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The Wines

85-90% mid-1990s Syrah, 10-15% Viognier, 60% from Le Plomb (1988-2003, Syrah & Viognier), 40% from Fourvier (1993-2003, Syrah, a little Viognier), northern sector, schist soils, 70-80% destemmed, wild yeasts, 18-21 day concrete vat vinification, twice daily pumping overs, cap punching by leg work, aged 30% new, 70% 1-10 year old oak 228-litre and mainly 600-litre casks 20 months, unfined, filtered, 8-10,000 b

2017 ()

(casks) attractive, quite dark red robe. Gunflint, notably smoky aroma with red cherries, soaked cherries [griottes], even a sense of herbs, an indication of the hot summer. The palate is enjoyably juicy, suave in texture, holds rounded gras. This is a light style of Côte-Rôtie with fine tannins, a cool finale. The length is sound. The delicate finish is quite plump, joli. 13°. €21.60 export. From 2020. 2033-34 Nov 2018

2016

(casks) quite a dark red robe. The nose has an immediate floral nature, suggesting the southern Côte-Rôtie sector, delivers rather bewitching black fruits and a spiced, old rose petal aroma. The palate picks up the musky, violets of yore tone, and is threaded with that perfume, alongside some tight content, red fruits at the centre. This feels hand made, is a careful wine with a good lining of rocky, mineral notes towards the finish. It will amplify gradually over time, so be in no hurry: the longer the wait, the better given its cool style. Marks for character and interest here. 13°. From mid-2020. 2030-33 Nov 2017

2015 ()

(casks) dark robe. The nose gives blackberry, with a bundle of oak and coffee beans, some cool blueberry, in tow. It has an inherent meatiness of depth. The palate strikes out on a tight line of raspberry fruit with some keen tannin right alongside. It has good heart, is a genuine and nourishing Rôtie from this big vintage. The finish is savoury, sustained, really keeps going with no fear, and is one of its ace cards. From 2019. 2031-33 Oct 2016

2014

(casks) shiny dark red. The nose offers a precise line of big red berry fruit, mulberry, for example. It has a rounded depth, and scope for the future. The palate gives a tasty roll of red berry flavour with supple, gummy tannins attached. There is a note of spice on the aftertaste. This will offer a genuine Côte-Rôtie with good, traditional virtues. 12.6°. 8,000 b. 30% whole bunch. 90% Syr, 10% Vio. From mid-2018. 2026-28  Oct 2015 

2013 ()

(casks) shiny, quite dark red. The nose is clustered – there are smoke, pumice stone attachments to its red berry, raspberry fruit air, all in a low-key register, is cautious overall. The palate also has a rocky nature, is very much a child of Spartan soils, hillsides here. Schist (tasted blind)? Has rather a Priorat association for me. It is wiry, tight. Decanting is required. 10% Viognier. 10,000 b. 12.8°. From mid-2017 2026-28 Jan 2015

2012

(casks) shiny, dark robe. This has an “even-keel”, harmonious aroma of black berry fruit, some licorice, that has an attractive central sweetness and amiability. The nose is as fresh as an open pansy, is wholesome. This is juicy, gourmand wine that is easy to appreciate. Its fruit is supple, the tannin mild, only giving the lightest of crunch. “Well-organised” wine, good balance, attractive length, long on charm. From 2015. 13°. 90% Syr, 10% Vio this year. 2023-24  Nov 2013

2011

(casks) rather dark red; has a crunchy red fruit aroma that is deepened by airs of red meat and lifted by iris and violet – the overall impression is full. The red fruit persists well on the palate, has a fresh, dandy-like cut, in the Burgundian, precise mould – a skimmer wine more than a grounded one. Clear drinking is around the corner, without great weight in the wine. There is a grain of fine late tannin. A Regular Guy Côte-Rôtie; drink from 2014.  2022-24  Nov 2012

2010 ()

red robe with some dark tints. Has an aroma of blackberry fruit with a liqueur notion, light smoke and graphite airs, also raspberry coulis. It is well varied on the nose, also including licorice, thyme and cigarette ash. The palate has a fine-boned, grainy debut; there is quite polished fruit in a restrained setting. It lacks a little élan, which I put down to the relative youth of the vines. There are powdery tannins after half way, with a wee violet infusion in them. It is subtle wine, removed from the Vinous Superhighway, and demands that you pay attention to it when drinking it. It is discreetly long, leading into a clear, rather graphite aftertaste. Decant this, and be patient. From 2015. 2023-24  Sept 2012

2008

cask 1 (used 600-litre oak cask, Le Plomb, 15% Viognier) *** round, mild red fruits aroma that has good layering, can develop. There is a nice little ball of red fruits at the start of the palate, its acidity requiring 18 months to come round. Sound length, clear finish. Cask 2 (new 600-litre oak cask, Fourvier, 5% Viognier) *** pretty red robe; there is a tight line around the bouquet, which is tightly drawn – shows red cherry and graphite touches. The palate is also sealed, in a northern sector way with oak intruding on the second half: a wiry and determined wine. From 2012. OVERALL *** no hurry with this – from 2011 or so, a wine that will ring a clear bell, and appeal to lovers of pure, well-cut wines. To 2010. Nov 2009

2007 ()

100% Syrah this year: red with black traces. Has a blackberry jam aroma, speckles of spice and tea within. The palate is a measured do – holds black fruits with nice life in them. Has the grip of the northern sector, but the fruit is ripe, so it shows gras richness and willing. Has a tangy, tight finish. From late 2010. 2018-19. “Both sites were hit big time by hail on 22 June – there were no leaves on the plane trees in Ampuis after it,” Lionel Faury. Nov 2009

2006 ()

mild red robe; has a violet, Pez sweets scented black jam aroma – this is a b.b. bouquet – “bonjour boudoir”. The palate is also scented, comes with a soft texture and shape, and the tannins only appear late in the sequence. It can be drunk now given all this Viognier in it, the Viognier being most openly evident on the nose. There is a little grain in the palate texture – helpful. Some will adore this scented style: I find it overdone. 13°. 2013-15 Jan 2008 Previously Nov 2007 ** (casks) fairly dark red; floral, violet scented red fruits aroma with a sweet overall impression, the boudoir. The palate is on the gourmand trail, is a wine of fruit pastille style flavour, with its sweetness bordering on excess. Has a perfumato aftertaste that is round and a bit simple. The finish is not really clear-cut. Its tannins need leaving for 18 months, say drink from mid-2009. Its north zone nature is camouflaged by so much Viognier, I find that a pity. 2017-19 Nov 2007

2005 ()

(cask samples) southern sector aroma – soft, floral with plum red fruits, and the influence of the Viognier present in that softness. Good grip on the palate – red fruits with a lithe, direct nature. The main flavour is of plums, with a floral siding to them. Heading for harmony, and soft appeal, from 2009 onwards, for instance. Gracious wine, with some late kick from the tannins that are just now gaining in roundness. Tar on the finish now. 2016-17 Nov 2006

2004

some matt in a plum robe. Smoky, stewed fruit nose, is ample and has downhome aspects, a little Viognier floating around, too. Strong attack, wine with a compact flavour and an earthy presence. Brewed, slight chocolate finale, then a burst of raspberry. Good local feel. A few faults, is a little taut, but is in the STGT vein. Open now. 2014-16 April 2006

2003 ()

(cask) macerated raspberry aroma, florality also, some sweetness. Soaking cassis with sweet texture, olives and southern instincts. Full style, bit ponderous. Sipping not drinking wine. 2007 on. 2014-17

2002 ()

(cask) floral aroma; straight, cassis fruit, frank, direct wine. Viognier and young vines effect here.

2001

(cask) soft garden fruit nose; soft start, middle gains some breadth, gentle, easy wine. Minted end, fair tannin, length OK.