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The Wines

Syrah of 20-100 years from the kaolin soils of Larnage, harvested in 300-350-litre boxes, crop overnight at 8°-10°C, 50% destemmed by oscillation, no crushing, 4 week vinification at up to 28°C, with maceration at up to 30°C, wild yeasts, lot of cap punchings, aged 15-30% new, 25-30% 1-year, 30% 2-year, 20-30% 3-year 228-litre oak casks 16-18 months (until 2005 was 12 months), fined, unfiltered, organic wine, 25-30,000 b

2016

(casks) shiny dark red robe. Licorice and blackberry jam, oak feature on the nose, which sits comfortably in the glass. The palate is woven together around its black cassis style fruits with a little richness and some sweet oak. The finish is southern in style, black olives with some sweetness of juice that sustains steadily. It’s a liberally fruited wine with some flair. The oak requires it being left until spring 2019. 13°. 2024-26 Nov 2017

2015 ()

(casks) shiny, dark robe. The nose is stylish, with a refined, floating air of black berry fruit, and a note of vanilla from its oak. It has a mild, savoury sweetness. The palate runs with wavy black fruits delivered with grace, has neat gras, shows some late, sweet-noted oak. It’s slightly distant for now overall, though the length is good. Restrained winemaking here, with more to come from an elegant wine. 13.5°. 30,000 b. From spring 2018. 2024-26 Oct 2016 Previously Apr 2016 ****(*) (several casks) surging dark robe. The nose is graceful, harmonious – it is extraordinary that it is so together and grown up already. Fine detail blackberry comes with a hint of violet, menthol, blood. The palate has a theme of freshness from the attack until the concerted arrival of tannins, and a crunchy, challenging finish. This courses along on skates of black cherry, an airborne smoothness. It is tasty; unusual to have airborne and grounded influences in the same palate. A long life ahead: drink from 2020-21. It is 15°! 2034-36  Apr 2016

2014

bottled last week, racked only one month ago since the matter was quite dense, and needed time: dark red, pretty deep robe. Has a lateral, slightly sweet air of cooked raspberry with plum fruit, a nudge of licorice. The palate also comes on red fruits with fine freshness, the kaolin expression right within, permeating it. The finish is clear, detailed with a light powder rockiness. Fine, accurate, STGT wine that is enjoyably pure. “The tannins are enormously fine,” Philippe Belle. From late 2016. 2023-24  Apr 2016 Previously Oct 2015 ***(*) (casks) good dark red, crimson robe. The lead aroma is a polished, supple air of black cherry fruit, notes of chocolate, charcoal from its oak. The fruit swings along well through the palate, and ends running, with oak apparent there. This will drink freely, especially from 2018. The aftertaste is appealingly aromatic, and it has the profile of a wine that can amplify a little on the late palate. 13°. 15% new, 30% 1-year, 30% 2-year, 25% 3-year oak cask raising this year. 2022-23  Oct 2015 

2013 ()

(casks) shiny, dark robe. Has a blackberry, flattering, rounded aroma – there is a slight savoury depth to it, a note of licorice. The palate is peppered, runs with purpose, the fruit crisp and cool. It takes on quite obvious tannins to close. It just juggles the right amount of weight for the freshness of the vintage. 13°. 30,000 b. 15% new oak. From mid-2016. 2022-23 Jan 2015 

2012 ()

(casks) full robe; some serious depth, black cherry fruit with its oak prominent in the bouquet – it persists, sets up the palate, is stiffened by its oak. This is a full Crozes; as an oaked wine, it is best to be drunk from spring 2015. Tucked in is supple, stylish black fruit. The oak on the aftertaste is a little strong. 20% new oak, down from 30% of recent years. It will show especially well around 2017-18. 13°. €8.50 ex cellars. 30,000 b. 2022-23  Nov 2013

2011

(casks) dark robe. Wide, very young nose, with its oak emphasizing chocolate and dark fruit depth, has notes of black raisin and prune. The palate is well-filled, with fleshy, prolonged flavours of prune, blackberry and fig. Its gras will handle the oaking. A proper sit-down wine, with articulate fruit and good pedigree. Good class. From 2015. 2023-24  Nov 2012

2010

(casks) dark; agreeable aroma that mixes chocolate, mild oak; there is an implied finesse, so perhaps it is from the northern zone (tasted blind). The palate is upright from its oak, fresh from its vintage. Rather technical sort of wine, with its obvious oak and its tucked in behind pristine fruit that lacks a little soul. It floats off on the finish like a released balloon. It is not an ensemble like this; from 2014, thus. 2021-23 Dec 2011

2009 ()

(casks) purple robe, top violet trimming. The bouquet is moving towards the full and generous, comes with some unfinished business, has depth and mystery, a ripe sheen runs across its black fruits. The palate is broad and consistent, delivers plenty of drive, the fruit is secure and its tannins and oak will integrate well if left until 2013. An A.Belle style wine (tasted blind), with the finish precise, a Larnage crispness there that this year also includes a sweet, herbal note. Serious table wine with very good heart, suited to good dishes. 2020-23 Nov 2010

2006 ()

good full red; has a tight, smoky and licorice aroma – it is wide, has potential. The palate has a sealed, fine grain black fruit with a live pepper presence – there is plenty of life in it, the length good. Drink from spring 2010 for less oak and charcoal on the finish. 2015-16 March 2009 Previously Dec 2007 *** (casks) full, dark robe; wide, sunny black fruit aroma with sweet notes and a little meat stock: is a well-set, comfortable bouquet. The palate black fruit has good core, and there is an effortless ease and grace about the wine. The palate runs cohesively, the length is pretty good, and late on some oak emerges. From late 2008. 2013-15 Dec 2007

2005 ()

dark traces in the robe; very primary bouquet – mixes oak, high tone, clear black fruit with a nutty air – is sleek overall. The palate gathers richness as it goes. The oak is lining it, but it possesses a well-set, rich berry fruit heart. The fruit is ripe and mature. The oak is on top now, and this should be left until mid-2008. A structured wine that will go well with more thought-out dishes such as sauced meats, beef en croute, for instance, once it is mature. 2014-16 Dec 2006

2004 ()

brewed tea aroma, some potential. Three-quarter depth, also reveals black chocolate, herbs, is varied. Chocolate style dash of flavour, is a big wine for the year, brewed in style. Upright, oak-led finish. The content is good, comes in a mature style that is best suited to food. Leave till 2008. 2011-13 April 2006 Previously Feb 2006 **(*) broad, elegant, plum fruit aroma, with potential. Rich start with some nice oak, the wine's shape is direct, in line with the vintage. Understated matter here, the oak means it should be left until 2008. 2014-16

2003 ()

Full, brewed bouquet. Raspberry, coffee mix on palate, solid wine. Fair juice here, is "dark" tasting. Tannins, oak need till 2008. Could close up, drink in second phase is best. 2012-14 Dec 2005 "Because our older vines are on the white clay-limestone of Larnage, they had access to some water reserves in the ground this year." Philippe Belle

2002

(cask) firm, compact black fruit; upright black flavour, has authority, frame. Dry-toned fruit. Persists. 2007 on. 2012-14

2001 ()

middle+ depth red . Brewed, slightly peppered black berry aroma with a dash of vanilla on top, quite a big scale bouquet. The palate is bosky, peppery,. Minted with again berries and a little gras beyond the oak on the finish. A waiting wine, but one with good potential. Its interior is rich, its tannins integrated. The finale is clear-cut. It dries with air, but is still very young. 2017-19  Dec 2005, Oslo  Previously *** nice depth, compact, clear fruit nose; plenty black stone, cherry fruit, overt tannins, oak adds to them. 2007 on. 2014-16

2000

still tight black aroma, garrigue hint; nice, cool dry black fruit. Clean tannic ending. 2005 on. 2012-14

1998

matt robe early; violets/ripe fruit/oily nose. Suave black jam fruit, tasty. Quite sweet end, has structure. 2005-08