*** John Livingstone-Learmonth
"Bottled 2 weeks ago: easy red robe, a little purple The nose is spice and pepper speckled it is fresh, and the fruit jam is agreeable, cosy: blackberry, licorice, and active notes. This is nice, free-going wine, with a slight build of tannin into a pocket on the finish. The fruit is clear, and has the local snap-snap at the end, tar, pepper and licorice. The length is sound. From spring 2013, a get on and do wine. It lacks a little late matter, but is pleasurable, undemanding. "It is gourmand, does not have a grand structure," F.Merlin."
Vinous Reverie Notes
François Merlin is first and foremost a farmer, having learnt about the complexities of viticulture and grape growing under Domaine René Rostaing, one of the great names in Cote Rotie. Whilst studying agriculture, François planted his first St-Joseph vines in 1989 and has since developed a well-earned reputation as one of the Rhone's leading grape growers turned producers. The Syrah for this fresh, vibrant Saint Joseph is sourced from vines 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.