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The Wines

from La Côte (1930s Syrah, south facing), destemmed, 3 week 30 hl concrete vat (since 2017) vinification at up to 29°C, pumping overs only, aged 20% new, 80% 1-6 year 228-litre oak casks (cut from 90% new oak until mid-2000s, 35% new oak until mid-2010s, used oak up from max 2 years to max 6 years’ old) 18 months (raising reduced by 3 months from 2014), less racking in late 2000s than before, fined, unfiltered, 2,000-2,750 b

2018

(casks) dark robe; the nose shows sun rays via the thickness of the black fruit, also tar, oak, black cherry insistence. The palate carries oak noticeably, and is rather on the technical side, needs to move away from the cellar. The late stages see the fruit drift back towards the start, as the finish is dry. It carries ripeness at its centre. I find slight confusion here, from 2023. 2038-40 Dec 2019

2017 ()

dark robe, black centre. The bouquet lines up plentiful cassis fruit, oak, licorice, also bacon fat; it has a smoky intensity, and a slight hint of reduction. The palate is muscular, direct, lined with firm tannins, the finish on blue fruit, a note of mint. The oak is just about OK. It’s modern Cornas, with the hope that the fruit can continue over time, as there is a slight note of dryness towards the finish. Decant this. 14°. From 2022. 2035-37 Dec 2019

2016

dark red; has a grilled bouquet, right out there, leads on a tangle of black fruits, smoke, cassis fruit, has plenty of verve, and strength. The oak is entering it. The palate holds cool red fruits, a lucid feel to it, carries the 2016 restraint, pings of clarity. It’s a racy Cornas, up-tempo, with a little iron in the closing stages. Its freshness certainly appeals, with menthol in the frame on the close. 13.5°. From spring 2021. 2035-37 Dec 2019

2014

dark red robe. The nose is rounded, gives blackberry with a cold tea angle that brings mineral. It has good heart, and will emerge thoroughly, shows some prune and black fruit jam. The palate sets off well with suave gras and a plump, well-sustained, serene second half. Its roundly, prompted by curvy, supple, flexible tannins. This is a gourmand Cornas for pleasure, has a tickle of late tannin and a tar assertion. I reckon the length will extend and freshen. There are some sweet herbs on the finish, bits of detail. It is subtle, silken perfumed wine. 13.5°. 2028-30 Oct 2016 Previously Oct 2015 ****(casks) dark red robe. The nose is charming, all in roundness, gives a fine black fruit, isn’t yet varied, has clear lines. The palate attack is also round and supple; this moves freely, and there is a joli gain in depth, some springy tannins present. There is a touch of velvet here: it is graceful Cornas, one that will sing. It shows a little oak. From mid-2018. 2027-29  Oct 2015

2013

full, dark red. The nose is wide, pretty filled, mixes raspberry and blackberry, isn’t yet varied, and has a charming side. The palate gives a good strike of fruit, swiftly followed by grainy but lightly savoury tannins. This is true Cornas, with some attitude, bite, is wholesome wine that goes well and has STGT potential. There is a bit of oak on the finish. From 2018. 2031-33 Oct 2015 Previously Feb 2015 **** (casks) dark robe. Black olives, rather southern aroma with a nice sustained ripeness, and depth. This rolls along with gras and fleshy fruit, as usual for this wine. It takes on some licorice/tar and pepper late on from its cask raising. This has well-fruited heart, is a swish, modern Cornas. Its free run fruit glides well. The longer you wait, the more local it will become. The finish is good, full, polished. From mid-2017. 2028-30  Feb 2015

2012 ()

(casks, bottling Aug 2014) dark red; blackberry, soaked fruits air – a bouquet of nice style, oak subtly inset, also licorice. It has quiet strength, layering of its aromas. There is more obvious oak on the palate, which delivers a notably textured, suave run of always very ripe, smooth dark fruit. A nice touch, precise wine with fluid fruit and a calm, rather full finish. Elegant and poised,, its fruit and juice continuing serenely. Persistent, a wine of real class. From late 2015. 2,000 b. 2027-29  Nov 2013

2010 ()

(casks) full red; ripe, red fruit debut, a persistent aroma, the fruit resembles mulberry, and there are earthy notes. The nose will be curvaceous. The palate has a Cornas grain around its red fruit, is solidly made up. It extends with a sure footing, gathers tannins well at the end. From 2014. 2023-25 June 2011

2009

(casks) complete red robe; leather and ripe fruit front air, a ripple of density in it, ripe raspberry fruit on display. Has a fleshy, supple start, picks up minted, chocolate notes, and is rich towards the finish. Full style, modern Cornas, with supple tannins. From spring 2013. 2022-24 June 2011

2008 ()

(cask) bright, full dark red; smoky, crunchy black fruit nose – it is upright, shows a hint of dusty stones, but there is some roundness in it. The palate's fruit is sealed into its oak quite successfully, although the oak breaks loose at the end. The fruit is a shade brittle, there is acidity apparent in this. It can get there. From spring 2012. “It needs a bit of racking, oxygen, to soften it,” Anne Colombo. 2019-20 Nov 2009

2007 ()

nice bright dark red – beckoning robe. The nose has a suave nature, is currently reticent, but its black fruit has a consistent air, can go on. There is pliant, ripe fruit that has cassis at its heart on the palate; then there is a call-up of licorice, oak tannin, light coffee notes until a rounded, quite fleshy aftertaste. Agreeable wine with nice fat in it. Ends on a restrained note. 13.5°. 2017-18 Nov 2009

2006 ()

full red, dark top notes. Red berry, black berry, rather warm nose, wee game airs with wisps of violet. The palate is at a soft stage, the usual pliant texture with a juicy feel. Offers plenty of easy appeal, is an upfront wine. It ends a little on the tar, and there is a dry tannin element for now, and I am not sure it can solve that. A bit short. It is close to being OK now. 2016. Nov 2009

2001

smoky, full black fruit aroma. Soaked fruit, good core, persists. Genuine, oily length, good balance. 2007 on. 2017-19

2000 ()

peppery/leather/black fruits nose. Solid black fruit, heat/sinew also. Extraction here. Bit edgy. 2005 on. 2011-13