2012 St Joseph, Domaine Emmanuel Darnaud

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These steep granitic vineyards, just to the south of Tournon, face south-west and struggled with oidium in 2012. However, the struggle had a successful outcome and the resulting wine impresses with its length, its finesse and its tell-tale lick of black pepper on the finish. Simon Field MW, Rhône Wine Buyer Likeable and loquacious, Emmanuel makes excellent wines in the south of the commune of Crozes and now, thanks to his father-in-law Bernard Faurie, also in St Joseph. The laudable if sometimes futile experimentation in the winery seems to have abated a little of late as the winning formula,