LVT 2018 wh 2017 r Historically, the most important domaine at St-Péray. The Chabouds have defended the appellation and kept the private domaine side going. They have always grown Roussanne along with Marsanne. The Roussanne wines are fresh, refined and spiced. The Marsannes show honey aromas, white fruit flavours.
The wines have not been up to the mark recently, with winemaking errors, lack of freshness, a litany of issues. However, help arrived in time for the 2019 harvest in the form of Charlène Cellier, the ex-oenologue of Paul Jaboulet Aîné who is from Saint-Péray, and owns a few vines. Her husband is the caviste at Delas. Stéphan is most enthused by the vineyards, so Charlène is taking care of vinifications, and expect quality to rise.
Matters would also be improved if there were fewer cuvées. They also make three sparkling St-Pérays, which are reliable in that not very inspiring genre. The Cornas Vieilles Vignes Réserve can live for 10-14 years, but excess new oak, clumsily applied, hurt the otherwise good 2017. The Saint-Joseph and the Crozes-Hermitage reds are light and easy to drink.
LVT 2015 r Hirotake has been in the Rhône for over a decade, and previously worked with Thiérry Allemand at Cornas. He does absolutely nothing in the vineyard, so his Cornas vines look spindly and under-nourished; their yield is under 10 hl/ha as a result. He is a strong believer in Vin Naturel - hence that vineyard approach, and most of his wine is sold to Japan. There is always something going on in his wines, and expect the Saint-Péray to be cloudy
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Laure is the daughter of Jean-Luc and Anne Colombo; she started this domaine in the mid-2010s with her partner Dimitri. They live in an old farmhouse above Saint-Péray at 500 metres on a lieu-dit called Lorient. The Saint-Péray vines, notably Roussanne (70%) were planted from 2014 onwards, while the Cornas is from massale Syrah planted in the 1990s on Les Eygas above Chaillot, where much of the family holding stands. The vineyard is organic, with wild yeasts and low SO2 use. No new oak is used on both the Cornas and the Saint-Péray. The style is for soft, modern, early access wines.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh A domaine of undoubted promise that has turned into undoubted achievement, with some STGT leanings in the wines. The whites are particularly good. A new cellar in 2014 gave definite impulse to the domaine and tightened the care and control of the wines.
The wines come in an elegant fashion, with genuine textures and an emphasis on pleasure in the drinking. The Saint-Pérays - four of them - are agreeable both on their own and with food, although some New Wave tendencies have been noted during the 2010s. The Saint-Péray Roussanne was the top 2015 at ****(*), a muscled wine, and a **** wine that defied heat in 2018. The Saint-Péray Prestige [80% very old Marsanne, 20% recent Roussanne] was a stylish, classy ****(*) wine, a delight, in 2016, 2017 and 2018. I consider it a good VALUE buy. The 2016 Saint-Péray Marsanne was a suave, restrained **** wine. There is a Condrieu now, following a vineyard swap with Stéphane Montez of Domaine du Monteillet. on the prized lieu-dit of Chanson at Chavanay.
The regular Cornas became lighter and more modern since the early 2010s, while the Vin Noir is best to drink from three to four years on. The St-Joseph red is a soft wine, accessible early on. Rental agreements mean that Stéphane Robert now has access to old vineyards, boosting the set of young vines that he has laboured hard to plant since his arrival at St-Péray in 1993-94.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh A Saint-Péray family who were all Co-operateurs at the Cave de Tain until Rémy’s first vintage in 2008, not a great year, with a Saint-Péray. His brother [even though he makes no wine, and has just a few vines, is more on fruit] is President of the Syndicat des Vignerons de Saint-Péray, and still sends his crop to the Cave de Tain. This has become a good, even very good address, across his range, with the Saint-Péray, three of them, plus a sparkling, leading the way. A Crozes-Hermitage from 1.7 hectares at Pont de l’Isère started in 2010. Half the harvest is sold to the merchant trade.
The better Saint-Pérays have been La Beylesse and Le Suchat, the latter mainly 1936 Marsanne, expensive but good, a proper table wine, a really good ****(*) in 2019, for example. However, in the heated vintage of 2018, the Classique Saint-Péray did well, a **** wine. There are more limestone influences here than most at Saint-Péray (and Saint-Joseph). The first Cornas from 2010 Syrah on Les Eygas was made in 2014, a very creditable effort. The Crozes-Hermitage Le Mazel red [1980s Syrah] is good, the 2017 a **** wine of fine detail.
Last wine made in 2005. Guy Darona`s mother is a Gripa, and in 2005 Guy decided to give up, with his wine difficult to sell. It had been one of the last local domaines at St-Péray. As cousins of the Daronas, the Gripa family at Saint-Joseph was the obvious successor. Half Darona`s Saint-Péray was méthode champenoise or sparkling, and it was one of the best. It comes with a vintage. The still wine became an oak-only production from 2004, called the Jardin des Faures. The crop quality here is good given the location of the vineyards, and the still wine, mostly sold to a local following, is good if the oak does not dominate.
LVT 2018 wh 2016 r A domaine for very sound, occasionally delightful, full Saint-Péray still wine - a good local feel comes through after three years. The senior Saint-Péray Terres Rouilles is a good blend of 75% young Roussanne (2005), with 1950s Marsanne; it is notably elegant, the 2016 and the 2018 **** wines. The sparkling wines are good performers, but some of the vineyards have been dropped from Saint-Péray status due to an error being discovered (after many years) in the delineation of the appellation zone. There has been a sometimes likeable Cornas from old vines: it can be very drinkable after four to five years. Now in his early sixties with no successor, Jean-Louis has sold the harvest of the Cornas since 2018.
LVT 2019 wh 2016 r A joint-venture between Chapoutier and Anne-Sophie Pic, the daughter of the legendary Jacques Pic, 3-star Michelin restaurateur in Valence. In February 2007, Anne-Sophie received her own 3 star Michelin award. The Saint-Péray style has shifted from very ample to more refined, the crop harvested earlier. A good organic Cornas was introduced in 2013.