Domaine Vincent Paris Saint Joseph 2009

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A return to the source. It was the wines of the Northern Rhone that first entranced me when I was beginning to take wine more seriously. These wines continue to excite this jaded palate and you’ll find me enjoying them more often than wines from most any other region.

Vincent Paris is a truly exceptional producer in the Northern Rhone. A bit of a darling of the wine geek camp in both the U.S. and here in Vancouver, Paris makes wine from vineyards that he inherited from his grandfather. The lucky history of family succession has given Paris access to vines that are up to 90 years old. While his top bottlings – the Cornas Granit 30 and 60 – are of a somewhat different level than this Saint Joseph, here you have an exceptional introduction to Paris’ style and a perfect wine for just drinking – no occasion required.

Made from 10 and 20 year old vines grown in granitic soils about 30km north of Cornas, and vinified 2/3 in barrel and 1/3 in tank, this 2009 presents silky, pure syrah fruit with classic smoky huskiness, but also exceptional restraint. In the heady 2009 vintage, this guy comes in at 12.5% ABV and is very well balanced.

In my mind, St. Joseph offers some of the best value wines in the Rhone Valley. In the last two decades this region has elevated its game considerably and now offers much greater consistency. When you choose the wines from top producers like Villard, Paris or Chave you get exceptional wines with terroir, distinction and total drinkability. These really are the Rhone’s underappreciated gems and Paris’ example is top notch.

Very Good+ to Excellent
~$40 at Kits Wine

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