Calling all Northern Rhone enthusiasts, stylistically speaking, what do you think the differences and similarities between these two regions are?
What are some of your favorite producers within them?
This is becoming an interesting conversation. Morgan's argument has weight; style differences can exist due to vintage and producer style. However, what Geoff is saying here is much more important when trying to understand the full landscape of these two appellations.
There is more and more work being done in these regions to further understand the varied expressions among the different sites. It is most important to remember that St. Joseph's original, non-continuous boundaries focused only on the slopes that are now generally considered to be the highest quality sites. And as Morgan has identified styles that lean more Cornas or more Cote Rotie, it would be interesting to see if there is a correlation between the styles and the sites that sit within the Condrieu appellation(as they overlap) and those that are opposite the hill of Hermitage. For me, I find that Perret drinks like Cote Rotie-he's in the north and has plots within the Condrieu area. I think Chave and Gonon drink like Hermitage-they are in the south across from said hill.
Conversely, there is a lot less of this going on in Crozes-Hermitage. There are some great wines and producers, but they are few. Crozes is also much smaller, and for me really has only two distinct places. The eastern side of the Hermitage hill and the low lying valley that Geoff mentions. I find that Crozes is either really good and compelling, or not. For St. Joseph, there are great wines made in a variety of styles.
Lastly, almost all of the producers listed in this discussion make wines in other, more premier appellations. The only producers listed that are exclusive to St. Joe or Crozes are Gonon and Graillot. For me this means that producers are informed by the other wines that they make. Voge & Paris in Cornas and Faury in Cote Rotie for example.
I think we may need to organize an annual communal tasting of St. Joseph. Reboule 2018 Dustin Wilson ??
Jon, Can you expand on this comment. Crozes is also much smaller, and for me really has only two distinct places.
Are you saying Crozes is much smaller in quality or planted area.I keep track of planted areas in the DOP's of the Rhone for my Diploma level 4 section 3 class. My notes indicate there are over 1400ha planted In Crozes and around 1100ha in St Joseph.
I was essentially pointing out the overall area that St. Joseph covers versus that of Crozes. St. Joseph encompasses 26 comunes while Crozes has 11. Crozes has more ha of vine and produces more wine by volume, but end to end it is a much smaller area. For me, a more compact area provides less variation, which was the main point that I was trying to address. St. Joseph was once much more productive than it is now, and based on what Mark Cochard is siting, St. Joseph will never get back to its pre-phylloxera production size. And to answer the question of the potential size of the vineyard are of St. Joseph versus Crozes: the delineated area of Crozes Hermitage is approximately 2400 ha, meaning that it is over half planted. If St. Joseph were to grow to its new limit of 3500, that would mean that plantings and production could triple before it would reach its max.