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The Wines

Syrah from southern zone Mercurol, destemmed, 3 week vinification, pumping overs, (some cap punchings until mid-2010s), vat raised 12 months (until 2005 was part vat, part oak-raised 12 months), unfined, filtered, organic wine, 60-74,500 b

2018

inky, dark robe; the bouquet is a brewed up affair, has an ample nature, a mound of stewed black fruits including prune the image given. The palate is assertive, foot down on the pedal, charged with oxtail-beefy content, grilling, wild tendencies unleashed. It bounces off warm lands into the glass, is broad and fuelled for game dishes, steaming casseroles. The fruit has a “high” aspect, in line with the hot vintage. From mid-2020, decanting necessary. There’s a lot in the glass. 13°. 65,000 b. €20. 2029-31 Nov 2019

2017 ()

shiny dark robe, black with a crimson rim. The bouquet has a quiet air of soaked black fruits, cassis, with herbs and wet stones present. The palate gives a roll of black berry and cherry fruit, is rather lush, pliant, ends mildly rounded. There is a small note of perfume in it. It’s ripe and ready now, though another winter will render the ending more clear. It’s easy to drink, a little low on character. 13°. 2025-26 Dec 2018

2016

full, dark red robe. The bouquet isn’t right out, holds reduction, meatiness, its black cherry fruit on the back foot. There’s a note of grilling and Indian tea. The palate is also rather withdrawn, with a fine line of black fruits, cherries notably, and careful tannins attached. Leave this subtle, understated Crozes until late 2018 or 2019. It will come together and be stylish if given time. 13°. 74,500 b. 2023-24 Nov 2017

2015

dark colour. The nose is promising, with a good inset of rather sappy dark fruit, covered by nutshells, oak airs for now. The palate is muscled, with a tight display of black berry fruit, and springy, tarred tannin ruling the late stages. This has close-knit muscle. There is good, firm content as it closes. From mid-2017, and decanting a wise move. 13°. 2023-24 Oct 2016

2014

good lustre in its dark red robe. The fruit aroma has a winning purity, a nicely sleek display of black cherry fruit, a good, low-key sweetness attached. The palate skips along well, the fruit tasty, the tannins shapely and enjoyable. Very good, warm sun Crozes, an easy delight, a w.o.w. wine of precision. Good with magret de canard, duck breast. 13°.  From mid-2016. 2021-22 GB £114 12 b in bond Stone, Vine & Sun +44(0)1962 712 351 www.stonevine.co.uk sales@stonevine.co.uk  Oct 2015

2013 ()

dark robe. Has a concentrated nose, that shows reduction, but also confident depth of dark berry fruit, a little pork, grilling: a good start. The palate sweeps along with stylish fruit and, latterly, a close wrap of charry oak. It has flair, lift, and is a serious wine that will evolve well, destined for drinking at la table. The length is secure length, too, without some of the graininess of the vintage. A good northern Rhône Syrah, full of life. From mid-2016. 13°. 2023-24  Jan 2015

2012

shiny dark red; oily, chicken stock air, one of soaked black berries, roast pork, grilling, light herbs. This has a simply fruited palate, no particular depth or emblem moments in it. It runs with a grilled aspect, a little black berry fruit that is fleeting after half way as it tones down. Workmanlike wine that is possibly showing post bottling dip. From mid-2014. It may hit 3 stars. 13. 2017-18  Nov 2013

2011 ()

dark robe. Brewed, earthy aroma with a touch of the fundamental, earthy, organic matter, reduction. Has cocoa, coconut, mocha mixed in with the black cherry aroma. The palate wraps itself tightly; after half way the fruit subsides into its content, doesn’t carry that well for now. It has guts and extends on that. It attacks on black cherry with licorice in it. OK, but could be more personal, and the sign-off is square. 2019-20  Nov 2012

2010

dark colour; strong reduction on the nose, has a really gummed up aroma, but the nose suggests balance once it is clear. Marmite yeast stock, smoke accompany it. The reduction continues on the palate, with a slight clearing after half way, leading to fine black fruit, berries. There is a juicy wash of fruit across the palate on the late moments – good. It has the decisive 2010 exit. Good length, and a plus is the presence of very clear drops of fruit on the aftertaste. From spring 2012 – a cold winter will help this. Decant two or three times. 13.5°. To 2019. Nov 2011

2009 ()

pretty full red; oily, lateral aroma, abundant red plum fruit with some baked white raisin that lends extra depth. It shows the sun, sweet and floral, mulled signs of 2009. The palate is chewy, full, delivers immediate impact. It is close to ready, already bottled, so profit from its early abundance. It ends roundly, has good, full close with a touch of pebble there. From spring 2011. 13.5°. 2016-17 Nov 2010

2008

only 35,000 b this year: the red robe is OK, not full. Has a fine black berry, smoke and pepper aroma which doesn't suggest a full wine. Also some red fruits and an air of greenness. The palate gives simple early red fruit, softens at the end. No real questions asked or answered. There is more fruit early on than late, this is ready now, and ends on a little burn. To 2011. €13 – too much. To 2011 Nov 2009

2007 ()

quite a full red, matt hue. Creamy, blackberry aroma – soft and right there now. The palate bears easy fruit – berries, raspberry – with a gummy style late on, a bit confected there, floral scents present. Ends roundly, but could be clearer, more refreshing. Tightens and leaves a trace of burn on the finish. “2007 offers lots of pleasure, without the big structure of 2006,” Y.Chave. To 2012. Nov 2009 Previously March 2009 **(*) quite a full robe; black fruits and berries with licorice and smoke on a clear bouquet. The palate sets off with crisp black fruit, and darts along. This can be drunk solo. It could be richer, just a shade more gras. It is a touch vacant at the end. To 2011. March 2009

2006 ()

dark robe; black stone fruit aroma that moves across the glass, comes with grilled notes, and the soaked cherry syndrome. The palate fruit is approachable, an innocuous black berry with some pepper content – there is a clean thoroughfare here, a swept road. A few tannins come through on the finish, where it tightens a touch. There is the sense of some extraction in its texture – it is a bit on the stretch. Very much a child of the plain of Crozes, one that delivers a straightforward message. To 2011. June 2008

2005 ()

good, bright purple. Peppery, reasonably deep bouquet, still at a subdued stage. Nice early juice on palate, has a scented, violet finale. Soft already, this is a tannin-free zone. Good easy drinking with some substance. After one hour, is tighter and offers less pleasure, the texture dries and it shortens. I suspect too much cellar technique here. To 2008. June 2006, half bottle.

2004

black fruit/olive bouquet, some meatiness and herbs, is a bit cellar worked. Strange palate - stale flavour, drying fruit, tea taste on finish. Bitter. April 2006

2003 ()

very typical Pont de l'Isère black fruit nose - blackcurrant and clear with a little animal/earthiness behind. Good fruited start - blackcurrant, crème de cassis flavour. Ends with some spice. Tannins are ripe and lend a warm, licorice finale. Good, does the job - Crozes as it should be to get on and drink back. 2009-10 March 2005 Previously Dec 2004 *** oily, ripe southern zone aroma, late-picked seemingly. Red jam flavour, the ripe fruit means it is plush, a bit too soft. Fruit gums finish. Aromatic, shorter-term wine. 2005 on. 2011-12 Previously (vat) *** cooked fruit aroma; big, black fruit with violet, tannins present. Some warmth, is meaty. Spice end typical of year.

2002 ()

lightly smoked black jam aroma; pebbly black fruit, licorice. Warm, touch herbal finish. Early wine. 2007-08

2001 ()

smoky, some leather/animal/black fruit mix on bouquet. Stewed fruit start, quite dense. Some tannin later, chewy, also clean cut end touches. Sound, has developed. Ready now. 2009-11

2000

prominent blackberry fruit, round and friendly on bouquet; very good fruit definition on the attack. Fruit has some dry, pebbly aspects. Wide open at 18 months. Decent length, nice amount of spice. 2006-08

1999

interesting bramble fruit, touch spiced bouquet, quite strong; genuine, measured fruit, not the flash stuff. Dry tones, orderly. Esp 2003-04. To 2007-09.

1998 ()

frisky bouquet, very open, a lot of width, quite ripe fruit; very Crozes style fat, cooked black fruit flavours. Very clean, good mix of fat and tweak of tannin. Drink early or when 4-5 years for more gamey, wild fruit aspects. 2005-07