2011 Saint-Josephs from Domaine Coursodon

Domaine Coursodon produces wines from northern Rhône, more specifically from Saint-Joseph, and we’re talking Syrah. I tried three 2011s at a Swedish distributor, Caviste.

My first impression of the 2011 northern Rhône vintage is that it is a “in the middle”-styled vintage with good drinkability. Rather fruity and seems to be rather ripe, but not the extreme ripeness of 2009, and not the high acidity and firmness of 2010. This is not a hidden way of saying that it is a poor vintage – I’m not selling these wines (although I do wish to be invited again to tastings 🙂 ) – and it is definitely better and more concentrated than the mediocre 2008 vintage. I don’t consider the 2011 as a typical vintage for extended cellaring, so it will be up to the individual wines if they can be cellared or not. I’d say that my overall impression is rather similar to the other French reds, although not too many as of yet, that I’ve encountered, including barrel samples of 2011 Bordeaux last year and 2011 Beaujolais. Both 2009 and 2010 allowed us to generalise over all of France,  and even to some other European countries, when it came to the style and quality of the wines. This was on the other hand not possible in 2007 (southern Rhône better than northern Rhône which was better than Bordeaux) or 2008 (Bordeaux better than northern Rhône) to the same extent. We’ll see where 2011 lands.

Over to the wines!

Coursodon St Joseph 20130410

Domaine Coursodon Saint-Joseph Silice 2011

Younger vines (average age 25-30 years) from several vineyard sites, used oak barrels.

Pleasant and fruity nose with notes of dark berries. Good fruity style on the palate, medium tannins of reasonably soft character, spice. Rather accessible, can be cellared but drinking now works fine.

Domaine Coursodon Saint-Joseph L’Olivaie 2011

Vineyard with older vines (about 60 years) and very stony soil (a lot of granite), 15-20% new oak.

Nose with ripe dark berries, some tar and spice notes, discrete oak notes. Palate with ripe dark berries, good concentration of fruit, mineral, good acidity, medium(+) tannins, some firmness. Young, reasonably accessible now, but would gain from cellaring.

This wine is a little darker and more powerful in the nose, but on the palate it is primarily more firm and “classic”. Perhaps a little 2010 vintage-styled on the palate, if you catch my meaning.

Domaine Coursodon Saint-Joseph La Sensonne 2011

Older vines (average age 60 years) from several vineyard sites, new oak barrels.

Nose with dark berries, tar, hints of flowery aromas, rather well integrated oak notes. Quite concentrated on the palate, very dark berries, some sour berry character, spice, tar, medium+ tannin, quite firm. Young, requires cellaring.

Compared to the L’Olivaie, this wine is more spicy and more concentrated, so it is a “larger-sized” wine (and probably the most Hermitage-like of the two), but it shows less obvious mineral nores and is more closed at present.

Related these wines to the “tunnel” – the period of closed character that Rhône-Syrah often shows at about 4-8 years of age – I’d recommend drinking Silice before the tunnel (now-2015), drinking L’Olivaie either before the tunnel (2014-2015) or after it has emerged from it (2019-), and that La Sensonne is more for drinking on the other side of the tunnel (2019-) for full pleasure.

The wines were tasted in April. Scores withheld this time, since I felt a little uncalibrated since I started to feel a cold coming on.

Swedish version of the post here.

This entry was posted in 2011, Rhône, Syrah. Bookmark the permalink.

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