Winery: Jean-Louis Chave Selection
Bottling: 2006 St. Joseph “Offerus” (Syrah)
Sub-Region: Northern Rhone Valley
Estimated Retail Price: $27
Purchase Details: Purchased for approximately $27 and change from Arlequin Wine Merchant in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco.
Tasting Notes: Visually, the wine was a pure, dark purple. On the nose pretty floral aromas of lavendar, and flowers. In the mouth, blueberries, plum, more lavendar, licorice, cherries, freshly cracked black pepper and mineral on the finish. Surprising acidity, medium-bodied in weight and clean, smooth tannins. A nice lingering finish. A very pure tasting wine.
The elegant and feminine nature of this wine is quite a contrast in style to what I am used to tasting from the Northern Rhone. With the Northern Rhone, I’m used to the hard edged, wild, and sometimes even abrasive nature of the syrah grape up north. This was a pleasant surprise.
Food Pairing & Context in Which to Enjoy: We had this wine with some spicy lamb burgers at the next door Arlequin Café and they were great together. Any other game meats would work well with this wine as well.
Winery & Other Background Information: Jean Louis Chave is a great and venerable producer of wines from the Northern Rhone. The winery is most notably known for its work with the great wines from the tiny appellation of Hermitage.
The St. Joseph “Offerus” is a great wine to drink young while you wait for the more closed Herrmitage bottlings to mature. If you’re like me and can’t afford their $250 and above, hard-to-find Hermitage wines, then the Offerus is a great “your only option” wine.
The family estate has been passed down from father to son since 1481. Jean Louis Chave, who is actually a graduate of U.C. Davis and his father Gerard currently run the estate.