J. L. Chave, Saint Joseph, Offerus, 2003 (Nov. 27, 2008)

Sex sex sex!

Did I get your attention? Because I want to tell you about a really sexy wine, religious image on label (which is not easily noticeable) nowithstanding.

Recently, I've been sticking the wines I open at home in the monthly "Misc Notes" post but this lovely creature really deserves a post of its own. Costing about 130 NIS on discount at WineRoute, these days, as the world hovers on the brink of financial ruin, I still open wines at this price point at home for my own private pleasure and it's probably the best red wine I could find for that price. How good is it? I've never tasted Chave's big Hermitages but I imagine it's a better introduction to his magic than his negociant Hermitage, sold by WineRoute for about 20 shekels more.

This is a wine that belies the warmth of the 2003 vintage by being both fresh and structured. The nose is classic, elegant France. I mean, it has that class about it that is common to Bordeaux, Burgundy and, at times, Rhone. The nose is ripe, yet restrained, with meaty, earthy notes that are so well counterpointed by the suave fruit that they never become rustic and there is also a light hint of bottle stink that is very precocious in its fashion. The palate is just as gorgeous, round fruit complemented by savoury tannins and that rusty persona that gives mid-tier wines that extra gallon of gas. I can imagine it going for a decade more but in the spirit of this post's introduction, let's be blunt and go for a direct, sexist metaphor: if this was a woman, I'd want her right here, right now, not later, no matter how well she might mature.