Domaine Faury Saint Joseph Vielles Vignes 2008
This wine is the perfect example of what you should be able to buy in B.C. for $36. It is also an ideal exemplar of thinking more deeply about vintage and following your palate. 2008 is largely bandied in main stream media as a near write-off for the Northern Rhone, not dissimilar (though not quite as bad as) to 2002. Utter nonsense I say.
Trust Your Importer
Kermit Lynch is the great prophet of the Rhone valley in the United States, basically making a market where none existed before for wines like Auguste Clape and Vieux Telegraph.
Philippe Faury is a Lynchian wine-maker. That is, he has incredible attention to detail, respect for the soil and the environment but also pragmatism and a simple, measured clarity of methodology in both the vineyard and the cellar. Hand-picked, pipeage by foot, very gentle pumping over, all come together to make a seamless, consistent wine with great purity and expression. Aging is done in large 600l demi-muids and smaller 220l barrels.
Old Vines, Pure Fruit, and a Little Rant
The vines for this old vine St. Joseph were planted between 1937 and 1976 on a tiny .9ha plot. That means this wine is pretty hard to find, but it also means it is complex and deep even while the 2008 vintage gives it lightness and clarity. This is fresh syrah, made in an extremely classic style by one of St. Joseph’s best proponents, especially since its resurgence via Coursodon and Chave.
Pure aromas of pepper, stone, and crushed blackberries picked seconds ago from the bush. The ferral quality is tamed, but just present enough to make this wine breath the varietal purity of Syrah from the Northern Rhone, as only it can produce.
Of course, such delicacy and purity is only possible with proper shipping and storage conditions. Kermit Lynch guarantees both up until he sells it – something that you cannot be sure of with almost every single importer in B.C.
I am also skeptical that our wines need cost what they do, even with the absurd B.C. 123% tax rate as preliminary research and information has suggested to me that many importers add quite high markups to their wines (but at this point this is unsubstantiated and needs more research).
So, a beautiful Syrah drinking perfectly now or able to sit a few years. I see no reason to hold on to this, though and would love to do a vertical of these if at all possible. If you are down in Seattle or SF I highly recommend picking this up.
Excellent and Highly Recommended Value
$36 at Esquin in Seattle