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The Wines

Syrah from stony clay-sandy soils at Pont de l'Isère, av age 20-25 years, harvested in 300-350-litre boxes, crop overnight at 8°-10°C, destemmed by oscillation, no crushing, 3 week vinification at up to 28°C, with maceration at up to 30°C, wild yeasts, pumping overs, aged 25% each 2-3-4-5 year 228-litre oak casks 12-14 months (before early 2010s included 10-20% new oak), fined, unfiltered, organic wine, 50-60,000 b

2018 ()

(casks) dark red colour; the bouquet has a smoky nature, airs of cordite, rubbed stones, along with black cherry fruit within, the fruit not centre stage yet. The palate delivers a good stream of black berry fruits with oak after the mid-point, has youthful vigour, an unbridled nature. It needs time to fuse the oak, but the fruit is cool, so they can marry OK. The finish is a touch dry. The longer you wait, the greater the distance from the cellar here. From 2022. 2031-33 Nov 2019

2017

(casks) dark robe, black at its core. The bouquet is a tight fit, woven around oak, thick raspberry fruit, notes of grilling. The palate carries oak obviously, has drive, bears red stone fruit flavours, damson plums with sharp, brisk tannins on the close, not all entered in. It has a technical feel to it, a little too efficient. The fruit will have more say in time, but the oaking could have been more restrained and less charry. From late-2019. 2029-31 Dec 2018

2016 ()

(casks) dark red colour. The nose gives an inviting air of blackberries and loganberries, a glistening effect from its bright fruit. There is a semblance of oak. The palate drinks neatly, has a little note of Bovril, meat stock allied to its cassis and blueberry fruit that is pretty clear. It ends with a note of menthol that guides it into freshness. From spring 2018 to coax out more length. 13.5°. 2022-23 Nov 2017

2015

(casks) full, dark robe. The bouquet is highly promising, comes with a refined black fruited aroma, a bonny curl of mystery. Its fine-ness is outstanding. The palate picks up the tune of fine fruit, even delicacy in its expression. There are deft tannins well snugged into it. This has great charm, is an elegant, w.o.w. Crozes. It’s not as deep as some 2015s, but plays a very fine tune. 13.5°. 60,000 b. From spring 2017. 2022-23 Oct 2016 Previously **** (4-5 year casks) dark colour. Has a shiny, rounded nose, a smooth air of dark berries, reduction. The fruits are more black than red this year. This will vary well, and a soaked dampness will come through. The palate is grilled at first; it holds sleek and coated but fluid black fruits. It is easy to appreciate, a gliding wine. It develops late intensity, a coulis or liqueur of blackberry, with tannins coming through. The finish needs time, so wait until spring 2018, not before. 2026-28  Apr 2016

2014

bottled last week: red robe. Has a lively nose, blackberry fruit at the helm, a light and appealing sweetness, a coulis of strawberry fruit. It is an appealing nose. The palate debut is supple, raspberry-fruited, takes on some crispness and a darker tannic presence, a little crunch. The palate needs six months to fuse and settle. Air helps the finish to round after about 30 minutes. 13°. “The nose is striking, and it will be perfect in the winter 2016-17,” Philippe Belle. 2020-21 April 2016

2013

(casks) dark robe. Has a nicely peppered bouquet, which also expresses a crisp, clear air of black berry fruit. The palate reflects the nose, giving spiced, peppery, perhaps a little green inputs around a decent line of dark fruit. It is still raw, needs time. It bears the vintage close of powdery tannin, and a little uncertainty. It is short of the best wines. 13°. 50,000 b. From mid-2016. 2021-22 Jan 2015

2012

(casks) dark robe. The nose has a lucid top note, a clear, mineral take above the medium weight black olives, black berry fruiting, a sprinkle of black pepper present. The palate moves freely on crisp black fruit, finishing with a clear, salted tang. This needs nine months to gather together. There is a little late glow. It could reach out more, plays its safe. From mid to late-2014. 13°. 50,000 b. €6.50 ex cellars. 2019-20  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(casks) dark red. Wide, also securely deep nose. It shows toffee and treacle, so is overtly rich, backed by brewed black berry, and plenty of licorice: the nose is promising. The palate content is good and supple, starting on grilled notes, with oak and a slight tar wrapping. It is not yet into its stride, is a Crozes of some scale – leave until mid-2014, and serve à table. A good rib of beef springs to mind, when the wine is 4 to 5 years old. Good length here. 2020-22  Nov 2012

2010

(casks) full robe; steady harmony on the nose, is round and showing black jam instincts, is easy to appreciate and comes with graceful floral scents. The palate summons up a coated, black fruit-black olive combination that is very typical of the southern zone near Roche-de-Glun or Pont de l`Isère, has a really good supple nature. It starts on a tight note. Good length – this is an STGT style of Crozes which is tasty, yes, and also slots in as w.o.w. wine, a rare achievement. The tannins require 18 months, are assertive and granular for now. From spring 2013. 2020-21 Dec 2011

2009 ()

full robe. Ripe fruits air that is scented, semi-plush, aromas on the curve. Primary state on the palate, holds a bundle of black fruit, leather, prune. The length is sound, and it ends richly, with dark moments on the finish. There is a good, juicy flourish after half way. From 2012. 2019-20 Nov 2010

2008 ()

dark red, bit of black; nose has depth, potential – it is backward today, based around oak, some noticeable acidity in the black stone fruits, but the acidity can integrate. The palate is rather scaled-up, pushed along – it is still stiff, asserting black fruit and oak, with low level gras in it. From 2011. I wonder about its acidity. 2014-15 Dec 2009

2007 ()

full robe. Has a sympa, lateral nose – it is live, with also oily black fruits and a little herbal presence. The palate has a fine grain, and persists – the fruit is good and lasting, comes with a nice dash. w.o.w. wine. To 2012. March 2009

2006 ()

(casks) quite a bright, dark robe; the reduction on the nose renders the aroma off-key. There is raspberry within, with some pepper, and a general tone of elegance. The plum fruit is also holding back from the reduction on the palate; its tannins are ripe, but enclose the wine quite thoroughly. More like a northern Crozes wine in style (which it is after seeing the label) – since the fruit is elegant, and has a gentle, assured feel. The length is subtle, but good. From mid-2008 after it has settled from its bottling. Decant this. 2013-14 Dec 2007

2005 ()

dark robe with a matt tone; game airs mingle with black berry fruit on the nose, has a funky style in the making, and southern olives, too. Ripe red fruit flavour here, its tannins well wrapped in a traditional style. The fruit is generally wide and its taste one of black berries. Ends with some life and lift. A stylish wine in the making. Drink from 2008 for a little more integration and togetherness. 2013-15 Dec 2006

2004

smoke, leather-prune bouquet, has a pebbly air. Soft fruit on palate, honeyed. Easy to drink without thought, nor much horizon for the future. Could be more full. Pleasant is the best one can say. 2009 Doesn't match at all what was tasted last month in the Rhône. London, May 2006 2004 Previously April 2006 *** bright fruit, coffee tones on an easy, pleasurable bouquet. Well-shaped flavour that flows well - black fruits with some herbal-leathery trimming, China tea towards finish. Tannins may soften in next 12 months, which will extend the finish. Coffee/cocoa aftertaste.

2003 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED: only 17 hl/ha of crop so not made. Just one wine, the Louis Belle

2002

brewed bouquet, mentholet-plum mix. Mid-weight wine, some length and warmth. Brewed, pebbly finish. Fair overall, bit of a struggle. To 2008 Previously Nov 2004 ** light blackberry jam aroma, bosky side - the northern zone origin. Clear red fruit, juice is sleek. Some tar on finish, and width. Drinkable now, though has some underpinning for the future. Chaptalised thread of sweetness. To 2008. Nov 2004 Previously (cask) ** spiced black cherry/liquorice; mid-weight black fruit, some tannin. Mid-plus weight. Esp 2005-06. 2008

2001 ()

bouncy, ripe black jam nose; warm, oily black fruit, pretty juice. Nice oiliness of texture, with gras richness, warm tannin ending. Quite sumptuous. 2010-11

2000 ()

black jam, warm/leather nose; damp points, persistent black fruit, fresher end than many 2000s. Prune touches. Good wine. 2011-12