Domaine Pierre Gonon
Saint-Joseph (Mauves), Northern Rhône France
The true heart of Saint Joseph
The original boundaries of the Saint Joseph appellation offer ageworthy syrah wines of great value. Those who have experienced the greatness of the Saint Joseph of Pierre Gonon, would be unsurprised to know that he sat on the local council responsible for setting the original boundaries for these wines. As has happened in many great regions, as the area of production expanded, the wine quality has suffered – there is no danger of this at Gonon.
Today, Pierre’s two sons, Pierre and Jean Gonon, manage the estate and thanks to their father, the domaine has an impressive holding of low-yielding vineyards spanning all three of the original heartland communes of Saint-Joseph (Mauve, Tournon and Saint Jean de Muzol), all sitting on prized granite bedrock, the best of which was purchased in 2005 from the infamous and now retired Raymond Trollat.
Farming and fermentation is very much in the traditional style. The brothers work their extremely steep vineyard land without any chemical fertilisers, herbicides, or pesticides, using all-natural composts. Although they just recently started the process for organic certification, farming has been carried out this way since 2004.
2014 Pierre Gonon Les Iles Feray…….SOLD OUT
(a selection from young vines)
While still considered within the Saint Joseph appellation, the brothers choose to bottle this younger vine syrah separately from their flagship cuvée because the vineyard location on flatland close to the bank of the Rhône does not possess the same granite base as is typical of their more historic hillside sites.
Vinified with about 80% of fruit de-stemmed and undergoing a shorter elevage of 12-14 months in 600 Litre demi-muids casks. Whilst the Les Iles is not as intensely structured as the Saint Joseph cuvees it certainly offers similar details of captivating aromatics and palate layers. Delicacy over power is most certainly in favour here.
2014 Pierre Gonon Saint Joseph Rouge…….SOLD OUT
The domaine holds many of the best individual old vine parcels surrounding the historic centre of the Saint Joseph appellation in the villages of Mauve, Tournon and Saint Jean de Muzol. Whilst these could be bottled individually, the Gonon brothers choose to blend these sites for their flagship bottling to create a single Saint Joseph Rouge that unites the unique qualities of each climat.
After over a decade plus of buying and drinking these wines ourselves, what is most remarkable and captivating is their consistency. Even considering the variation of vintage these gorgeous wines never disappoint, showing violet laced florals, red and black fruits, olive tapenade and mingled imprint of mineral, bitumen and smoke.
The 2014 incarnation is testament to a cooler than average year in this neck of the Northern Rhône – as classic and energetic as ever in its weight of fruit, but brisk and charming in structure.
Those looking to cellar the wines (if you have the iron discipline) will be much rewarded – Jean Gonon advocates, “8-10 years is when I feel the wines open fully…” “…Saint- Joseph is a medium aging wine, not a long aging one like Hermitage.”
For those curious looking for immediate enjoyment and unable to wait (we don’t blame you!), a 30 minute decant will help reveal more of what this new vintage has to offer.
Please note: Send us your wish list and all orders will be confirmed via return email.
“Gonon is the benchmark St-Joseph domaine”
-John Livingstone-Learmonth, Wines of the Northern Rhône
“While it has been frustrating to watch (and pay) steadily increasing prices for Pierre and Jean Gonon’s wines, the fact is that they still deliver the best value for top-drawer wine in the northern Rhône. In fact, I would place this estate squarely on my “A” list of wine producers in the world, such is the consistent high quality of the wines for over a decade now.”
– Josh Raynolds 2016 Vinous Media
TO ORDER: Please call us on (03) 9654 6657 or click here to send us an email.