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2015 Saint Joseph Blanc

Lionel Faury

2015 Saint Joseph <i>Blanc</i> Lionel Faury - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
With each passing vintage, we are more impressed with Lionel Faury’s wines from the slopes of Chavanay, in the heart of the northern Rhône. In a region dominated by a few large players from a commercial standpoint and by a select handful of “cult” producers in the eyes of the greater public, it is refreshing to see and taste the honesty and humility with which Lionel goes about his craft.
    These words could also be used to describe Lionel’s wines, elegant beauties that exhibit delicacy and nuance in both colors. These are not wines designed to win blind tastings or score high points; rather, they are delightful expressions of terroir characterized by graceful structures and seductive floral aromatics.
     The 2015 Saint Joseph blanc falls perfectly in line with the house style: there is not a single sharp edge, only tender, succulent, ripe peachy fruit, plus a touch of honeysuckle to round things out. The freshness is remarkable for a warm year like 2015, and Lionel has found the perfect balance between barrel- and tank-aged portions of the blend. It is yet another release from this under-the-radar young talent that is well worth your table—you will be awed by the absolute deliciousness of Lionel's white. –Anthony Lynch
$32.00
Vintage: 2015
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 60% Marsanne, 40% Roussanne
Appellation: Saint Joseph
Country: France
Region: Northern Rhône
Producer: Lionel Faury
Winemaker: Lionel Faury
Vineyard: Planted between 1979 and 1998, 1.5 ha
Soil: Granite
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
Alcohol: 13%

More from this Producer or Region

About Northern Rhône

On the wines of the northern Rhône, Kermit wrote in Adventures on the Wine Route, “The best combine a reminder of the sunny Mediterranean with the more self-conscious, intellectual appeal of the great Burgundies farther north, which is not a bad combination.” Like the wines of Provence, Burgundy, and Beaujolais, Kermit was introduced to this region by Richard Olney, an American ex-pat and friend of Alice Waters.

Though technically part of the same region as the southern Rhône and connected by the Rhône River, much differentiates the north from the south. The climate is continental and in general cooler than that Mediterranean climate of the south. The appellations are significantly smaller: Cornas has less than 300 acres planted to vine and Hermitage around 345. The area planted is minute when compared to Gigondas (3,000+ acres) and Châteauneuf-du-Pape (nearly 8,000 acres). Many of the great wines come from steep hillside vines—terraced during Roman times. It was clear to the Romans that great wine could be made here and DNA evidence now shows that Syrah is in fact indigenous to the Rhône.

The terroir is predominantly granite and lastly, blends of the wines are mostly single grape varieties. Only four grape varieties are permitted in AOC blends: Syrah, Viogner, Marsanne, and Roussanne (as compared to the 19 permitted varieties allowed in Châteauneuf). The red wines are nearly all Syrah and Condrieu and Château Grillet must be 100% Viogner. The whites of Hermitage, Saint Joseph, Saint Péray, and Crozes-Hermitages may only be blends of Marsanne and Roussanne.

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2014 Côte-Rôtie “Emporium”

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2015 Côte-Rôtie “Nève”

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For the wines that I buy I insist that the winemaker leave them whole, intact. I go into the cellars now and select specific barrels or cuvées, and I request that they be bottled without stripping them with filters or other devices. This means that many of our wines will arrive with a smudge of sediment and will throw a more important deposit as time goes by, It also means the wine will taste better.

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