Jean-Pierre Monier is quietly making some of the best wines in the northern Rhône though he'd bristle at the idea of being called a winemaker. If you ask him, he'll tell you he doesn't make wine, he makes Saint-Joseph. He comes from a family of farmers in the village of Brunieux above Saint-Désirat, he's the third generation actually, in the Saint-Joseph appellation. He belonged to the local co-op for years and sold them all of his fruit until 2001 when he decided to bottle his own wine. Long an adherent to biodynamic farming principles, his vines were certified in 2006, he spends most of his time meticulously farming just 5 hectares of vines on high slopes above the village. The best Saint-Josephs are grown on these steep granite hillsides, think Gonon, Faury, Voge and Chave. Monier's wines don't just belong on that list but at the very top.
Being so small and suddenly finding his wines in such demand, Monier partnered with Philippe Perréol, a local friend and fellow biodynamic grower, to pool their fruit to make just a bit more wine. The Saint Joseph AOC is made fruit from both their holdings in Brunieux and the 2016 is just beautiful. All Syrah from a handful of tiny plots in Brunieux. Mostly destemmed, fermented in concrete ( he uses concrete eggs as well but only for the white wine) and aged in old barrels for about a year. There's a tiny bit of sulfur added after the malo is complete but that's it. None at bottling which is done without fining or filtering. Pure, exuberant Syrah with lots of ferrous mineral notes, black pepper and ripe, brambly fruit. Fine tannins on a long mineral finish.