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The Wines

100% Syrah (1940s) from 0.6 hectare on decomposed granite soils on the chemin de Saint-Joseph at Tournon, 4 day pre-fermentation crop cooling, destemmed, 20-25 day vat vinification, twice daily pumping overs, cap punching after 1020, malo in oak casks, aged 5-10 year 228-litre oak casks 11-12 months, unfined, filtered, organic, biodynamic wine, 1,700 b

2017 ()

shiny, quite dark red robe. The bouquet is nicely even, on red cherry, is sleek, shiny, lies low, but will please. The palate bears mild red fruits with tasty delivery, extends into lightly chewy tannin; the agreeable plum fruit comes back lightly on the finish. This is authentic, and nicely together between nose and palate. There is a lip-smacking aftertaste. This is sympa. 2028-30 Nov 2018

2016 ()

2 bottles tasted, 1st bottle not fresh. Bottle 2: stewed fruits, lamb stock, vegetal notes, raspberry on the nose. The palate has a centre of damson plum fruit with a little run of smoked tannins. It’s not all together, is a disparate set of prompts. The vegetal side is disconcerting, and brings dryness on the second half. Not sure about this. 2024-25 Nov 2018

2015

dark red-purple. There is smoky depth on the nose, concentrated black fruits, licorice – it doesn’t give a lot for now. The palate is restrained, a bit dumb but has plenty of packing – it covers and holds the ground well. This is authentic St Jo with a spiced aftertaste. The tannins are a bit chewy, need another two years. The length is good, with iodine, cool moments. 13.5°. From spring 2021. Decanting advised. 2032-34 Nov 2018

2014

regular red robe; there is good reach in a stylish bouquet, lychees, a bit of grapefruit, attractive plum fruit, spicing, a neat ball of it. The attack is spiced, flows well, holds mild black fruits, tasty ones, with tar notes and a touch of iodine on the close. This is accessible country wine with is rather brittle on the aftertaste, and not up to the quality of the nose. Drink it now to 2020. 13°. Nov 2018

2011 ()

(casks, release March 2013) dark robe, purple rim. Iron filings, roasted pork, grilled air with blackberry fruit at its core, and oak. The palate is unfinished – I hope this is pre-bottling (tasted blind) – since there is an edgy note. Has a chocolate flavour, more than fruit – the taste resembles cocoa, dried raisins, toffee. Lacks a centre of focus, a fruited heart. It is stretched, the balance unresolved. Full-on winemaking here. Not sure where it goes next. Decant. From 2014. 2018-19  Nov 2012

2010

dark robe. This has a wide coating of black, prune fruit across the nose, along with spice, licorice, mineral features, some damp forest. This is dense, layered wine, with a fleshy run to its black fruit; it meets a barrier of nutty tannin and its grain, which brings in toffee and fig there. Has enough body and balance to show as an ensemble, especially from 2015 or so. It is tasty at its heart. It is thought-out, more than laissez-faire wine, but good. Quite a high 14.5°. 2021-22 Nov 2012

2009

full, bright, dark tints. Weighty, broad nose with an inset of charcoal, black berry fruit, slight game notions – ideal with jugged hare. Fat, generous debut to palate – it spills out of the glass, is round and rather sweet on the finish. Is not as directed as it could be – lacks that extra bit of poise. From late 2011. To 2021. Nov 2010