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The Wines

1957-58 Syrah, with replacement vines since late 1980s from Les Pautus in far south of the appellation at Pont de l'Isère, near the Isère river, destemmed, 3-4 week vinification, mainly pumping overs, (some cap punchings until mid-2010s), aged 10% new, 90% 1-2 year old 600-litre oak casks 12 months (no racking done until 2 months before bottling), unfined, filtered, organic wine, 20-27,000 b

2018

(casks) dark robe; the bouquet has a good breeze of liberty, shows nutshells, oak, trim blue fruit present. It’s a good, clear opening. The palate bears stylish matter, runs with bright, engaging black fruits, with keen tannins pressing their claim towards the oaked finish. Allow until 2022 at the earliest for the tannins to fuse into it, as well as the prominent oak. This has good pedigree, is a convincing Crozes, good buzz in it; it just has to get past its oaking and firm tannins. 14°. €26. 25,000 b. 2033-35 Nov 2019

2017 ()

(casks) dark red robe; the bouquet is vigorous, based on rambling raspberry fruit, damp forest floor, black olives, oaking. The palate sequels closely, in providing raspberry, aromatic fruit with a good wave of delivery, the ripe tannins well encased. This has the sun of the year in its rather gourmand nature. The juice sustains into the finish. From late-2019. 2029-31 Dec 2018

2016

(casks) dark robe. The nose has an early aroma of damp leaves, crushed black berries, black raisin. The palate is inky, oily, bears a flavour of crushed black cherries and blueberries, finishes with a good tingle of lift. There is oak to be absorbed still, but this has a good pedigree, and will show well from mid-late 2018. 13.5°. 26,750 b. 2022-23 Nov 2017

2015 ()

full red robe. Oak leads the nose via a varnish, cool, menthol air. Cassis and blueberry fruit lie within. The palate carries expressive, darting black fruit with freshness through it. The fruit quality is high. The oak is still right on hand, so do not touch until 2018: it could have been bottled later, in my view. Decanting a necessity. The aftertaste has a lip-smacking nature. 13°. €24 at the cellars. 2023-24 Oct 2016

2014 ()

dark robe. The bouquet is nicely filled, and leads on a pure aroma of blackberry. It comes with a dash of licorice, a note of black coffee and oak. The palate shows oak mixed into its black cherry fruit. Modern, pretty stylish, and naturally fresh wine. This really goes long. The oak needs two years to absorb. A wine that will show well in the second stage of its life. It possesses a Burgundian sophistication. 13.5°. From late 2017. 2022-24  GB £153 12 b in bond Stone, Vine & Sun +44(0)1962 712 351 www.stonevine.co.uk sales@stonevine.co.uk  Oct 2015

2013 ()

full, glistening dark robe. There is an agreeable top scent on the nose, a nicely open dark red berry fruit aroma at its heart: the nose is not far off ready. The palate gives open drinking, plenty of life and drive in the fruit, which has an attachment of tar and extra depth as it closes. 13.5°.  From late 2016. 2022-23 Jan 2015  

2012 ()

(casks) dark robe; full air of liquid black cherry, oak, smoke, licorice here: it is a good, stable bouquet. This has a juicy, freely flourishing attack, comes with a little grain, chocolate tannin entering. The finale is round, still assembling. The length is sound. This has the body for red meat dishes, and finishes with a sure hand. 2019-20 Nov 2013

2011

(casks) dark robe. Torrid air led by ripe fruit with roasting-toasting from its oak – a weighty bouquet. The palate holds soaked, coated fruit, all around the palate. It goes for scale. It has the supple texture and abundance, the ease, of 2011. The oak can settle in from mid-2014 or so. It will drink well at the table – magret of duck, lamb, couscous etc. Sound length. There is a good, willing amount of matter on the finish. Modern Crozes-Hermitage. 2021-22 Nov 2012

2010 ()

(casks) full, dark, clear robe. Nutty such as pistachio, black raisin, slightly smoked air that comes with a note of green olives. There is a sinewed, real intricate structure to the palate – it is apart from most 2010s which are clearly and directly fruited. It has oak woven into it, and enough gras and late matter to suggest mini-Hermitage status – it certainly implies a top terroir. The fruit length is good, and there is a lot of gras richness, all the way. Still unformed, and designed not to be a young drinking wine. From mid-2013. 2021-22 Dec 2011

2009

pretty dark red colour; the nose is appealing, comes with low-level reduction, is showing well now. It breathes ripeness from within, an air of red fruit jam, a hint of herbs such as thyme. The palate is tight, with oak still showing along its sides and at the end, where there is a burnt/tar touch. The small red berry fruit is attractive, and runs steadily through it. It is still not quite all together – drink from mid to late 2014. Decant this. 13.5°. 2021-23  Oct 2013 Previously Nov 2010 **** (casks) full, dark red; sweet fullness in the nose – oak moments, black berry fruits, bacon and smoke – good dimension to this. The black fruit kicks off well on the palate, is locked together and needs 2+ years. The length is fine, and it keeps going steadily. Its tannins are nicely live, and contribute to its energy and clarity on the finish. There are saline notes in the black fruit, jaunty touches. It ends completely and richly, flows well. From 2013. 2019-21 Nov 2010

2008

only 13,000 b this year, to be bottled in one month, end Dec: mauve-black robe; has a black fruit aroma that is cautious, but has possibilities, will be on the go around autumn 2010. Oily black fruits lead the palate, possess some elegance, shows a touch of softness at the end. Drinks well now – its black fruit continues through to the finish. Olives, juicy black fruit finale. There are oak tints on the finish. 12.6°, naturally achieved. To 2015. €18. Nov 2009

2007 ()

dark-tinted robe; crunchy black fruits aroma – cassis and smoke. The palate has a more upright bearing, runs with a line of oak through it, and takes on savoury, modern notes with the oak settling down. It tastes well now, but the oak will infuse further. Good length, nice clarity. 2014-15 Nov 2009 Previously March 2009 *** quite a dark robe; has a smoky, peppery black fruits aroma, with charcoal in it. Has a direct, oak-fringed palate, with a steady tick inside; the black fruits revive towards the finish, and are promoted by the oak. Mocha taste on the finish. 2013-14 March 2009

2006 No Rating

cork, alas: full robe; sense that the nose was closing down a little – black fruits, leather lining to the bouquet, but air brings TCA, while the palate “fruit” is very flat, and drops away. 13.5°. Dec 2008, Tain

2005 ()

pretty full robe; soaked, full nose with a little southern sector warmth, herbs and also stalks. The palate is a touch extracted, hence holds a dry tone. There is some mid-palate flesh, but it is surrounded by oak at front and finish. This needs more genuine fat, less oak, less high temperature vinification, I suspect (tasted blind). With air, it dries towards the finish – not the sign of a gently handled wine. Sweet-toned wine, apart from that finish. Best around 2009-11, but open and drink – do not decant or hang around after opening it. Nov 2006