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Jean-Louis Chave Saint-Joseph 2015

Syrah/Shiraz from Saint-Joseph, Rhone, France
  • JS96
  • WS95
  • JD94
  • V94
  • RP93
750ML / 0% ABV
Other Vintages
  • JS96
  • RP94
  • JD93
  • WS94
  • RP92
  • WS93
  • WS93
  • RP93
  • WS94
  • RP93
  • WS94
  • RP93
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Winemaker Notes

The grapes are vinified at the Domaine using indigenous yeasts in wood tonneaux and stainless steel tanks, then aged for 15-18 months in barriques.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 96
James Suckling

A plush and fleshy vintage with plenty of red plum, orange rind and darker fruits. The palate has neatly cut dark stones (granite), dark plum and bright acidity. This has dark coal smoke, a black stone edge and deep effortless power in the mouth. 

Range: 95-96

WS 95
Wine Spectator
Very alluring, this red cuts a broad swath, as velvety-textured cassis, plum and blackberry puree flavors move through, infused with warm anise, black tea and mesquite notes. The mouthwatering acidity is well-buried through the finish, lending this somewhat weighty wine a mouthwatering character. Best from 2019 through 2028.
JD 94
Jeb Dunnuck

There are two Saint Joseph releases in 2015, and Jean-Louis finally decided to bottle his Le Clos cuvée separately. Hats off to him as both wines are up with the crème de la crème of the appellation. Looking at the classic 2015 Saint Joseph, this beauty offers loads of kirsch, currants, and blackberry fruits intermixed with more smoked meats, cedar, and minerality. It’s a rich, powerful, mineral-laced Saint Joseph to drink over the coming 10-15 years.

V 94
Vinous
Inky ruby. Pungent, deeply pitched aromas of cassis, black raspberry, candied licorice and violet are complicated by suggestions of olive and smoky minerals. Smooth and seamless on the palate, offering impressively concentrated black and blue fruit and floral pastille flavors and a sexy spicecake flourish. Becomes sweeter and livelier with air, with slow-building tannins adding grip to the extremely long, sappy and floral-accented finish Drinking window: 2024-2032
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

The 2015 Saint Joseph has some delicate florals but is marked more by ripeness and power. Dark fruit, black olive and even some tarry notes feature prominently in this medium to full-bodied wine that’s supple, spicy and long on the finish.

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Jean-Louis Chave

Jean-Louis Chave

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Jean-Louis Chave , France - Other regions
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Some experts feel that the greatest maker of Hermitage is the firm of Jean-Louis Chave. The Chave family has been growing grapes at Hermitage since 1481. They have a reputation for making good wine in poor years, and excellent wine in good ones. They use low yeilding vines (average age 60 years) and a late harvest to produce the ripest fruit, and there is virtually no intervention in the winemaking and bottling with no filtration.

There are a dozen or so named vineyards in Hermitage, and Chave owns vines in most of them. They vinify each separately, which allows them to blend for greater complexity before bottling.

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St.-Joseph

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Spanning the longest stretch of river in the northern Rhône—from Condrieu in the north, to Cornas in the south—the heart of St.-Joseph lies directly across the Rhône River from Hermitage. While its soils are basically the same as Hermitage: granite, supplemented by sand and gravel, its east facing slope receives less sunlight than Hermitage, which causes less overall berry ripening on its Syrah vines. However, some of the best of them can rival any fine expression of Hermitage, Cote-Rotie or Cornas with concentrated black fruits, dark spices, crushed rock and violets. A general advantage of the region is that its Syrahs typically don’t need as much time in the bottle compared to a Cote-Rotie or Hermitage and are much easier on the bank account!

A textbook St.-Joseph red is firm with a core of minerality that is enhanced by savory and peppery qualities. Aromas and flavors of smoke, olives, herbs, and violets are common; its wines are dense in red and black fruit.

St.-Joseph is also a source of fine northern Rhône white wine. Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne grow well here and can be blended or made into single varietal wines. St.-Joseph whites are full and silky with citrus, pear and pineapple flavors and a rich bouquet reminiscent of honeysuckle, toasted nuts, spice and caramel.

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Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

PRG000985_15_2015 Item# 509182