Wine Spectator 94 - A suave and smoky style, with sandalwood, black tea, olive, juniper and bay leaf notes leading the way, followed by a core of lightly steeped bitter plum and blackberry fruit. Concentrated, showing latent length as all the elements take a late encore, supported by a lingering mineral echo. Should unwind a bit more slowly than most of its colleagues. Best from 2022 through 2035.
Wine Advocate 93 - The 2017 Saint Joseph Sainte-Epine comes from a couple of vineyards planted in 1981 on weathered granite soils geologically identical to those found in Hermitage's Les Bessards. Crushed stone, salted licorice and pencil shavings accent black cherries and black olives, while the full-bodied palate is velvety but structured, ripe and warm but firm and mouthwatering, with at least a decade of aging potential. Tasted twice (once blind), with consistent notes.
Vinous 93 - Opaque ruby. Deep-pitched black and blue fruit, licorice and pungent floral qualities on the powerfully scented nose. Broad and fleshy in the mouth, offering bitter cherry, cassis and salty olive flavors that become more lively and turn sweeter on the back half. Smoothly blends power and energy and finishes long and spicy, with a hint of smokiness and slowly mounting tannins.
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