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The Wines

mainly Blonde area, 95-96% Syrah, 4-5% Viognier, can do a cool pre-fermentation maceration, whole bunch 2-3 week vinification, wild yeasts, pumping overs, aged used oak - 600 litres, 12-25 hl barrels – 18-24 months, unfined, unfiltered, first made with Du Plessy title 1994, 15-25,000 bottles

2015

bottled Jan 2018: dark red. It’s under its recent bottling on the nose, which shows liqueur fruit that resembles cassis de Dijon, blackberry, with mint liqueur. It has 2015 darkness. The attack is muscular, sturdy, holds concentrated, prolonged stone black fruits flavour. There’s a glimpse of gras before the finish, a piled high mass of dark jam fruits. This has a wild side, an earthy, grounded nature, a touch of late dryness, dried fruits. The finish poses a few questions. It’s compressed wine that needs time. 13.5°. “I compare it to the 2006 Duplessy, the last year when all the Combard fruit was included in it, and which came good over time,” Julien Barge. From 2022. 2033-35 Mar 2018

2014 ()

(casks) dark red colour. The nose has a meaty quality, is broad, comes with prune and blackberry fruit present. The palate is well-filled, runs with some dashing black berry fruit, has smoky tannins lining it. Plenty of wine here – it is fuller than most, is a genuine, traditional do. The finish is pretty complete - I like the swish of fruit and gras there. 15,000 b. €35 export. From mid-2018-19. 2027-30  Oct 2015 

2012 ()

(casks) dark, properly full robe. The nose expresses power from within, has a concentration of red stone fruit and cassis, an oily raspberry, is handsome and also reduced. The palate has a Blonde sector nature via a wavy spread of strawberry fruit, liqueur plum, the fruiting ripe. Has an appealing and fat centre, heart, and tasty richness that carries well. Has a round, complete finish, snug tannins. Has the potential to be round, spherical. From late 2015. 2025-26  Nov 2013

2011

(casks) quite a full red; nicely wide and also pretty full air of cooked red fruits, has its own chunky style. It is wide, almost muscular. A compact block of red berry and red cherry fruit comes forward, with prominent tannins upholstering it. It holds dense but late fleshy juice, meaning that it moves along with purpose. Traditional style (tasted blind) – a buoyant wine that has pep. Promising. From 2015. 2024-26  Nov 2012  Previously May 2012 ***(*) (600-litre oak cask) full robe, black tints. Sweet, round, fat air that is also on reduction. Shows a blackstrap depth on the nose, lots of depth with chocolate style dark notes, also leather. The palate has immediate, sweet-rich, flattering fruit, with embedded tannins that are round. It settles into a comfortable run along the palate. Plenty of taste in this. “It was very ripe on all levels,” G Barge. 16 years of life, say. May 2012

2010

dark, purple-black robe. This has the round, racy aroma of 2010, comes with menthol and a note of vanilla in the air, rolls out blackberry and licorice, has a lot of potential. The palate has a fresh stride on it, and real late spine which directs its finish. This has very good structure - beyond the glitzy fruit there is substance and a frame that will allow it to live and develop. It is also tasty at its heart. Attractive, racy wine. The length and balance are both good, and it persists freely. So well balanced is it that it is easy to drink now. Bottled 5 days ago. 2025-27 May 2012

2009 ()

2 bottles tasted, bottle 1 not quite right: dark robe; attractive, floral, generous fat on the bouquet; it involves leather-spice, wispy airs of tobacco, and shows more obvious sun and fat than 2010 – it is solar, ripe, has a curvy black berry air. The palate is chewy, robust, with blackberry fruit at its centre; it attacks on a firm note, even a bit tense. “Not as I expect it to be,” G Barge. bottle 2: dark colour; the nose is similar to bottle 1, with vanilla, floral notes, a touch of game and an earthy truffle aroma. The palate is better – it runs more freely, is tightening up now. The flavour of blackberry has closely attached tannin and firm matter. Good heart, good constitution to this, the length is solid. Shows a good burst of juice on the end. From late 2014 – it will be expressive around 2018. “these young wines are always shaken up at the time of flowering in the vineyard,” G Barge. 2025-27 May 2012 Previously Nov 2010 ****(*) (barrel) full red, wee purple tints. The bouquet is open, fairly deep – offers ripe red fruit on the top note, has a mix of liqueur and smoke, best back of smoked bacon, its ripeness similar to 1999 when that was young. Forward, declaring red fruit on the palate, before it becomes reserved on the second half, quietens there. Good quality fruit here, good purpose, local virtues. Ends roundly, as one – a promising, true Côte-Rôtie. The red fruit liqueur revives on the aftertaste. From 2013. 2022-25 Nov 2010 Previously July 2010 ***(*) (12 hl barrel, this represents 60%+ of the final wine) full robe; sealed, well-knit black cherry fruit air, along with licorice – definite potential. Tight black fruit on the palate, is lying low, reductive. (600-litre oak cask) fine black fruit, closely packed bouquet. Good charge of black fruit that comes out running on the palate, a wine of good length. Full and wide at the end, it spreads out well. 2022-25 July 2010

2008

Not yet bottled in July 2010 when visited domaine, so not tasted then. Previously Dec 2009 *(*) mild red; red berry, strawberry aroma, baked red fruits, a little downhome earthiness. The palate has a local, traditional feel – starts on nutty red fruit, gives a little sweetness in the middle stages. Ends on that false sweetness and some dry acidity, is not clear-cut. From 2011 spring or summer. 2017-18 Dec 2009 Previously Dec 2008 **(*) (550-litre cask) fair red robe; red cherry fruit in a reductive nose. The palate fruit starts cleanly, then is taken over by its malic acidity (malo not yet done). The fruit is crisp. 12 years. Dec 2008

2007 ()

level red, fair depth. Has an open red fruits aroma of raspberry notably. It is holding back, has a sense of reserve about it. The palate is more on the go – delivers rounded fruit, the attack is rounded, almost sweet. It closes down on the end – this is in transition now. It gathers fine late tannins that are not firm. From mid-2011, especially to allow the finish to complete and round out. White pepper freshness on the aftertaste. “It will open in the next 2 to 3 years,” Julien Barge. 2019-21 July 2010 Previously Dec 2008 ***(*) (casks) quite a dark robe; has a smoky, peppery nose that comes with a stalky air – a real Asian/Indian spice fest. Something of a wild child now, it is sweet, reductive, with spice and pine resin. The palate bears black fruits that are supple in contrast to the snap of the bouquet. It ends in a rounded, measured way – there is “dark” fruit in there that is intense and inky, while the aftertaste is peppery. Floral notes hover in this – it is an interesting mix of elements and sensations. The end is tarry. Authentic, traditional style (tasted blind) – marks for character. It is slightly dry at the end, where the fruit dips a bit. From mid-late 2010. 2018-19 Dec 2008

2006

(for the record, a Nov 2007 cask sample) quite a full, blackberry robe; this sample from casks is Bretty, very hang-dog in its smell. The palate is also gamey, and has a plum flavour with some violet late on. Not clean, so cannot be judged. Nov 2007 Previously June 2007 550-litre cask *** ex-Côte Brune cask, tight, evident fruit with a meaty top on the bouquet. Live fruit, nicely bold with muscle in the fruit. Direct, quite broad. 228-litre cask *** well-founded nose with firm, red fruits of plum and spice. Spiced, direct thrust of palate fruit that is wrapped around with tannins now, a bit of a mean customer. Structured wine, can live over 15-17 years.

2005

magenta red; interesting, slow to evolve bouquet – there is a very good top layer of berry fruit, and a fine cover of smoke and flowers – it is very typical. It has hardly left the starting gate, but will reward patience. The palate shows a good, traditional Côte-Rôtie, that is also very vintage faithful. It has a calm run of red berry fruit with good acidity, and a nutty, tangy graphite finish – it is very correctly mineral there. The late palate is broad, but it is a wine still on its caution, not yet out of its shell, and enclosed by its tannins. The balance is good. From mid-2011 for a more willing wine, but its reserve is appealing to lovers of careful wines: its unforced manner is a throwback to more gentle, innocent times. 12.5°. Good value at £24.30 from Tanners, Shrewsbury, GB. 2023-25 Nov 2009 Previously June 2007 **** tight red fruits with a broad sweep in the making on the nose, that reflects spiced red jam. Very direct, live fruit on the palate, with tannins that are full of pep. The red fruits here are on the go, and need to be left until 2010. Finishes on a fresh note – needs to round out there. The tannins are quite firm on the finale. Bottled 3 weeks, the first tranche of 1,500 bottles. 2023-25. June 2007 Previously April 2006 mix of 228-litre cask and 550-litre cask, inc new oak portion, tasted April 2006: ripe grapes,, black fruits, a little earthiness in the aromas. Palate range is from red fruits to mature, more prune, black fruit flavour. Tannins throughout are well-set and full. Shaping up for life until 2022-24 maybe, drink from 2010. "We picked small berries on 20 Sept, and find the acidity levels very respectable. The reasonable harvest temperature of 20-23?C was great, and we hardly had to cool the vats. In early 2006 the wines were more gourmand, but by April 2006 they have tightened and become a touch dry on the finish for the moment." G.B. 12.8? versus 12.5? in 2004, 32 hl/ha.

2004 ()

brilliant red colour; the aroma springs out, has an underpin of red jam and a little spice. Round, red fruits that are open and on the go on the palate; it pursues its course well, and has a little late kick and heat. There is some extra punch late on, beyond the fruit. Holds quite a supple texture most of the way. Shows just a little late burn. From 2009. “This was a generous year,” Julien Barge. 2021-23 June 2007 Previously 3 casks tasted April 2006: *** clear expression of fruit, low-key wine, drink from 2008, before 2016. Aromas show direct, red berry scent, a little spice. Palate fruit has clean lines, best cask has some substance on finish that reflects plum/mulberry. I expect time to help this wine. 12.5°, about 0.5° chaptalised. "Fine, elegant," Gilles Barge. 37 hl/ha

2003 ()

dark tints in robe. well-knit, black fruit aroma, solid core to it, still young. Palate is similar - bit reticent, tucked up. More solid than usual with some chocolate style, brewed flavour. Chunky wine, with a good, solid core. Has some acidity to live. There's a bit of end heat. 2017-19 June 2006 in GB. Previously *** big black fruit/meaty, dense aroma. The South on the palate! Black fruits, curled at the edge. Some freshness, avoids cloy/heaviness. 2008-09 on. 2016-19

2002 ()

cherry, light grilled aroma. Quiet red berry fruit, some definition, a quiet year. A few end tannins, but lacks core. 2006 on. 2012-13 Previously (cask) *** gentle stewed fruit/tar aroma; plum fruit, not big but quite elegant. Fresh red fruits. To 2010 or so.

2001

(cask) grilled, black fruit/violets; clear-cut berry fruit with stuffing. A full year. Tannins need some time. 2012-14

2000 ()

funky, game and tea notes; nicely weighted, fine, grows and delivers pretty fruit aftertaste; cool black fruit texture, touch end tar. Sound length. Quite complex for the year. 2012-15

1999

maturing red plum colour – it is still god and full at its heart. Spiced red jam, with some rubbed together stones, graphite, dust and cigarette smoke. It has the 1999 concentration of mulberry jam at its core. Air releases a little violet, while there is a slightly gamey, traditional Syrah aspect to this after 1 hour. The palate bears red fruit. Curiously, this is “flinty”, rather stiff just now, almost a moody wine, but it can become temperate with age. There is an interesting mix of underlying richness and clarity. Refined and gentle wine in this age of eye popping, Zappo monsters. It cuts through the fat of the Sussex lamb cutlets well, and is still rolling along. A homely 12.5°. 2018-20. Nov 2009 Previously (cask) ***** red fruits/violets, generous nose; aromatic red fruit flavour; very tarry, smoky length and tannins. Good core matter. Very good length. 2011-13

1998 ()

typical nose, some advance, generous black jam; squeezy fruit start, plump middle. Pretty, quite open wine with some tannic content. From 2003. 2012-14

1997

round, supple nose, pine/mints; persistent, easy red fruit, length OK, pleasure with no effort. 2006-08

1996

only fair colour; prickly fruit, live aroma; mid-plus weight, attacks well, is upright. Nice red fruit, spiced end. Final tannin and heat. From 2002. To 2011-13