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The Wines

96% Syrah, 4% Viognier from mica-schist soils, at mainly Viallière, Montmain, Champon, also Le Plomb, Verenay, 50% destemmed, crushed, 3-4 week steel vat vinification, wild yeasts, pumping overs, cap punching, aged 15% new (until mid-2000s was 20%), 85% 1-5 year 228-litre oak casks 22-24 months, egg white fined, unfiltered, name changed from Classique to Les Schistes in 2016, 12-15,000 b

2018

(casks) dark robe; the nose is reserved, has a sweet centre, carries blue fruit, a note of grilling. The palate runs with lissom content, appeals via its silken texture, leads into a succulent, entertaining finish with plenty of squeezy richness there. The freedom and persistence of the fruit is its ace card, and it’s shapely, jolly Rôtie that will please. There’s a hint of mineral on the aftertaste, and that influence may well grow over time. From 2022. 2040-42 Nov 2019

2017

sound red robe; blackberry, elderberry, plum fruits are cleanly cut on the nose, with spicing. The palate is notably peppery, has good integrity, comes with a vegetal side that is well on show (50% whole bunch). The close is tangy. This is very much still travelling, destination not yet fixed. It should develop into **** wine. 2039-41 Feb 2019 Previously Nov 2018 **** (casks, bottling Aug 2019) dark red. There is smoke, vegetal crispness on the bouquet, which has secure inner lining, raspberry and mulberry fruit, very well set fruit at its centre. The palate gives red fruits with insistence, not obviously so, continues freshly, with good cut. This is a wine that will gradually draw together, doesn’t set a fast pace. There’s a nice tight coil on the palate. This is Thinkers Wine. “It’s not yet in place; the coming winter will serve it well,” Guillaume Clusel. 13.5°. From late 2021. 2040-42 GB £365 per 12 b i/bond, £380 per 6 mags i/bond J&B www.justerinis.com justbrooksorders@justerinis.com +44(0)207 484 6400 Nov 2018

2016

(casks) dark robe. The bouquet is firm, wide, with the potential to vary well. For now, there is an air of black berry fruits with an oiliness, a note of soaked cherries, a hint of acetate. There is a beefy underlay. The palate is very good, sustained by the mineral threads of the northern sector, a good spine and engaging fruit and content on either side. This is a complete, bright, truly nourishing Rôtie, a real glass filler that will please and impress. It has brilliant, flamboyant length, is a Rocker and Roller with varied nuances in its flavour. From 2020-21. 2032-34 Nov 2017

2015

(casks) dark red; the nose expresses blood, inkiness, pulp of grapes, with a cool line through it. The palate bears suave content, black fruits with a trim set of tannin in the loop. There is a mineral element as it finished, with a very sure hand. It has a Burgundian, Pinot manner and really builds with stealth as it goes. A lovely drop of Rôtie, perhaps just a bit exerted on the finish, which renders the aftertaste a shade dry for now. 13.5°. 15,000 b. From mid-2019. 2033-35 GB £365 12 b £380 6 mags in bond Justerini & Brooks www.justerinis.com  GB/HK £360 12 b i/b Goedhuis +44(0)207 793 7900 +852 2801 5999 sales@goeduis.com hksales@goedhuis.com www.goedhuis.com Oct 2016 Previously Apr 2016 ****(*) 1) (La Viallière, lower part of the slope, 4 year 228-litre cask) ***(*) shiny dark red; smoke, cherry, graphite airs, soft flowers, lees. The palate gives crunchy fruit, crsip tannins, has good dentelle or toothsome qualities. Its gras is well established, and the tannins fit in well, has good spine. It builds a grainy insistence on the finish. 18-20 years 2) (Le Plomb, 2000 Syrah, 6 year 228-litre cask) **** bright, dark red. The nose has a red cherry aroma, is curvy, has sun in its presence, a rich elegance. The palate presents red fruits with vigour, and expressive tannins, notable for that. It goes long and freshly. Elegance lies at its heart – it has fine detail. Tannin shows on the finish. Very good for 15 year old Syrah. 20-22 years. 3) (Champon, 1960s-1980s Syrah, 3 year 228-litre cask) **** dark red. Broad nose with a cosy depth of berries, black fruits such as cherry, slightly mulled in nature. There are mineral nuances. This attacks firmly, with immediate body, holds tight-knit content, woven tannins with firm length. The close is on mineral, firm. This is serious wine to form the heart of the wine. 22 years. 4) the blend of the three so far, which will form the Classique 2015: ****(*) dark red robe. Has a smoky, sustained nose, a hint of violet, close and compact black fruit, with an earthy, ripe underlay. The attack is bright, travels with breeze through it, is fine and dentelle. Very good freshness here. It has good spine, clear fruit. Its juice will billow out well; it is very persistent, really ends well, with juice on the aftertaste. 2038-40  Apr 2016

2014 ()

(casks) dark red robe. The nose has a springy offer of black berry fruit with a licorice companion. There is future interest and variety on the table. The palate holds crisp black fruit with fine grain tannins set alongside. A breezy, Nordic wine that will benefit from being left until 2019. I back it to gain fat during that time. 12.5°. 13,000 b. 2026-28 £295 12/b in bond or £31.96 Justerini & Brooks www.justerinis.com GB £135/6 b in bond Wine Society www.thewinesociety.com  Oct 2015 

2013

red robe that is quite full. The bouquet is tight, has potential, with rocky, pepper airs, an inlay of red berry and elder fruit. This is close-knit, has a mineral texture, lances a rocky run, with purely cut red fruits, fine tannins are well present. It holds joli, fine juice. From 2019. 2030-32 Apr 2016 Previously Jan 2015 **** (casks) shiny dark red. There is good ease in the nose, which is led by blackberry, with a light minerality in play. The bouquet is a little mysterious, hints at rocky hillside origins. The palate displays compact black fruit, a note of high tone with it, has “steel”, and for now tight tannins, even a little stiff. Ones. Good depth here – it is a masculine Rôtie that needs two+ years. The length is sound. 12.5°. €40 at the cellars. From mid-2017. 2027-30  Jan 2015

2012 ()

red robe, a young aspect. The nose gives its first steps of evolution, strawberry, plums with some soil dampness. It is a trim ensemble. The palate attacks with clear red fruit and fine tannin; it is lucid and fine. A little mineral and floral presence helps its appeal. It is rather delicate, a precise wine with a tip-toe approach. 12.5°. 2027-29  Apr 2016 Previously Nov 2013 ***(*) (casks, bottling Sept 2014) full red, bright robe. Peppery aroma, but a nice inlay of rich fruit and a delicate dusting of flowers, a bouquet with good style. The palate is direct, peppered, holds pure red fruits with warm coulis notes. It has “steel”, a real internal spark. The finish is very Burgundian, is a balanced wine. Has good potential to drink well around 2017-20. Charming, cool wine. “Its acidity helps it,” Gilbert Clusel. 12.5°. 2023-25. £330 per 12, £350 per 6 mags in bond, J&B in GB.  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(casks) dark robe. Brewed black berry aroma, has an air of a big, bad black wine gum pastille, involves tar and pine. The bouquet is sealed up, wide, also shows chicken stock. The palate delivers black cherry fruit, a full-on style, a charge of cherry, with oak stealing into the picture. In a primary state, has hardly shifted, but is promising. A manly Côte-Rôtie with life and depth in it, ending on sound cassis fruit. It will properly fill the glass, has good freedom, force, a grounded power, and is an STGT wine. From 2015. 2025-27  Nov 2012

2010 ()

the red robe is in good shape. Light reduction on the bouquet, which is meaty and red-fruited, with white pepper, licorice. It is cautious but there is plenty to come, with refinement. The palate debut is alert, holds brisk red fruits, is very dentelle (toothsome). This is wired wine – it is sinew over flesh for now. The length is well sustained. This is very fresh and detailed, a handsome, interesting, well balanced wine. “It is closed, and will be better in two years,” Guillaume Clusel. 13°. From 2020. 2034-36 Nov 2016 GB £320 12/b in bond Justerini & Brooks www.justerinis.com  Previously Nov 2011 **** (casks) steady red colour; the nose does not accentuate any real attributes – there is a quiet depth of red jam, some spice and floral infusion, a nutty, smoky, biscuity, bosky woods presence. This is a tender style of Côte-Rôtie; it has fine, slightly powdery tannins. It is fresh and pretty clean-cut, and there is a discreet gras richness to pad it out. Burgundian style, a slow developer which will integrate and amplify over the next two to three years. It is soft, pretty continuous, nicely traditional, rather STGT. The bouquet will vary with time. It has squeezy juice and richness on the aftertaste, and nice, moderate bite in the tannins. 2025-27 Nov 2011 GB £310 12 b in bond Justerini & Brooks www.justerinis.com

2009

(casks) attractive dark red; raisin nut cake, rum baba air to this – the nose shows a sweet, round ripeness, is still on the youth of its cask raising. The palate debut offers red or raspberry fruit – it is clearer than the nose, the fruit more instant. It is rather muscular, not a wine of an open book nature, has mystery, and its chewy late notes confirm that. Good, juicy and supple aftertaste. Faithful to Côte-Rôtie, not over modern. From spring 2013. 2022-24. Bottling August 2011. Nov 2010

2008 ()

(casks) purple robe, degree of brightness in it. Black cherry fruit with a smoky air, the fruit is refined, the smokiness appealing, has a little floral criss-cross. The palate gives a northern sector snap, increased by the nature of the vintage. The black fruit has a clear identity and texture, is good and pure. It runs to the line, offers more lightly juiced black fruit with a tapenade tang on the finish, length is pretty good. A careful, precise wine that dips in mid-palate, shows the vintage fallibility there, but the fruit is very pure. STGT wine in time, and has come on over the past 12 months. From mid-2011. 27 hl/ha this year. 2017-19 Dec 2009 Previously Dec 2008 *(*) cask 1 (2 year 228-litre oak cask, La Viallière, 1985 Syrah, malo not yet done) dark red robe; notably peppery, also spicy nose; clear run of fruit on the palate – it is nice and crisp, the width is OK, is abit like a 1996. The fruit is very correct, and its terroir is evident. Cask 2 (6 year 228-litre oak cask, Le Plomb, 1998 Syrah) *(*) bright red, purple top; red cherry runs across the nose. Angled but steady fruit, comes with clean lines on the palate. Length is OK, too. This could live over 10 years or so. Dec 2008

2007

(casks) dark robe; crunchy, grilled aroma of some scale and width – the black fruit persists, there is a spot of licorice and game in it, and it is yeasty with air. The palate is muscular, full – black fruits that reflect the northern zone, with oak right in there, obvious. It is full-on, but can come together by around 2011. It ends on a clear, mineral style with the black fruit still washing up on the beach. It dries towards the aftertaste, but has intrinsic potential. 2019-21 Dec 2008

2006 ()

mottling red robe. Damp airs, licorice, cooked plums come with a light floral curve on the nose which is in full transition now. The palate holds grainy strawberry fruit, with some dusty tannins; it has a near orange zest cut. It captures the vintage, and ends on a little aromatic note, more mineral than rounded. “It has been an awkward child,” Gilbert Clusel. 2024-26  Apr 2016 Previously Dec 2008 *** (half bottle) bright red colour; subdued bouquet – honey, red fruit such as plum, red berry with late clarity in it. The palate is encircled with gummy tannins – there is reduction here, and the wine is lying low today (snow, low pressure day). Not especially full - a likeable, unimposing, good citizen of a wine. The length is steady, sound. This can sing in time, notably between 2011 and 2014. Expect more alertness, snap than I have encountered today as it ages. From 2011. 2020-21. Bottled Sept 2008. Dec 2008 Previously Nov 2007 **** (casks) red laced with black in the robe; tight-knit, reserved bouquet, suggests black fruit with a nutty element perhaps from the oak, and a little sweet raisin. The palate starts with good cut in the early fruit attack – blackberries and bilberries, with some heart, and the potential for more to come. The length is sound, the finale quite rich, and well-assured. Effortless in style, a wine of clarity, STGT. There are balance and harmony in it. Has a good, little late-on “dark” note rather like black chocolate - sustains well. From 2010. 2020-22 36 hl/ha this year. Nov 2007

2005

red robe with a slightly pale top. The nose is a mix of meat, cooked black berries, mocha, licorice; it has inner depth. The palate gives firm red fruit with lithe tannin; it is still on the spare side, is very vintage influenced. The style is knit, compact. The close is fresh. This is still making its way, shows some of the refusenik qualities of 2005. Decanting important. 2030-32 Apr 2016 Previously Nov 2006 ***** (casks) quite a dark robe; elegant aroma – the fruit is very primary, has a dancing freedom and elegant shape – a ballerina. The fruit continues on the palate with a lissom, clear-toned appeal. The fruit is the real ace card with good, silken matter around it. A touch of end plum and mint. The length is good, and there is an elegant, sophisticated purity in the wine. Great finesse and appeal – a vin for good friends when mature, but can be drunk earlier due to the fruit clarity. STGT wine. From late 2009. 2020-22 Nov 2006 Previously around *** unfinished business - just 2 elements tasted Dec 2005 cask: Viailliere low down area: broad aroma, tight, peppery palate, elegant core, beau. Abt *** Le Plomb 1995-2000 Syrah, v young: aromatic wine - classic floral topping to it. Good grain, clear fruit, correct length. Dec 2005

2004 ()

(casks) reticent aroma - hints of brambly red fruits, damp soil, smoke, bit reduced but still in cask. Interesting palate, with a slightly pesky, burnt side. Understated fruit, "dark" flavours. Finishes roundly, though. Work in progress, the vintage style of a certain edginess comes through. Pretty potential, can certainly round itself. Esp 2007-08 on. 2016-18 April 2006 Previously Dec 2005 ***(*) different sites tasted in cask: once blended, suggests red fruits here - cherry, strawberry, and a life to 2020-22. Vialliere 50%: open aroma, red fruits, quiet ripeness. Soft start, kicks later on, fair length. "Was more closed" B.Roch. Champon 25%: waxy bouquet, hedge fruits. Good heart to palate, cherry fruit, length and tannic structure good. From 2009 for this. Tartaras/Fongeant <10%: compact berry aroma, earthy tones. Charming fruit, elegant and long, flattering but good. Le Plomb <20%: raspberry fruit with some iron in the aroma, soft toned. Upright fruit, ripe and marked tannins, gamey aftertaste. "Champon`s wines are always firm." B.Roch

2003

earthy bouquet with a good centre, leather-mineral style - very opposed to the 2004, is beefy and unusual. Tight-packed, berry-led flavour. Blackberry and prune mixed, with violet. No real chinks of light. Gains tannic grip. Leave till 2008 to loosen and express more. Is closing down now, withdrawing. Solid, without excess weight. Burst of violet with tannin inside it on aftertaste. 2019-21 "We have no reference for a wine of this style. It started out on the cooked fruits, but has become more typical lately." G.Clusel Dec 2005 Previously *** purple/mauve robe. Lovely round aroma, expressive, good cut, bounds along. Very appealing fruit on attack, excellent definition alongside many 2003s. Chocolate, brewed fruit finale. Well made - not too big. 2016-18 March 2005 "Only the old vines on La Viaillière showed the hot side of the vintage" Brigitte Roch Previously *** (casks) not esp hot texture, only the old vines on Viallière showed that side of the vintage. Black fruits, southern Syrah style from Champon. Plenty of tannin/pepper. 2015-18.

2002

cooked, smoked tarry red fruit bouquet. Berry fruit start. Fresh end with marked, bit severe tannins, needs time. Cool texture wine as usual from here. 2006/07 on. Can live given its acidity. 2012-15 Sept 2004 Previously (casks) ** firm aromas, some depth; flavours are cooked fruits - quince/nuts - some chewiness present. Lacks true core. May be mixed with Grandes Places.

2002

cooked, smoked tarry red fruit bouquet. Berry fruit start. Fresh end with marked, bit severe tannins, needs time. Cool texture wine as usual from here. 2006-07 on. Can live given its acidity. To 2012-15 Sept 2004 Previously * (casks) firm aromas, some depth; flavours are cooked fruits - quince/nuts - some chewiness present. Lacks true core. May be mixed with Les Grandes Places.

2001

(casks) live fruit aromas, some pepper; good firm fruit underlay, has core. Tannins lend support, ends well. Promising. From 2006-07. 2014-16

2000

black fruits, some earth on bouquet; black fruits, elegant style, good sinew near end, live tannins come along. Cool, persistent fruit, well done. Esp from 2007-08. It is Burgundian right now. 2013-15

1999 ()

tight bouquet, smoky black fruit; bits of black fruit, a chewy end, tannins are well-woven. Tight, clean finish. There is decent gras here. From 2005. 2014-16

1998

orderly bouquet, some ripe fruit, spice, dry tones; quite taut start, low-key black fruit. Clean-cut, upright style, flavours are cool. Stylish. Guidance from end tannins. From 2005. 2010-12

1997

red fruits and violets on the nose, which is soft and open; good squeeze of soft fruit on palate, length is OK. Fair matter. Early wine. 2007-08 

1996

dark, peppery/violet nose; nicely full, has good core, more extract than most 1996s. Can run on. 2008-10

1995

good mass, depth on nose, firm dark fruit; very full, lot of content. Solid but well-integrated tannins. Has the frame to age. 2009-11

1994

prune, touch of damp on nose; firm wine, fair substance. Fruit does well at start, clear-cut. Good for 1994. 2006-07

1985 ()

this was made from La Viallière & Champon. It was the last vintage of René Clusel, who made a 1985 Les Grandes Places, so the “classic” was just based on those two sites: red robe with a tiled top. Smoky bacon, violet and primrose show with spiced, cooked plum at its heart, clove and geranium. This is tasty; it holds fine juice, soft fruit, with a fine line of tannin really well woven into it. It ends on a lip smacking, bounteous finish. This is full of beans, very beau. A prime example of 1985 and its wonderful balance for the ages. The texture is notably smooth. 2029-30 Apr 2016