This is a really sophisticated St Joseph. Super bright on the nose, raspberry and cassis, touch of spice, ripe cherry middle is silky with plush blueberry perk, nicely soft tannin. Surprisingly elegant and super smart. It just flows so well, there's a satisfying weight of fruit and a lovely feel to this - an exciting new find! L&S (May 2020)
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A wine that will spend 18 months in French oak, the 2018 Saint Joseph Saint Joseph (completely destemmed) reveals a deep purple color to go with a spicy, complex bouquet of red and blue fruits, orange blossom, spring flowers, and sappy herbs. Rounded, medium-bodied, and nicely textured, it's a pretty, complex, elegant wine that has the more plush, soft style of the vintage front and center. Rating: 89-92 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com(Dec 2019)
Lovely fruit richness and leathery notes with aniseed and bitter chocolate on the finish. Savoury and intense, with breezy freshness from tangy acidity. The fruit continues on the finish, leaving an appetising olive bitterness. Drinking range: 2021 - 2028 Rating: 17 Richard Hemming MW - www.JancisRobinson.com(Oct 2019)
Domaine G&J Bott
We first encountered the young Kiwi, Graeme Bott, in the days when he and Julie were both working for the great Stéphane Ogier. We have kept in touch and 8 years later we are delighted that he and Julie are now married and have set up on their own. 2018 is their second vintage release and we could not be more excited.
Graeme's talents as a winemaker were never in doubt. To have become Chef de Cave for Stéphane Ogier is no mean feat, especially for someone from the 'outside' and New Zealand is a long way from Ampuis! This natural ability combined with relentless energy and creativity from them both has resulted in Domaine Bott.
'Les Kiwis d'Ampuis' have been resourceful in finding plots for vineyards. As newcomers they were never really in the market for buying existing, established vineyards. Prices here are now stratospheric. So, they got creative. First of all, their garden! This plot of land is within the Condrieu appellation, so they quickly planted vines and have a parcel here. In other zones they have studied the geology and history of the slopes in the northern Rhone. Identifying areas of rough land that were once vineyards, pre-phylloxera, but have since never been replanted. These plots were affordable, so the couple planted all the vines themselves and rebuilt the old stone walls. Today the estate has grown to 6HA through this resourcefulness and sheer hard work.
Their vineyards are now spread between Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu, Crozes-Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Seyssuel - and they have recently moved production from their two garages to a winery in Ampuis.
They want to make wines they want to drink and love finesse and poise. This means early picking of the white grapes to retain brightness and acidity and only 3 or 4-year-old barrels are used for the élévage.
Vineyard work on the reds is intensive - Graeme believes that wines are mostly 'made' before the harvest, on the vines. For the Botts, it’s all about the purity of the fruit and transmitting that sense of place. In the cellar they have an artisan approach, very gentle maceration - more of an infusion with a gentle single pump over each day, no punching down or effort to extract more grip or colour or flavour. The wines are a delight. There is a sleek feel and a softness that belies the smart intensity. They have lift and poise. Never over-bearing but they make you sit up and take note.
On this first UK release of these wines you can see the sheer class of what they are doing here. These are impressive, very likeable wines made on a small scale by a passionate and very skilled couple - it is no wonder they are already turning heads.
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