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The Wines

95-100% 1992-97 Syrah from 1 hectare at La Viallière, planted from scratch, loose mica-schist, with only 20-30 cm of top soil, 0-5% Viognier, destemmed, 10 days skin maceration at 8-10°C, wild yeasts, 3-4 week vinification, pumping overs, cap punchings, part vat emptying/refillings, aged 50-80% new 650 litre oak casks, 20-50% new 228-litre oak casks 24-36 months, can be filtered, first wine 2003, wide bottle, 5,000-5,500 b

2017 ()

(casks) dark robe; The nose is grilled, oaked, carries an inset of black berry, is only just starting out, is still very much in the cellar. The palate combines oak and black fruit in a technical more than soulful way, lengthens with that combo intact, a little sweetness in the late fruit. Clean winemaking, clear fruit, but lowish on character. 95% Syrah, 5% Viognier. 13.5°. From 2021. 2036-38 Dec 2018

2016

(new 600-litre cask, 95% Syr, 5% Vio) quite a full red, shiny robe. The nose is neat – red cherry, raspberry, a hum of dried flowers, pot pourri; it holds fragrant promise, a little mystery. The palate gives attractive, immediate red fruits with a careful restraint; it has the 2016 direct line of travel, ends on powdery tannins. This is a wine in no hurry, slightly linear; it can expand a bit, in the Burgundian manner. There is fine red fruit juice here. There is a tasty spot of red fruit on the close. A touch more depth would aid it. “It is always fine, elegant,” Ludovic Richard. 95% Syr, 5% Vio. From 2022. 2038-40 Mar 2018

2015 ()

shiny dark red. The nose is discreetly stylish, reserved for now, has airs of sizzled bacon, with mulberry and raspberry coulis density, a slight meatiness. The palate gives only a cautious debut, develops sealed gras richness and firmness as it goes, moving slowly. It has pronounced heart, with gummy tannins. The red juice ekes out, all very gradually. Leave until 2021, decanting good. “It has a pronounced ripeness,” Etienne Beguin. Bottled Nov 2017. 13.5°. 2037-40 March 2018 Previously Oct 2016 ***** (casks) full, black-tinted robe. The bouquet locks up its potential, has a profound mass of black berry fruit, with the ripeness of a southern wine not far away. It’s closely packed. The palate links well to the nose, with a firm, compact shape and tight fruit-tannin. This goes long in an effortless manner, really covers the ground. It’s more northern than southern sector, has the infused minerality of the Brune area (tasted blind). The finish is good and decisive. A handsome glass in the making: drink from 2020. 13.5°. 5,000 b. €52. 95% Syr, 5% Vio. 2035-38 Oct 2016

2013 ()

(casks) full, vigorous depth robe. This has a modern, sleek nose – a black cherry aroma of depth, oak in close attendance. It is in a pretty young, near raw, state for now. Good quality fruit runs along the palate, which swishes well, has some flair, lift. Blueberry and blackberry are mixed together. Nice vigour here. It has a tidy finish, its tannins integrated. Its content carries quite far at this early stage. 13°. €26 ex cellars. From mid-2017 or 2018, decant this. 2034-36 Jan 2015

2012 ()

(casks) shiny dark red; subtle, reserved nose, gives a discreet, engaging display of black cherry fruit. The palate is also refined; it carefully presents its sweep of black cherry fruit with no blips, and is all well modelled and shapely. Good balance and harmony are in view here. I like its softly softly approach, is poised and long, its fruit very appealing, pure and impressive. Great elegance. From 2016. 2032-34  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(casks) dark red; beef stock, brewed aroma, grilled airs, with toffee from its raising behind, and traces of black berry fruit. The palate has a supple berry flavour; the fruit is open, straightforward, and there is only a minor tannic smudge of darkness that appears at the end. A solid quality Côte-Rôtie that will not disappoint. It could feel more hand made, however, have more flourish about it. It sustains fully to the line – the length is OK. Spring 2014 onwards. 2029-32  Nov 2012

2010

(casks) inviting, shiny, dark red colour. There is a crossing of oak on the nose, while under that is clear red fruit, definite mineral-lead influences, with raspberry fruit. The bouquet offers an excellent launch pad, is potentially stylish. The palate has more open, sweety touches, its red fruit supple and juiced. The length is aromatic. There is a burgeoning quality here, it is all well balanced and nicely textured. Shows a smoky-oak, clear point of black fruit on the aftertaste. Refined, stylish but a little cosmopolitan, not truly Viallière just now. The length and its softness speak for the site, though, so I reckon it can move closer to its origin. Lot of juice in this. From mid-2014, the wait will only help its ID. 97% Syrah, 3% Vio this year. Release is April 2013. 2033-35 Nov 2011

2009

(casks) bright robe – dark core, purple rim. There is a fine bouquet in the making – oak runs across a classy layer of black fruit that is well ripened, offers the smoke of oak. Tasty debut to the palate – it immediately offers pleasure and generous drinking. Very well made, a quality wine. Fine and polished from a good site (tasted blind) – it suggests the northern zone from its mineral, firm, schisty finish. The oak will be absorbed more from around 2014 – very good quality of fruit lies within that oak. 2031-33. 38 hl/ha this year. Release June 2012. Nov 2010

2008 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2007 ()

(new 650-litre cask) quiet red robe; raspberry, bright aroma – has a secure depth, is very aromatic, even if not very expansive. The palate red fruit is alert, poised late on, an even tannin around it. Ends well and freshly, still on its oak. This site will give real quality in time – a young vineyard on the threshold. A mineral, not excessive finish closes it. This has very high quality young Syrah vine fruit in it. 2026-28 Nov 2009 Previously Dec 2008 (casks) *** black, purple robe with a sheen in it. The bouquet has an oily top air, black fruit lying inside – simmered fruit, that has a sweet raisin, chocolate air along with tar and even honeycomb. The palate sets off on black fruits that are upright, no messing around – this has been extracted to deliver the goods. It ends on a tarry, oaken note and late heat. There is gras within. The fruit could be fresher, and the wine flattens with air. It has core, though, and is very young. It will evolve in a mineral, damp leaf way given the vintage and its vinification. From mid-2010. 2023-25 Dec 2008

2006 ()

steady red robe; the nose is charming, agreeably welcoming – a curve of elegant red fruit greets the drinker. The palate is also on a red fruit vein, mixed with mineral, even tea connotations. It gathers its tannins and shows schist reserve at the end, but even so, retains an elegant fragrance in with its oak. From mid-2011, so the oak which now intrudes can exit. Good length. 22 months raising this year, bottled Aug 2008. 2025-27 Nov 2009 Previously Nov 2007 *** (casks) black cherry, purple robe; tight-knit, black fruit aroma in the modern style, clean and pristine with its oak around it. Black cherry flavour starts it off, has a fairly rich nature and shows some kick along the palate. Ends on a robust, oaked note. From constructed more than natural winemaking, but has appeal, there is some positive force in it. Finishes with some richness - that is a good sign. From late 2009. 2023-25 Nov 2007

2005 ()

(casks) dark robe; well set bouquet, with raspberry and some energy – punchy red berries, and some hidden areas. Crisp fruit within a broad surround on the palate, that is mineral-infused. Is a bit extracted. Is live near the finish, where the oak is prominent, with its life reflective of its northern sector of the appellation. Wide on the palate, drink from 2010. 2025-27 Nov 2006