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Nicolas Badel Saint-Joseph Montrond 2014

Syrah/Shiraz from Saint-Joseph, Rhone, France
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    Winemaker Notes

    Aromas of appealing red fruits, violet and blackcurrant. After breathing, notes of cherry and eau-de-vie (French brandy) appear. A full and juicy Saint-Joseph precise and smoothed out tannins for a subtle and complex wine.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Nicolas Badel

    Nicolas Badel

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    Nicolas Badel, Saint-Joseph, Rhone, France
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    Nicolas Badel was not born into the world of wine, but wine is his passion and has drawn him into the life of a vigneron. Hailing from a family of local farmers, he trained as an engineer before deciding that winemaking was the profession he sought. Nicolas went back to school to study viticulture and spent many years working in other people's vineyards. In 1999 he acquired vineyards in St.-Joseph (some purchased, others rented) and sold his wine to the local co-op while preparing his own vineyards outside of the appellation. In 2010 he finally began making and bottling his own wine. He has been certified organic since the beginning. The winery is located near Vernosc-les-Annonay, on the plateau above the Rhone valley. On a hillside called Les Grands Vignes next to the winery, Nicolas has reclaimed about 5 acres of vines at 350m on sandy granitic soils with full southern exposure. The vines here are young, mostly planted in 2008. The majority of the vines are Syrah, but he has also planted some Marsanne and Viognier. Nicolas calls the area very "savage"; the vineyard is very secluded, surrounded by scrubby forest and only accessible via a long dirt path through the woods. His vineyards in St-Joseph and Condrieu are both near the town of Limony. The St-Joseph vineyard was his first and is located on the plateau at 350m. The Condrieu vineyard is closer to the river, on a steep hill in a protected hollow. The vines here are between 13 and 30 years old.


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    Spanning the longest stretch of river in the northern Rhone—from Condrieu in the north, to Cornas in the south—the heart of St. Joseph lies directly across the Rhone 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 Rhone 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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    Marked by 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.

    TEWFR99852_2014 Item# 239286