Francois Merlin St-Joseph 2021, best price for this gorgeous Syrah from one of the most exciting names in the Northern Rhône: ‘wonderful’, applauds Jancis Robinson MW: ‘a winner’ say Decanter: great with grouse, Wagyu, lamb, duck and more: case of 12 bottles delivered

£297.00

94/100 Decanter
18/20 Jancis Robinson

This gorgeous, elegant, vibrant 2021 St-Joseph shows pure terroir and varietal character in full measure—and at the Club’s best price. ‘Wonderful’ notes Jancis Robinson MW—and you enjoy it at the best price available anywhere, an absolute steal for this quality. François Merlin is one of the most exciting names in the Northern Rhône today, a passionate first-generation winemaker, and his refined 2021 St-Joseph Syrah is deeply impressive, winning accolades from the leading connoisseurs and the Club Tasting Panel alike.

Notes Jancis Robinson MW, ‘Tasted blind. Fascinating nose, cracked black pepper, clove, sandalwood and spice with a subtle ashy, smoky note. Great purity of fruit on the palate, light and elegant but with great concentration. Really beautiful seamless tannins and fresh acidity that gives such energy through the wine. Very elegant, restrained and refined. Wonderful.’

The experts at Decanter, awarding 94 points, note, ‘Gorgeously fresh, aerial nose, brimming with violets and pounded blueberries. A touch of nutmeg adds to the scent. Smooth, rounded and surprisingly sweetly approachable for a 2021 St-Joseph. Wonderful energy, vibrancy and balance here, a real winner among 2021 St-Josephs.’

The Syrah vines grow on the northernmost point of the famed appellation, at an altitude of 300 meters above sea level. This helps temper the influence of the Rhone’s sunbaked terroir, and results in a remarkably lifted red that’s fragrant and refined, with notes of crunchy red fruit, dark cherry, soft herbs and black pepper spice. Supple, yet substantial, this is very impressive indeed.

François Merlin, first and foremost a farmer, has developed a well-earned reputation as one of the Rhone’s leading grape growers turned producers. He learned about the complexities of viticulture and grape growing under one of the great names in Cote Rotie, Domaine René Rostaing, and planted his first St-Joseph vines in 1989 while still studying agriculture. His wines are precise, yet full of energy, and his attention to detail is second to none. Everything is considered during his process, with no corners cut, and the results speak for themselves.

This wine is singing now and can be enjoyed immediately or age gracefully until 2032. It is wonderful with your finest game dishes, including grouse, and with Wagyu, having the finesse to match its rich, fine flavours It’s also delicious with lamb chops, game dishes such as venison, duck breast, roasted poultry, or a selection of cheeses. François also recommends enjoying this 2021 St-Joseph alongside a slab of chocolate!

St Joseph Francois Merlin 2021. Case of 12 bottles. RRP £420. CCUK Members £297 including UK mainland delivery (courier supplement for Highlands & Islands).

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