Saint Joseph

If ever an appellation could be considered in vogue, then Saint Joseph could certainly lay claim to the title at present. A 50 kilometre stretch of land that travels north to south, from Chavanay to Saint Péray, along steep sloped granitic south & south east facing terraces that tuck left and right following inlets and streams down to the Rhône.

Investigate and taste a little further and it is easy to understand why winemakers have so much interest in the great terroirs and great sites. It is no coincidence that some producers in Saint Joseph are more than a match for some of the lesser names in Côte-Rôtie. For the reds, it is Syrah with 10% of Marsanne and/or Roussanne permitted in the blend. The whites are always the quintessential blend of Marsanne and Roussanne.


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Domaine Graeme & Julie Bott

A love story and a bit of good fortune; a love of the Syrah grape that led Graeme to the Rhone and the love of his life Julie, who came together whilst working at the prestigious cellars of Stephane Ogier. Theirs is a back story of adventure and spirit and one of serendipity too.

Our relationship with the pair stretches back some 8 years or so, when we often stopped and shared a beer after the Marché aux vins in Ampuis every January, it was no surprise when they told us they were setting out on their own journey.

The surprise came when they discovered that the house they had purchased in Verin, complete with 0.35 hectare of garden, was within the appellation of Condrieu, between the in-demand Coteau de Chéry and the illustrious Chateau Grillet. Graeme & Julie like to pick early to capture the freshness, the wines tend be expressive, bright and pure.


Watch the videos: Domaine G&J Bott or Condrieu Lieu-Dit L'ALEAU.

Julie Bott on the 2022 vintage:

'After a historically dry summer and very hot weather, we thought we were heading for a challenging vintage. The vines were stressed from the lack of water and so were we!

Fortunately, the long-awaited rains arrived after the 15th of August, enabling the ripening to be revived and the berries to plump up a little. We were all relieved, both vines and winegrowers! The maturity which paused with the stress of the heat and lack of water allowed the alcohols levels to not rocket away. Thus the 2022 whites are balanced, the nose is marked by a beautiful aromatic expression, the mouth surprisingly offers freshness with a mineral finish.’

2022 SAINT JOSEPH Blanc Domaine Graeme & Julie Bott

2022 SAINT JOSEPH Blanc Domaine Graeme & Julie Bott

Another beautifully crafted wine from the Botts. Apricot & peach nectar with white blossom, a hallmark of the vintage, this is blended from 70% Marsanne & 30% Roussanne, all from granite and approx 9Another beautifully crafted wine from the Botts. Apricot & peach nectar with white blossom, a hallmark of the vintage, this is blended from 70% Marsanne & 30% Roussanne, all from granite and approx 9 months in French oak, on lees but no batonage to keep the freshness locked in, bright and pure and drinking from the off.L&S (Sep 2023)

75cl bottles, case of 6

In Bond

2022 SAINT JOSEPH Domaine Graeme & Julie Bott

2022 SAINT JOSEPH Domaine Graeme & Julie Bott

2022 Saint Joseph from vineyards around St Pierre de Boeuf just south of Condrieu 50% whole cluster. Much more colour and aromatics, lovely sweet ripe fruit, red currant, black cherry, dark2022 Saint Joseph from vineyards around St Pierre de Boeuf just south of Condrieu 50% whole cluster. Much more colour and aromatics, lovely sweet ripe fruit, red currant, black cherry, dark blueberry, so easy, there are tannins in the background, but they will soften, a very very fine Saint Joseph L&S (Oct 2023)

75cl bottles, case of 6

In Bond

Domaine Lionnet

We came across the wines of Domaine Lionnet purely by chance one day at the Marché-Aux-Vins in Ampuis. On a walk across the bridge from Tain l’Hermitage to Tournon to blow away the cobwebs, we took a detour into a dusty wineshop full of Rhône treasures. Here the caviste, when asked for the up-and-coming domaines of the region, guided us a bottle of Cornas Terre Brulée and a love affair began.

More than an infatuation, the wines seem to get better with every vintage. Already the 2021 is extraordinarily good and is drinking now - we cannot wait to see how the 2022s develop, they tasted remarkable from barrel in October.

This is a truly lovely estate that is run immaculately by Corinne & Ludovic. Ludovic Izerable came to this domaine by marriage to Corinne, the daughter of Pierre and granddaughter of Michel Lionnet. She took the reins in 2003. The Izerables immediately converted the domaine to organic farming and have been certified since 2009.

The word 'Cornas' derives from the Celtic word for 'burnt earth' hence the name of the Domaine's flagship cuvée 'Terre Brûlée'. The domaine is a mere 4 hectares, in Cornas and Saint Joseph. In the latter, their vines are in Châteaubourg, the southernmost village of the appellation, at 300m altitude. In Cornas, they have 7 parcels of vines, mostly between 40 and over 100 years old, with one parcel of young vines planted in 2008. No pesticides, herbicides or commercial fertilisers are used, and the soil is worked by horse and a small caterpillar-tracked machine.

The grapes are handpicked and vinified as whole bunches - nothing is added at any stage and the vinification takes place with naturally occurring yeasts. As a result, the harvest has to be ultra-clean and that contributes to the aromatic purity of the wines. After the alcoholic fermentation with pigeage the free run wine is drawn off and the marc is pressed gently in a vertical press from the 19th century. The malolactic fermentation is allowed to take place in resin or stainless steel vats, and only once completed do the wines get racked and transferred to barrel for two winters - a total of 18 months - half in 225l and half in demi-muids of 600l. No new wood is used. The wines are then bottled without fining or filtration.

Ludovic Izerable on the 2022 vintage:

'2022 was one of the driest and hottest vintages, saved at the last moment by some good rain around 15th August. Thanks to old vines and probably also to twenty years of organic farming, the vines reacted well: we haven’t seen huge alcohol levels and we’ve kept a balanced, cooler style.'

Domaine Rémi Niero

This is one of the original domaines of the Condrieu appellation, and perhaps without the dedication to Viognier from Niero (and the likes of Vernay), Condrieu would not have the world-class reputation it has today.

The domaine existed 45 years ago when the whole appellation was just 8 hectares of vines (it's now 200 hectares), under the name Pinchon. Rémi's father Robert married the Pinchon daughter, so now, having been Domaine Niero-Pinchon for a bit, it has been shortened to simply Niero when Rémi took over.

The smart and charming Rémi started to work alongside his father in 2004 and today oversees the domaine along with his wife Krystel. They are the 3rd generation of winemakers and continue the tradition of the estate's refined and pure wines from Viognier and Syrah working from their cellars in Condrieu. The domaine has recently fully converted to organic farming. The wines, much like the estate, are pristine and pure.

The Condrieus come from just over 4 hectares of vines, all in the commune of Condrieu itself, in the parcels Coteau de Chéry, La Roncharde, Côte Chatillon, La Caille, Vergelas and Corbéry. All of these are considered some of the of the best sites in the world for Viognier. The wines are aged in tank (60%) and barrel (40%) for a year.

The Côte-Rôties come from two sites, La Viallière and Le Coteau de Bassenon, from the southern end of the appellation, a total of nearly 2 hectares. They are aged for 16 months in barrel, with 20% new wood. Along with the exceptional Saint Joseph there is also a new Crozes Hermitage in the range.

Adrien Encontre on the 2022 vintage:

‘We’ve seen the influence of the sunshine reflected in all the wines of the 22 vintage. It’s given us profile of very aromatic whites, and juicy reds. A delicate vintage.’

Maison Bruyère & David

The best way to discover what is going on in a wine region is to eat and drink in the local restaurants and ask who’s up-and-coming. Our buyers were eating in Condrieu and having a refreshing beer after a hard day of tasting (it is thirsty work!) when they came across this new venture from friends Justin Bruyère & Sylvain David.

Their story is very simple one: two friends united by a passion for wine - as Justin says 'all beautiful projects are born around a glass of wine'.

Justin has deep roots within the region, his grandfather being Michel Delas of famed Hermitage name Delas Frères, whilst Sylvan brings a wealth of winemaking experience, most notably working in the cellars of Domaine des Terres Dorées in Morgon and also the brilliant Domaine Gerin in Côte-Rôtie.

These two relative youngsters in the region, have real passion, drive and enthusiasm and it shows in the wines.

Justin Bruyère on the 2022 vintage:

‘I like the balance in the vintage 2022, we have a nice freshness in the whites and a nice fruits in the reds.’