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The Wines

100% Syrah (2002-03) from the mica-schist soils of Viallière (northern zone), destemmed, 3 week vinification, pumping overs, aged new 500-litre oak casks 24 months (new, 1-year, 2-year 600-litre casks until mid-2010s), first wine 2009, unfined, unfiltered, 10,000 b

2017 ()

(500-litre cask, where has been three weeks) dark red. The bouquet is intense, red fruits with fine tuning. The palate leads off suavely, flows well, has definite strength in its juice, concentration. The tannins make their mark. It’s a bit darker than the 2016 Viallière. 2038-41. Nov 2017

2016 ()

(new 500-litre cask) dark red colour. Blueberry en finesse in a sweet and refined nose, an elegant do; it suggests violets, is very typical of Viallière, that florality. There is good, measured freshness on the palate, its raspberry style red fruits bright. It’s silken, tasty and refined, holds real good juice, has style, length. It is strikingly perfumed, is very beau. From 2021-22. 2036-38 Nov 2017

2015

bright, full red colour. The nose is restrained, shows raspberry with some delicacy, even in this big vintage, a leaning towards flowers, roses, also cordite. The palate issues a red fruits flavour, its gras coming from within; it holds tight, and lengthens with real resolve, is packed together. The second half is more rocky than fruit-filled. There are nudges of place below the vintage imprint. It’s a handsome, long, glass-filling wine. I really like the concentration in the juice here. Bottled Aug 2017. €52 bottle, €106 magnum. From 2022-23. 2040-42 Nov 2017

2012 ()

steady red colour. Oak smoke drifts over a good potentially stylish nose – there is an aroma of red cherries that really persists, also gives bacon and a tiny vegetal note. This is all very calm and collected: there is a moment of iron in its centre, and attractive fresh length and imprint. The fruit combines redcurrant and smoky blackcurrant/cassis. It is well tucked in now, a good package. Decant this. 13°. From spring 2017. 2029-31  March 2015 Previously Nov 2013 ***** (new 600-litre oak cask) rather dark red; smoke-graphite-rose petal feature in an interesting nose, one with plenty of hidden corners, and good potential. The palate has a very appealing attack, is great. A classic Côte-Rôtie, with lots of perfume, takes me back to the 1970s-1980s, is typical of those days. Ace fruit and clarity, appeal. Its acidity is well present to keep it going. Good balance. Its oak is absorbing. There is the patter of tiny fruit on the finish, real delicacy. From 2018. 2032-33  Nov 2013

2011

good, full red. Smoke-charcoal outer aroma, but a neat layer of coulis fruit beyond, a bouquet of stylish potential. Aged all new 600-litre oak casks. The palate shows fine fruit, clad in oak. Good cut and mineral present, a wine that ends clearly. It is faithful to its place with its cut. There is good juice on the aftertaste, black fruits such as cassis. The end is pretty. It could be a little wider, but it may grow as it ages. “This terroir gives salinity; it’s like being on the Mediterranean,” J-Michel Gérin. 13°. Bottled Sept 2013. From 2017. 2027-29 Nov 2013

2010

(casks) the robe is a dark red, legs down glass. Broad, modern style nose that offers sweetness, ripeness, is fat in style, has oak present. There is a little northern zone zip and breeze, but also a tender, floral note (tasted blind – this florality is typical Viallière). The sense of ripe crop by design is given on the palate, and a touch of extremity about that. This is based on gourmandise, has fat puppy layering, is wide. The tang of smoky tannins and oak on the finish direct it more straight down the line. The oak is not yet very intrusive, but it will be best to leave this until 2014 or 2015. I find the nose more convincing than the fat palate. 2023-25 Nov 2011