JJF 2017 – Saint-Joseph, France

So I asked the guy working the counter for Georges at Antic Wines for a St. Joseph that is ready to drink now.  Wines from this small appellation tend to be built for laying down for a bit and, thus, in spite of ample fruit, can burn your palate out with tannin.  I followed instructions and opened the bottle about an hour in advance.  I poured out and sipped a glass out of curiosity and to give the wine an opportunity to breath since I was stuck in a hotel room overlooking one of Lyon’s big dining streets.  There’s plenty of characteristic cherry and strawberry on the nose and, at least after breathing a bit, the fruit and mild acid kick on the front end is just perfect.  With some vanilla and leather and echoes of the tannins that make most St. Josephs perfect for aging, this wine is light on complexity, but finishes just as strongly as it starts.  It went perfectly with the porco preto sausage I had hauled from Lisbon with me – a fantastic afternoon snack before hitting the bouchons. Though the price stretches the bounds of our “everyday” category, it’s a steal for the pricey St. Joseph appellation.

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