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The Wines

from La Garde subset on Côte Blonde, 1950s, 1970-72 and 1980 Syrah, 3-4% Viognier, 10-12% destemmed, 4-5 week vinification, pumping overs, 3x a day automatic cap punchings, aged 10-15% new, 85-90% 2-8 year oak (65% 550-litres, 35% 225 litres) 18-24 months, usually 22 months, fined, unfiltered, 7-7,500 b

2018

(used 228-litre cask) dark robe; has a plentiful, curvy nose, savoury blackberry, menthol, the South, black cherry. The attack is close-knit, solid, with probing depth, density. There is iron on the second half. It garners firm but tasty tannins, a wild freshness late on. It’s backward, raw, promising – take a lot of time here. It’s intricate, not easy to read, gets a provisional *****, as the terroir remains its strongest card. “The aromas are a bit Brune-like, perhaps from the lower acidity this year,” Pierre Rostaing. From 2025. 2052-55 Dec 2019

2017 ()

(casks) shiny dark red; smoky, licorice, blackberry, grilling feature in a nose that shows some vintage sun strength, black raisin touches. The palate has a grippy start, very much on mineral alert, a brief moment of fine gras at its centre, concentrated juice in it. it’s only just en route. Keen, notably fresh tannins of verve appear on the finish, notes of dried herbs. This certainly has a foot in the south. Decant it. From 2022-23. 2045-47  GB £600 per 12 b i/bond, £1220 per 6 mags i/bond J&B www.justerinis.com justbrooksorders@justerinis.com +44(0)207 484 6400  Nov 2018

2016

1) (3 year 600-litre oak cask) ****(*) dark red. There is some oak darkness on the nose, iron filings, has an upright style, and cassis fruit derived from the oak. This is dark, intense, full of thick juice, is sustained and long. Plenty of oak controls the finish. René feels this is too oaked to be a good example. From 2024. 25 years. 2) ***** (4 year 600-litre oak cask) dark red. There is latent meatiness on the bouquet with crisp red fruit hiding inside, dark smoke notes, bacon fat. The palate holds a winning, stylish gras with firm richness on the agenda, very good heart. It extends into good, vibrant tannins – their hit of crunch and lip smack feel are stylish. Today it’s rocky fissure wine, rather closed. Bottling July 2018. From 2024. 2041-43 Nov 2017

2015

red robe, nothing very dark. The nose is an intrigue of hidden promise, comes with a serene waft of red cherry fruit, a raspberry coulis within, a trail of smoke, gunflint. The palate is really tight, but has a real six-pack of sealed, uber compressed content all crammed in tight as a drum. There is a small release of red juice towards the finish, followed by rose petal and lead pencil. It’s going right into its shell, but holds tremendous potential, and deep-seated content with good delineation, real definition. It’s way away from the many thick 2015 Côte-Rôties. “It has belle profondeur/depth, but is limpid, clear, will live for 30 years, no problem,” René Rostaing. From 2024. 2044-46 Nov 2017 Previously Oct 2016 ****** (2 year 600-litre oak cask) full red robe. The bouquet is savoury, gives an air of ripe red fruits, smoky bacon – it is reserved, but has class, latent raspberry and mulberry. The palate debut is silken, has a most textured surface above a real plunge of full content with a build of serious tannin, a compact pile of tannin. This is very well structured, is Grand Vin. It is coolly floral, is complex, intricate, extended. From 2024. GB £1,200 12 b i/b Clarion Wines info@clarionwines.co.uk www.clarionwines.co.uk +44(0)208 747 2069. GB/HK £530 6 b i/b Goedhuis +44(0)207 793 7900 +852 2801 5999 sales@goeduis.com hksales@goedhuis.com www.goedhuis.com2044-46 Oct 2016 GB £1,200 12 b £1,215 6 mags in bond Justerini & Brooks www.justerinis.com  2044-46 Oct 2016

2014 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED – HALF THE CROP DESTROYED BY FRUIT FLIES, REMAINING WINE INTO AMPODIUM

2013

dark red, plum colour. This has a great bouquet, a real winner, gives lovely crushed cassis, blackberry with mulberry and loganberry, with notions of damp soil. It has variety to come, carries mystery. It isn’t really firing today. The palate has a tight debut, with extremely belle freshness, real natural life here. It has a suave heart, holds grainy tannins, accumulates detail from them. Juice emerges finely on the finish, which is lovely and on the up. It has grip, nerve, great potential style for the future. It is a Rocky Blonde with a damp stone close, de la terre. It is a wine with “sparkle” factor. 13°. €65 export. From 2020-21. 2034-37 Oct 2016

2012

(5 year 228 & 600-litre cask, bottling Jul/Aug 2013) bright, full red. There is a latent elegance in the nose – it is really stylishly knit together, and gives subtle layers of red berry fruit, low-key licorice and black coffee. The palate is well sealed; this is a quiet stayer, very well assembled to achieve its whole oneness. It is a pedigree wine, superior in that department to the Landonne. There are drifts of graphite and hints of flowers within. It has inner “steel”, but also silk in its fruit and content. Long, very persistent wine that ends on discreet floral touches. “It is very elegant, and the tannin is dense at the end,” René Rostaing. 2033-35  Oct 2013

2011 ()

good, solid red robe, promising. There are attractive waves of berry fruit, en finesse, on the nose, with small bursts of violet, primrose, caramel in its youth, the violets of Roman Vienne – the bouquet has a cosy intimacy now. The palate debut is stylish, delivers a swift onset of graininess, sexy waves of fruit, red berry fruit, accompanied by supple tannin and a lightly crisp finish. Where next? It will quieten and will appeal. It is set to close, shows mineral on the finish, iron and softness at the same time. It has an active roundness, lots of sunny, immediate appeal. From 2019. 2030-33  London, Nov 2013  Previously Oct 2013, Ampuis ****(*) red robe, not especially dark. The prime aroma is one of red berry, raspberry compote fruits with floral and rose touches – it is spherical, shows finesse. The palate red fruit is precise, attractive; it is starting up gracefully, and is more organised and ensemble than the Landonne 2011. It ends on fine cut, a dark tenor, near tar aspect in its well-knit late stages. This has steel, and it isn’t a big, fat Blonde year, being more mineral than many. It reaches out well on the finish, with minerality and flowers mixed there. From 2019. 2033-35  Oct 2013  Previously May 2013 ***** (mix of 1-3 year 228 litre/550-litre oak casks, bottling Jul/Aug 2013) dark robe. The aroma is led by ripe, curvy dark berry fruit with notes of tea, salt, inkiness and a low-key floral statement. This will become a prominent, full bouquet, one that bears mystery in its trail. There is carbonic gas on the tip of the tongue on the start of the palate, where there is a mix of blackberry and damson fruit. It moves freely, is buzzy, then clad in rather thick coating on the finish. It is dense, more so than the Landonne this year, and leaves a fragrant signature, in with its obvious oak and licorice. It is also longer than the Landonne. 2011 has a proper Burgundian extension, and this has a Pinot side to it, along the lines of a Chambolle Musigny. Interesting wine. From 2016. 2033-35  May 2013

2010

shiny, dark red robe. Smoky blackberry-mulberry aroma, a high note in its soaked red fruits and a strawberry-floral hover that brings a relative delicacy. This is a beguiling bouquet, offers shafts of light and shade together. The palate holds self contained red berry fruit with crackling tannins after the mid-point. It leaves a rather intellectual trail – mystery about its red fruit ID, the fusion between it and its tannins as if we are being kidded about its real potential. This is an upright, still austere Blonde, very much a wine of frame and structure. The detail in the juice on the aftertaste is impressive, like a Pointilliste painting. It is very, very long, a Beauty that doesn’t show an open book. 13°. From 2019-20. 2041-45  Nov 2015 Previously May 2013 ****** ½ bottle: full, dark red. Has a wavy blackberry aroma that involves licorice, prune, a rich plum jam – it is scented, and is still waving a flag of openness, as the palate shuts down. The palate bears a brilliant richness that manages subtlety, length, amplitude, promise, mystery. It attacks on close-knit, grainy black fruit, is direct, runs in a straight line with the inherent gras at its heart. It grows its tannins on the finish, where they show up obviously. From 2018-19, for instance. Very long wine. 13°. 2036-38  May 2013  Previously Dec 2011 ****** (228-litre cask) dark robe – mauve, deep red, black tints. There is a serene curve, a Mona Lisa smile on the bouquet – this offers a sensuous promise, and there is light tread footwork in it – highly stylish. The palate offers a glimpse of future élan and flair. Its spine is surrounded by fine flow black fruit. Its tannins are more fine, more concentrated than those of the 2010 Landonne. The gras is admirably light touch, the finish is spiced. All very tightly packed, but it still shows floral, genuine local traits. The tannins are very fine, and there are plenty of them, their grain closer together than those of Landonne. Very long indeed. Outstanding wine. “This will express itself strongly after winter 2011-12,” René Rostaing. 2038-40 Dec 2011 Previously March 2011 ****** (steel tank, malo is just starting, we suspect) just ahead of the Landonne this year, the 2009 more obviously so. Full purple, violet robe. Suave red berry, red cherry fruits aroma, a wide and confident nose. The palate holds really big matter, is very thorough and the red fruit is impressive. There are streamlined, velvety late moments. It is supple and structured, and the aftertaste is full and elegant, the length sound. Top grade fruit. From 2017-18. 2037-40 March 2011

2009

plum red robe. Smoky, sealed, gradual floral aroma with loganberry depth, a lead pencil thrust. The attack yields savoury gras richness, has a cool thread of tight tannins, a fresh theme. The sun of 2009 means the content is close-knit, compact and firm. Terroir brings the freshness. There are complex prompts on the nose, which is just emerging. The perfume is clear, not musky, and the richness is sumptuous, really tasty. From mid-2018. 2034-36 Oct 2016 Previously Dec 2011 ****** ½ bottle, bottled July 2011: full red that is deep and shiny. The bouquet is dark, crunchy, encircled, not open, and suggests a Brune terroir more than the Blonde; there is a light terroir floral notion that provides a clue; it is very concentrated and long on the bouquet. The palate bears a dark fruit which is compact and compressed, but clear. Has marked body, content, is grounded. The flavour is prune-violet on the attack, its tannins tasty and full, ones that stick closely by its side. Notes of baked bread and sponge cake feature on the finish, followed by the fruit reviving its length and peeking out as the final say-so. This is shuffling into its shell a little now. “I did green harvest on the crop, and this concentration is partly derived from that,” René Rostaing. 2034-36 Dec 2011 Previously March 2011 ****** (casks) dark red robe, mulberry top edge, is a bit more purple than Landonne 2009. Wow! This nose has a beguiling serenity floating across it depth, the black fruit is surprisingly elegant within. There are airs of slight grilling, toasting, intense cherry. The palate offers a Margaux-style finesse, the mid to late moments are excellent – there is juice in this, fine tannins, a classy ensemble. The fruit is laced with oak at the end, which is firm and compact. The oak needs until 2015-16 to infuse. “I am very happy – there is very belle structure and beaux tannins that are fine – a sublime expression of the Blonde,” R.Rostaing. It is very long, with subtle, lingering red fruit on the finish. 13.3°. From 2017. 2034-37 March 2011

2008 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED - WINE WENT INTO CUVEE TERROIR

2007 ()

 

red robe with a bit of a pale hue. The nose is into its second stage, raspberry fruit and violet in the lead, a little grilling, pork scratchings. The palate bears pure and aromatic red fruit, fine bonne tannins, with fresh notes towards the close. This is notably mineral-Nordic wine with more to come, is a Thinkers Wine. 13°. 2036-37 Nov 2018 Previously Dec 2008 ****(*) (from 3 x 600-litre oak casks to be representative) gentle red colour; has a red jam aroma laced with red pepper that comes with dimension, but not excess – there is a quiet, confident persistence. The palate holds still primary red fruits that have a line of refined tannin running through them, then ends on a clear, fresh air. It is still en route – patience is required, but there is definite potential from around 2012. The length is good and chewy in this interesting wine. “The clear finish is encouraged by the fact that only 10-12% of the crop was destemmed – that makes it more straight as it finishes,” R. Rostaing. 2029-32 Dec 2008 Previously Jan 2008 ****(*) (tank where it did its malo, before going into cask) sound red robe; very clear, elegant nose that has a bonny assurance. The aroma is rounded today, at an open stage. Lithe red fruit on the palate, with a mild and pretty flow. There is good harmony here, and a little late tannin that lends a “dark” touch to it. There is good spring in this now tasty wine, and proonged length. 2027-30 or so. Jan 2008

2006

red plus, bright robe. Has a classic, red berry aroma that is playing a waiting game, but is implicitly wide and stylish: has a really inset nature - there is a lot here, but not obviously so for now. Notably pretty red fruits run off along the palate and remain faithful throughout, while the finish shows Rhône, not Burgundian, depth – good. This is really good on the palate – lots of restrained bounty. While it is in its youth, this ends on a mineral crispness, and will be more rounded around 2014-16. Can be drunk from 2012 at the earliest, is an STGT wine, completely reflecting its place. Has run on since bottling. 2030-34 Dec 2008 Previously Jan 2008 ***** good, dark robe with a mauve top to the black cherry. There is a hint of black jam, and raspberry with a little floral scent in it on the bouquet – there is a beguiling plumpness here. The palate black fruit continues towards a refined jam, with the entry of some tannins – a wine that is free in spirit, with a growing ball of juicy end matter. More opening and welcome than the reserved Landonne 2006 today – has some quiet bounty in its richness, and the width at the end is a good sign. This is persistent, and a strong performer. From say 2012. 2028-30. Jan 2008

2005

attractive full red robe; very beau, liqueur style fruit aroma of suave elegance, a basket of flowers. The nose has uplift, is stylish, offers real waves of delight, lead pencil. “I find irises on the bouquet,” René Rostaing. The palate is silken, extends with a lovely, sure hand, is coming together very well, reaches out. It unfurls a fine grain fruit, with total roundness a sit ends. Classy wine, with old-fashioned reserve and a flourish of fine, pointilliste painting aggregations of stimulus. “It has beau volume – once I taste this, I forget all other wines on the same day. It is miracle between power and elegance, the power extremely well delivered, and orchestrated,” René Rostaing. It has a long, quiet drumbeat persistence, and builds with great detail from the bottom up, nothing at all flashy. Texture plays a big role in this. It gives highly provocative interest – you actually have to concentrate to drink this and appreciate it fully. 2033-36  Nov 2013, London Previously March 2011 ****** deep red colour. This is WINE – the bouquet and the whole, wholesome aroma. There is black fruit with a filigree scent hovering over it, it is an aroma that fills the glass. The palate is rich all through, and has a firmly buttoned up nature for now, but is more complete and fuller than many Blondes from here. Holds a seamless depth of red berry fruit that is also wide. Is a terrestrial wine this year – the red fruit is surrounded by a lot matter, and there is even a hint of earthiness or the fungal late on. The tannin lie deep within, and suggest a little rigour still. From 2014 maybe. Grand Vin. 13.2°. 2038-40. “The nose is both massive and fine, I find. 1995 was a bit like this. It is powerful and rich but also straight and long, which is why I like it so much. Come back in 10 years,” R Rostaing. 6,000 b this year. Jan 2008 Previously Nov 2006 (casks) ***** full, dark red robe; the bouquet has scope, its breadth and low-key volume are dumb now, but within there is black fruit that should be more expressive around 2010. Subtle, hidden wine on the palate – “it has had a tendency to close recently,” R.R. Raspberry fruit glimmers, its tannins grow and swell, are ripe and noticeable. Good length, with slight pebble in the tannins. Structured, rather regal wine. Has afresh end, is promising. 2028-31 Nov 2006

2004 ()

red fruits with the potential for a round, warm and inviting bouquet in the future. The attack is discreetly perfumed, shows an open side, has good mid to end palate juice and a dense interior that is delivered nonetheless on a light note. The length is satisfying, and pretty rich. Fine-boned wine, with plenty to come. Esp 2009-10 onwards. 2025-27 April 2006

2003

mulberry aroma with a little sweetness, has a warm, suave elegance. Is a bit dumb now, shows traces of oak. There is a gourmand fruit start to the palate with a round, smooth texture. Has reserves of energy and doesn`t show such pastille-like flavour as the Landonne 2003. Its tannins are fine, this is really tasty wine of great class and uplift. Esp from 2008-09 but drinks well now with that sweet come hither. “I put in 50% not 15% new oak this year, and this showed until it was bottled. I was not worried by it – the crop was small, the casks were here, the wine was rich, so I put the wine in them,” R.Rostaing. 2022-25 April 2006

2002 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2001

(cask) floral/red fruit, lightly spiced nose; close-knit fruit, dumb, tannic edges. Complexity to come. Fair length, fruit returns with violets. 2017-21

2000

wild strawberry/cinnamon/pepper, charming nose; tight matter, lots of dense, partly spiced red fruit. Fruit more solid near end, quite complex. From 2007. Oil/licorice end, long. 2015-17

1998

(cask) very typical bouquet, aromatic, floating, plenty in it. Quiet, elegant warmth; has plum, cedar, cinnamon. Lasts well, tannins well woven in. Esp from 2004-05 2013-17

1997 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

1995

slow burn bouquet, much latent black fruit; real depth, solid cassis jam flavours. Very tight structure. Intense, long wine. From 2001-02. 2012-16

1994 ()

deep plum red robe. The nose is backward if that is possible to believe, has airs of tobacco and plum fruit, is densely packed, gracious and even a little upright still as per the vintage style. There are hints of flowers. It is fine, sustained, has a rolled up intensity, and grows in dimension as it breathes. The palate gives stewed fruits, mulled and soaked cherries with a strong liqueur tendency. Good style here, a wine that isn’t quite off the leash. It bears subtle, low-key acidity. The finish is fresh and quietly persistent. There is a Pomerol fatness, a Pinot fat and roundness. It meanders rather than moves directly. Air brings florality and a striking, suave finesse, gathers tar depth as it finishes and a note of farmyard. A grand performer from a modest year. Has been open two hours and decanted. 13°. 2023-25  Dec 2014 Previously ***** lurking dark fruit aroma; big dimension wine, wink of fruit set to emerge. Big mass here, well-packed. 2008-11