TN: 2007 Pierre Gonon St. Joseph (France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph) and now the 06!

  • 2007 Pierre Gonon St. Joseph - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph (12/12/2009)
    My first Gonon and it is a WOW!
    Striking aromatics. PURE, ripe, red and blue fruit, pepper, meat, and violets.
    On the palate, silken texture. The nose and palate are in synch.The wine tastes as good as it smells. Impeccable balance. Solid acidity.
    For me, the wonder of this wine is how it delivered such big, masculine aromas and flavors in a feminine framework. With a little more grip/underlying structure (is it hidden beneath all that pure fruit?) this modest wine would be my WOTY. Loved it!

Posted from CellarTracker

Great syrah. I’m amazed at the qpr in this wine. I like the '06 too.

This does sound fantastic. The WineSearcher prices look pretty darn good too

Todd - Any chance you can compare and contrast the two vintages. I expect the 06 would be more structured…but…is it as aromatically and texturally appealing???

Wine Library actually has some 06 and I’m contemplating picking them up.


The '06 is every bit as aromatic as the '07. More appealing to drink right now, frankly, but with great structure. I think it is destined to be pretty special if given time. No doubt you should buy some '06.

I have had and won both the 06 and 07.
I agree totally with what Todd wrote above.

Thanks! :slight_smile:

Told you so. neener (on FB)

Shouldn’t we be keeping this Gonon thing quiet though?

Probably. The 06 and 07 are both lovely with the 07 showing more vigor and the 06 more terroir.


You guys should try the white from Gonon as well. Outstanding wine that will age 10-15 years as well.

Sitting with the 06 now…and damn…I love this producer!!! :slight_smile:

Definitely more masculine and Northern Rhone"esque" than the 07…Upon opening lots of olive notes ( a la Jamet) that I did not get in the 06…They ease up and the animal scents, meat, earth, and that familiar violet note…all appear…brief hints of grape ape fruit…

I suck at notes…but know what I like…

I like!

07 still WOTY? Read your note with a bit of envy as I prefer that 06 to last evening’s 2003 Artazu Santa Cruz Navarra (Garnacha…and an RP95).


Richard - I should probably say my QPR WOTY or discovery of the year. I had no idea when I purchased these wines that they would be as good as they were. Also, I was in a great mood, eating great food, with a great person when I drank the 07…sooooo…I was probably influenced by that a bit too.

As for the wines. I get the appeal of the 06. I found it more Cote Rotie like -more masculine and with more funk than the 07 (boy does it open with a whole lot of olives). But, I think the 07 thrilled me because in addition to its big flavors it had a feminine quality and purity that I did not get from the 06. Maybe this is a function of primary fruit…I don’t know…But the bottle of 07 was screaming good and the 06 was very good (for my palate). I am happy to own both but for different reasons. I may drink up the 07’s because I just happen to like where they are now (okay I’ll save one) and drink the 06’s down the line when I crave the style.

The best news is that I now have a way to drink something good from the Northern Rhone without breaking the bank.

BTW, I don’t know how much experience you have with this producer or with Saint Joe’s in general…but…I find myself confused by the very soft underlying tannins…??? Is this a Saint Joe thing…a vintage thing…a producer thing…
I really wonder how these wines will evolve and for how long…

That Artazu is an oaky mess.

Yuck, That Artazu is an oaky mess.


Kim, I’d be interested in the same answers. The word in my limited circle is that a good number of St. Joe producers have raised their game over the past several years with Gonon doing it for decades. Some can be relatively tannic (YMMV). Have you tried any Chave, Faury, Gaillard or Gilles-Robin? Old Trollat is supposed to be magic.


From your list, I’ve tried Chave & Faury but haven’t tasted enough of either to draw any meaningful conclusions. I LOVE that there is so much to learn!!!

Shhhhhhh! In my opinion, the gonon brothers are currently doing the best work in the northern rhone. Regarding aging of these wines, it’s the whites i’ve been most impressed with. During visits they have always pulled out older whites to show off how well they age.

This was interesting to me…esp. since I found the differences in the fruit (07 vs 06) so different…the texture of the wines noteworthy, and was curious about ageability…

From Wines of the Northern Rhone…

A well-looked-after wine from a top vintage should last 12-15 years. At 10 years or more, the difference between a St. Joseph Syrah and a Cornas Syrah is that of the feather, the floating texture of softness in the St. Joseph against the grainier, more mineral side of the Cornas.

Personal preference is the key factor: for those who thrive on fruit and the richness of youth, these are wines to drink between two and seven years old. As Bernard Grip from Mauves puts it: THE PROBLEM WITH THE SYRAH IS THAT IT LOSES ITS FRUIT QUITE QUICKLY." This is strictly true, for the vigour naturally subsides, but the French and British palates generally differ here.

Other drinkers will enjoy the animal must, sous-bois smells, and aged Syrah complexities that develop in the bottle -without much drying out-after more than seven years. The chosen style of the winemaker should also be considered, as well as the particular cuvee he has packaged up.

Also interesting to me is the fact that it is unusal for a domaine St. Joseph to come from all three of the main communes…

Another Gonon on tap tonight with a rack of lamb! :slight_smile:

Thanks for the follow-up info Kim. Jancis and Hugh Johnson say: “A St-Joseph should be the sappiest, fastest-maturing, northern Rhone red without losing its Syrah nerve.” and seem to suggest that quality increases may be related to better production on the steep granite river banks. They plug Gonon (and others) as well as Stephane Montez, which doesn’t appear to be widely available in the US.

A votre sante et bon appetit.