uncanny in their union of clarity and fruit expression with an unmistakable stamp of terroir—this St. Joseph could come from nowhere else in the world, and displays all the bramble, pepper, and bacon fat you want and expect in a wine from this region. While approachable and delicious today, it should evolve and improve for at least eight years… A truly exceptional wine.