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2020 Domaine du Joncier l'O

MSRP: $32.00
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Southern Rhone reds don’t get much more “serious” – OR much more delicious – than this. The brilliant and uncompromising Marine Roussel farmes these old Grenache vines in Lirac biodynamically, with “remarkably low yields” of under 25 hl/ha, and often as low as 12 hl/ha (below even the very top Chateauneufs). She does a severe green harvest, then harvests by hand, with sorting and destemming, ferments with wild yeasts, and bottles this unfiltered.

Here's British Rhone expert Jonathan Livingstone-Learmonth (in a typical good review for him):

Red cherry-raspberry feature in an insistent aroma, a good plunge of the South in the glass. The palate swirls with red berries, good hither and thither flow, and a bracing coolness after half way, the close aromatic. There’s sound body on the attack. This is very joli, w.o.w. wine.

(By w.o.w., he means “wine one wants” – a designation reserved for his particular favorites.)

What I especially love is here is that Roussel has taken such remarkable raw material and chosen to fashion it into a wine of sheer beauty, purity and succulence (“a joli wine”) rather than the more typical rustic and brawny Southern Rhones you usually find at this price.

I can see what would draw an importer like Kermit Lynch (the ultimate champion of artisanal authenticity in French wines) to this. And it’s a shame Roussel no longer controls this delightful small estate.

We have ten cases of this beauty coming in on Tuesday.