‘Hedonism’ Dom. Lionel Faury, St Joseph, 2018
Region: St Joseph
Suitable for Vegans: Yes
Suitable for Vegetarians: Yes
Food pairing: A versatile wine like this has an abundance of pairings but a classic beef roast would be a real winner.
Along the steep, narrow valley that traces the northern Rhône, the appellations of Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu and Saint-Joseph take their place among the great wines of France, and Domaine Faury is one of the region’s most artisanal producers.
The estate is located in Chavanay, in the hamlet of Ribaudy, cradle of the Faury family. Here successive generations have acquired and passed on a know-how that best enhances the wealth of this wine heritage. Today, the 17 ha estate is in the hands of Lionel Faury.
The latter does everything to produce wines that express the diversity of the terroirs in the Condrieu, St.Joseph, Côte-Rôtie and IGP des Collines Rhodaniennes appellations.
For the reds, the Saint Joseph Hedonism, from 10-35-year-old vines and bottled without filtration, is intensely fruity, fresh with a note of minerality and spice.
The steep slopes of the northern Rhône present a challenging terrain where farming is only feasible through terracing. On these terraced slopes, the Faurys’ vines take full advantage of the southern and southeastern sun exposure, benefitting from optimum ripening. A combination of the predominately granitic soil, partial de-stemming (in about 70% of the grapes), soft crushing of the grapes with a pneumatic press, and temperature controlled fermentation offer a liveliness and freshness that one does not often find in wines from the northern Rhône. There’s a real attention to detail here, and nothing is done in haste. Every method used encourages the grape towards greatness with the ultimate respect for its fragility. Pigeage, the punching of the cap, is not carried out with tools, but gently by foot – not just poetic but also pragmatic.
Unlike many other vignerons in the region, the Faurys have a strong aversion to new oak. Though the reds definitely see time in barrels, there is a rotation between new and old alike, along with a variety of sizes, ranging from the smaller barriques to the larger 600-liter demi-muids. Unfined and only lightly filtered before bottling, these wines are loaded with classic flavors and show a remarkable rustic elegance.