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The Wines

1950s-1970s Syrah, hand harvested from northern sector, destemmed, 21-25 day concrete vat vinification, pumping overs, aged 20% new, 80% 1-6 year 550-litre oak casks oak 12-14 months, fined, filtered, 12-16,000 b

2018

(casks) dark robe; the bouquet is closed but full, breathes potential and a little power. Black olives, raspberry liqueur combine in the front rank, with a hint of cool, iodine. The attack gives an immediate run of dark fruits with smokiness from the oak, with busy tannins and oak setting the tone for the finish. It will do well over time, has authority and good grounding. It’s a serious, well established Crozes-Hermitage, more for drinking with a little maturity than young. From 2022-23. 2032-34 Nov 2019

2017 ()

(casks, bottling Jan 2019) quite a dark red; has a trim black berry-fruited nose, licorice, dried herbs. There’s a good surge on the attack – it carries its abundant juice well, freely. Its tannins are ripe, gummy, bring roundness. The length is very sound, This has structure to evolve. 14°. From 2020. 2031-33 Nov 2018

2016

(casks) dark red robe. An air of crushed nutshells leads the nose, with grilling, smoke from oak, mulberry red fruits. The palate bears pretty free black fruits with a neat juiciness late on, isn’t as expressive as it will be in the future. The fruit is very articulate, detailed. The tannins are cool, and give late energy to the wine, which has an interesting make-up and good, steady length. It’s a wine to pause and reflect upon, and is marked accordingly. 13°45. 13,000 b. From spring 2018, decanting advised. 2022-23 Nov 2017

2015

(casks) full, dark red. The bouquet washes freely with plenty of soaked black fruits, a gush of black cherry fruit. It’s a go-getter, flashes a brilliant smile. The palate holds comfortable black cherry fruit that connects well to the nose; there is a salty-tarry note from the tannins that bring their own vigour to the table. This is amply juiced, engaging wine that will please through its open and dashing fruit. The length is sure. It may just be about to tighten and close a little. From mid-2017. 2025-26 Oct 2016

2014 ()

(casks) dark robe; this has a smoky, menthol fresh bouquet with some reserves of depth, a roast beef couch under some black berry fruit. The palate starts boldly, square in shape; it is lined with still vigorous tannins providing the frame to its black jam flavour. This is rolled up Crozes that requires two winters to encourage more freedom. A solid wine for red meats. From late 2017. 2023-25  Oct 2015 

2013 ()

(casks) shiny, dark robe. The bouquet is wide – it gives a solid layer of suave dark berry fruit, juiced black cherry. The palate holds good quality fruit that runs freely, swishes along, picks up a grainy tannin in the final stages. It shows a crisp glint, has sound body, decent style. Its oaked aftertaste is a little dry now, the finish receding there. It tastes like a northern sector wine (tasted blind). 13.2°. 12,000 b. From 2017. 2022-24  Jan 2015

2012 ()

(casks) dark colour; the nose is upright, gives an air of clear black cherry, goes “clack” on its oak that brings chocolate into play, a roll of raspberry: there is a slight floral drift. The palate is linear, tight-knit, has moments of black berry-cherry fruit with a firm encasement of oak ahead of the tannin. Sound content, three-quarter weight wine that is currently in thrall to its raising. It will become poised, concertinaed. 13.15°. From spring 2015. 12,000 b this year. To 2020  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(casks) bright robe – red, wee purple. Crushed fruits, mulled red berry air with a smoke snap in it. The palate starts with gourmand red berry fruit that is attractive and tasty, with comfortable, mild tannins supporting its finale. The finish is nice and fresh, shows mineral cut there. Attractive wine, good and drinkable. It can deliver soon – drink from mid-2013. 2019-20  Sept 2012

2010

dark red robe, good shine. This has a blackberry aroma with reserves and the potential to vary; smoke of the granite is present, some rubber and road tar depth, a slight note of meat. The bouquet is only just starting out now. Modern, clean-swept fruit comes with a quiet determination of tannin close around it, the tannin adhesive. Very fine red fruit comes and goes on the end. The tannins dry the aftertaste for now, prevailing over the fruit overall. Decant this. Marked on its potential over what is strictly shows today. From 2015. 2023-24  Sept 2012  Previously Dec 2011 ***(*) (casks) thorough, dark robe. The nose is reserved, but has potential, is clear in style, and the red stone fruit in it lies low. Some smoke and floral notes hover. The palate has a bubbly directness, an open show of fruit, with gradual fencing from pebbly tannins. Licorice is melded into the black fruit flavour, which pushes along with freedom. The aftertaste is crisp, the balance sound. From mid-2012. To 2018. Dec 2011

2009 ()

(casks) shiny, quite full red. Soft bouquet with oak influences, licorice-tar. Good inlay of crisp, defined black fruit on the palate, oaking on the outside. Finishes clearly, with some tang. There are “dark” moments on the palate – needs to soften those. Sound balance, a wine of refinement. From mid-2012. 2018-20 Nov 2010

2008

bottled five days ago: level red robe. Red jelly, very typical nose of this Gervans area, smoky wisps. The palate has a squeeze of red fruit, is clear and precise, the red fruit runs most of the way. From mid-2010. To 2015. STGT wine. Dec 2009

2007

red cherry, plum aroma, a little reduction, also thyme and herbs. Red fruit on the palate is accessible, persists with light body. Spiced end. To 2013. Dec 2009 Previously March 2009 *** full enough red robe; there is a fine little sweetness in the red fruits aroma, a touch of earthy and nutty in the underlay – which adds depth. The palate is supple and charming. There are very true northern zone red fruits, and it ends freshly and well. w.o.w. drinking here. To 2010-11 March 2009

2006

quite a dark robe; understated bouquet – there is some black fruit, with a jam and menthol connotation, and this can develop further. Cautious black fruit on the palate, which is wound together, but perfectly acceptable: has a quiet style of its own. Has a likeable construction – is not trying to trade blows with the overt, flash brigade. The length is sound. Lamb, veal, sweet dishes that exclude spices would run well with this. The air releases some tannins, and this will be more together from late 2008. Suggestion of northern zone in its make-up (tasted blind). 2013-14 Dec 2007

2005

quite a dark robe; bonny bouquet – an interesting aroma with a clear air – full berries here, a rounded shape to it. The palate has weighty, fleshy black fruit that is ripe and potentially succulent. Persists well, and its tannic structure suggest leaving it until mid-2008. The fruit has been left a long time on the vine, but the wine contains some minerality and is more measured than just being flat. 2014-15 Nov 2006

2004 ()

black berry aroma, nice weight with some tannic, dark outcrops. Berried fruit with a kick in it, as if the ripeness was a little wobbly - hence a dry element towards the finish. Offers decent drinking with food to 2008. Danger of a short finish, though nice in mid-palate. April 2006 Previously March 2005 *** harmonious, soft fruit nose. Clear fruit on palate, some width, a touch of soft tannin. Easy drinking here. 2009-11

2003 ()

black fruit syrup, steamed fruits, mentholet aroma, some oiliness and unusually, garrigue/southern herbs presence. Simmering black fruits taste, traces of ripe tannin to pep up the end. Carries some appeal, the herbal influence comes back on the finish. Warning that it is a little dry on the end. To 2009 Sept 2005

2002 ()

(cask) honey, soft berry aroma - gentle. Early style fruit, fair core to it. Rounded at start, touch of jam at end. Esp 2005 on. 2009-10

2001

earthy, stewed black fruits nose; mid-plus weight, fruit OK, has sinew. Grounded wine, some potential. Esp 2004-05 on. 2010-11