by Malcolm Jolley
2007 Cave Saint Desirat Saint-Joseph France LCBO# 219378 – $19.95
Syrah/Shiraz: it’s hard not to think of big, big powerhouse wines – from the Southern Rhone, or Barossa Valley in Australia. Some can be truly great, especially as a way to round off and end a dinner party. But the Northern Rhone offers a completely different experience: food friendly, bright and red-fruity with a clear peppery finish, like Cave Saint Desirat’s 2007 Saint-Joseph, a 100% Syrah from a biggish co-op in the St. Joseph AOC. Julia Harding, Master of Wine and Jancis Robinson’s right-hand woman, gave it 16.5 points of 20 and anointed this under $20 stunner Robinson’s website’s ‘wine of the week’ designation more than a year ago – I reckon it has improved. At 12.5% alcohol by volume the Saint Desirat makes a great weekday wine (it’s solid, balanced and well-made enough to survive half full in your fridge for a few days), and subtle and silky enough for Friday steaks or Saturday dinner parties. Although it was part of the April 30 Vintages release, there’s still lots left in the LCBO, click here to find a bottle near you and enjoy with abandon.