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The Wines

Syrah (1983-1998) from sanded granite soils on Chaban at 350 metres, hand harvested crop, destemmed, open oak vat 3-4 week fermentation, twice daily hand punching of cap, pumping overs, malo done in cask, aged 50% new, 50% 1-year 228-litre oak casks 24 months (up from 12-15 months), unfined, filtered, 2,000-7,100 b

2018

(casks) very dark robe, shiny. The bouquet sits quietly, is rather damp, has a cooked black fruits presence, a note of hay and moss with the prune. The palate bears ripe, mature content, mixes up red and black berries, holds squeezy gras, with a curve on the finish. It’s straightforward, rather subdued Cornas for earlier drinking than most – what you see is what you get. 13.5°. 4,000 b. €34.80. From 2021. 2034-36 Nov 2019

2017

(casks) full, through dark red robe. The bouquet is a Big Event, droopy and southern in inclination, on black raisin, prune fruit which indicates the sweetness and ripeness of the crop. The palate commences with oaking along the palate, some wavy matter around it, is very much in the cellar, and away from the vineyard, for now. The black fruits, cherries to the fore, struggle to have their say, and the Cornas typicity also finds it hard to make a statement. The oak on the after taste is strong, drying. I wonder how fresh this cask sample is [tasted blind]. From 2022. 2038-40 Dec 2018

2016 ()

(casks) dark, full robe. The bouquet is large, weighty, deep, crammed with sultry black fruits, ripe prunes, plus smokiness. The palate is broad across the attack, bears tightly packed, impressive black berry fruits and a good layer of ripe tannins that contribute further depth late on. The finish produces out of the hat a gentle note of Cornasien violets – way to go! Its oaking has been well managed, just apparent here and there. It’s an interesting and genuine Cornas. 13.5°. From 2020. 2031-34 Nov 2017

2015

(casks) filled up, shiny robe, black centre. The bouquet sits with ample depth, fronted for now by oaking and its tar-charcoal associations. There is an abundance of fruit packed in. The palate is full of charge, carries generous content and free wheeling fruit, backed by tannins burnished with oak. This is a full, modern Cornas with a fabulous surge of energy through it. Leave until 2020 to allow its early exertions to soften. 2033-35 Oct 2016

2014

(casks) dark robe; the bouquet packs in plenty of black cherry fruit, a note of sweet, liqueur in it. Abundance is the name of the game. The palate sets off with cool, blueberry style fruit, and plenty of it. The tannins are shapely, fit in well. Good, unbridled Cornas, full of life and bold fruit. The finish is succulent, like fruit lozenges. This is entertaining, w.o.w. Cornas, almost a first to be in that category, testament above all to the vintage and also the ability now to serve very clear fruit. 14°. 2,000 b. €21.60. From 2017. 2023-24  Oct 2015 

2013 ()

(casks) dark robe. The front nose bears airs of black cherry fruit with oak, the oak more prominent than most. There is a latent air of violet. Overall, it is a cleanly struck nose. The palate is upright, its swoop of early fruit replaced by tight oaking. It shows gras richness as it ends. This is a still a shell of a wine. It isn’t that easy to judge today. 13.5°. 3,000 b. From mid-2017. 2028-30  Jan 2015

2012

dark colour. The bouquet is modern in style – vanilla, crushed black berry, coulis fruit airs, some oak toffee, black pepper and the ripeness of black raisin. The palate has a gravelly depth; it holds fluid black cherry fruit with a tannin-tar encasing. Serious body and heart here. The late palate is well-lined, wide and persistent. The matter is tarry, full, the aftertaste grainy and oaked. It is a bit pushed along in the cellar. The length is decent. 13°. 4,000 b.  2025-27  Nov 2013

2011

(casks) dark, shiny robe. This is a man mountain nose – grilled, truffle and farmyard fundamentalism, big roasting, the fruit black berry and prune. Very spicy, also shows reduction. The palate has a full, beefy nature before settling into a good, salty tang black fruit flow. Good raw elements that will fuse here. Stylish, modern Cornas with depth, attitude. The tannins and oak needs around three years – from 2015. 2025-27  Nov 2012

2010

(casks) surging black robe with purple present. Oaked, juicy front air that carries mint-bosky implications, some leather as well. The palate starts off enclosed, grainy, and reveals a woods style centre spine, a form of dryness that is occasionally relieved – near the end, for example – by its juiced fruit. It is stiff from its raising, and vinification, with malo in wood etc, all the faddish stuff. Reflects the northern zone of Cornas – it bears more ferrous snap than the sunny south. From spring 2014, all delay will benefit it. 2025-27 Nov 2011

2009 ()

(casks) dark robe. Plum, prune aroma with a little floral sweetness – ripe fruit with smoky moments. Soaked style black fruit on the palate with a tannic grain through it, decent length. It ends on that pebbly note, with a tang of licorice. From 2013. 2020-22 Nov 2010

2008

pretty good red-black robe; blackberry aroma with some sweet juice in its air, a liqueur side. It is big scale by design, and holds up pretty well. The early palate extraction effects are strong, and hard to see past at this young, unformed stage – it is notably grilled. Ends rather clinically, so needs to absorb its oak and reach early maturity to be less stiff. Has tight gras inside it, so evolution beckons from 2012. 2019-21 Dec 2009

2007 ()

dark robe; reserved nose that is peppery, with chocolate bar, black berry fruit within, just a bit dusty also. Its palate black fruits are a touch taut, and come with a texture that is a bit high tone and arm's length. Near the finish, the fruit gets more comfortable, showing more body and assurance there. There is a licorice, tannic upthrust as it closes. From spring 2010. 2019-20 Dec 2008 Previously June 2008 *** 2 casks tasted: Cask 1 (1 year oak) *** largely red; pretty filled aroma, with some oak across it, and ripe enough to show some sweetness. The palate holds red fruits of some dash and energy – they run well. Very openly fruited, good length, too. Pretty wine, with some muscle. 14-16 years. Cask 2, new Radoux oak, medium heating *** bright red. The nose is clearer than the previous cask – has some black cherry fruit that is live and open. The palate has red fruits that are sealed up and ready to move forward: more compact than the first wine, more woven and more solid. Good length. Late floral, blackberry, tar touches. 16 years. June 2008

2006

red robe with some black traces. Has a black fruit, plum aroma – black plum tart, a little raspberry – is varied and has potential, a fresh hauteur about it. On the palate, this is mainstream Cornas, without a big granite stamp in it. A gummy fruit nature starts after half way: the fruit is likeable, and the wine needs time to settle its acidity and to extend at the end. Finishes freshly. From late 2010. 13.5°. 2022-23 June 2008