2018 Chapouiter Alleno Saint Josepth “Croix de Chabot”
2018 Chapouiter Alleno Saint Josepth “Croix de Chabot” “Inky purple. Powerful, smoke-accented aromas of ripe black and blue fruits, licorice and violet, and a peppery element adding vivacity and spiciness. Deep-pitched cassis and bitter cherry flavors open up slowly, becoming sweeter and picking up a suggestion of candied flowers. Dusty tannins shape the lingering spicy finish. In a brawny, wound-up style that should reward patience.” 92pts Vinous
I was lucky enough to have lunch with the great Michel Chapoutier, one of the true great winemakers on our planet today, a man who loves wine and food and an absolute joy to break bread with. Chapoutier with Guigal are the masters of the Northern Rhone. Chapoutier has made twenty five wines that have scored 100pts by Robert Parker. I know of no other winemaker that has achieved such glory.
I have been in this business for over twenty years and I am blown away when I meet a man like this and he is still able to teach me and educate me on new things and philosophies about wine. Chapoutier actually started in Napa making wine as a young man working for Grace Family Vineyards. His grandfather owned some vineyards in Ermitage which he purchased. He met a man named Robert Parker who fell in love with his initial bottling’s in the in the mid 1990’s and the rest is history. Chapoutier does not believe in a house and is all single vineyard expressions. He is a big believer in Granite in his vineyards he feels is vital to great wine. Only 12% of the Earth has granite soils and Chapoutier travels the world looking for vineyards in great wine regions that soils are granite based. He is a big believer in wild yeasts which he feels brings out the wines affecting flavor profile and aromas, brings out the minerality.
He is a strong believer that wine should be made to be enjoyed with food. He proclaims that any winemaker can make a big wine, he does like acidity and sugar which again he feels winemakers use to disguise a wine and its flaws. “Acidity is like cheap life insurance for the winemaker” He wants you to experience wine in its true sense, no disguises, he calls it naked wines. He is not a huge fan of fruit dominating the wine. He comments that fruit is to a winemaker like music is to a night club/disco.
With this philosophy in mind Chapoutier has partnered up with Chef Yannick Alleno , three Michelin star Chef who is considered to be the finest French Chef in the world right now. Extreme innovative and creative like Chapoutier, both love food and wine lovers. Both their names appear on the wines, a new venture that was started in 2010 and I was lucky enough to taste through their portfolio with Michel.
I have selected my favorite wine from the tasting to offer and the consensus best wine in the room. A glorious example of the Northern Rhone, glorious example of Chapoutier’s winemaking and unfortunately available to in tiny quantities. I strongly recommend.