A ruby red colour. A seductively fruity nose (raspberries, strawberries and blackcurrants), with a delicate hint of wood.
On the palate this wine has good volume, and shows grippy tannins that are the true reflection of its genuine terroir.
Part of the wine is aged in barrels, which brings a touch of oak to the final blend. The rest stays in tanks to preserve the full fruit aromas. These wines are racked regularly to help them to stabilise naturally. "Les Challeys" is then bottled, after blending of the different Cuvée "batches".
Vineyards : the vineyard stretches from Chavanay in the north, to Guilherand in the south, over about fifty kilometers along the right bank of the Rhône: it covers 23 "communes" in the Ardèche region, and 3 in the Loire.
Soils : the soils consist of light schist and gneiss over a granite bedrock.
Climate : the climate is moderately continental, with hot and dry summers, and normal rainfall the rest of the year.
Exposure : south and south-east
History : this wines was reputed in the 16th century for its delicacy, and was poured at the table of the kings of France. It was the Jesuits (a monk community) of Tournon who gave the area its current name, in the 17th century. Between 1956 and 1969, all the vineyards from this area which were used to be named Côtes du Rhône have been regrouped and established under the appellation Saint-Joseph.
Surface area under production : 1,095 hectares (2 705 acres), for an annual crop of 40,000 hectolitres (444,444 cases). Authorized maximum yield is 40 hectolitres/hectare (2.3 US tons/acre).
Region: Vallée-du-Rhône / Saint-Joseph
Marinated or grilled beef, stews, mixed grills, game, any kind of cheese.