Guigal lieu-Dit Joseph Saint Joseph 2015 Shiraz
While it can be herbal and lean in cool years, in the hot vintages like 2015 Lieu-Dit Joseph (pronounced "Lee-er-deet Joseph" but let's just call it LDJ from now on) comes out with all guns blazing. Because LDJ is so steep and east facing, in the afternoon it’s in shade which the vines really benefit from in super hot vintages like 2015. In other words, the LDJ vineyard is a cool site that’s well adapted to a warming climate and hangs on to its acid backbone even in very hot years like 2015 and that is the hallmark of this wine and the key to its 20+ year cellaring potential.
LDJ is, quite literally, the vineyard that gives the whole of the Saint-Joseph region its name, and it is the epicentre of quality in Saint-Joseph too. To begin with (until 1969) Saint-Joseph covered just 100 hectares of vineyard right opposite Hermitage above the village of Tournon and the LDJ vineyard accounted for about 5% of them. For greedy commercial reasons, though, the Saint-Joseph name later came to be authorised for over 3000 hectares (!!!!) of vineyard spreading from the extreme north to south of the entire northern Rhône sector, with an inevitable dilution of the area's reputation. This vineyard remains the nucleus of wine quality in Saint-Joseph and as climate change heats things up its superiority to the majority of St-Joseph only grows further.
Very highly recommended. 17.5 out of 20 from Jancis Robinson: "Fab nose with amazing intensity, grainy textured but fabulous, with magnificent ripeness and majesty. Long and rich. Buy!" 95 out of 100 from Robert Parker: "As the 2015 Saint-Joseph Lieu-Dit Saint-Joseph had been recently bottled when I tasted it last year and rated it 94 points, I've retasted it and upgraded it a point. Despite being aged in 100% new oak for close to 24 months, it shows only subtle hints of pencil shavings and vanilla on the nose, testament to the substance of the wine. Crushed stones play a role on the nose as well, emblematic of the site's granitic soils, while the velvety mouthfeel of this full-bodied wine delivers waves of rich, concentrated cherries that linger elegantly on the finish." Drink now to 2040.