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The Wines

85-90% 1978 Syrah from Beaume, 10-15% early 1980s Syrah from Péléat, destemmed, 25 day vinification, pumping overs, aged new 600-litre oak 12 months, unfined, filtered, 5-7,000 b

2018 ()

(cask) very dark robe; the bouquet has a sweet vigour, gives sunshine borne black fruit, black raisin, with a note of crème de menthe, licorice. It’s solid, inky, and hard to penetrate for now. The palate holds compact, intense content, with a dark cherry flavour prevalent for now. The tannins are ripe, busy, give another couch to it. The finish is firm, thorough. This is indeed manly Hermitage as per George Saintsbury. It grips well on the close, is grounded, and persistent. 14°. 7,000 b. €80. From 2023. 2046-48 Nov 2019

2017

(casks) very dark colour, black-purple. Oak is prominent on a nose full of blueberry, dark berry fruit, the fruit sunny and ripe, a touch sweet. The palate moves well all through, nice and consecutive in its delivery of enjoyable black fruits such as cherry. The finish brings out some pretty ripe tannin, aiding its rounded shape there. This is genuine, feels hand made. From 2022. 2039-41 Dec 2018

2016 ()

(casks) dark robe, deep red with black at centre. The nose gives an aroma of damp vegetation, damp leaves, with a soaked fruits, blackberries air. The palate is curvy, smooth, also based on very ripe feel black fruits, pliant tannins present inside it. There is a note of menthol along the second half, a touch of clarity from that. It’s an easy to please Hermitage, and its supple style will go down well. It could be broader towards the finish. 13.5°. From late 2019. 2029-31 Nov 2017

2015 ()

(casks) shiny, very full robe. Beef stock, grilling lead a robust, chunky bouquet which has alight notes of salt and flowers to leaven it. The palate bears a red berry, strawberry-raspberry flavour, comes with dry-noted grain tannins, bumps along rather than glides as the best 2015s do. It has work to do to extend the content and soften the finish. It feels as if it tightening – it’s a very rainy day today – and may be moving past its first flush of youth. From mid-2019. 2027-29 Oct 2016

2014 ()

(casks) deep robe; the nose shows reduction for now, has a sweet noted black fruit aroma, a prune and mulberry fruit ensemble. It is just starting to vary. The palate holds clear fruit and lithe tannins, has a quiet mid-palate. Gentle Hermitage that doesn’t reach for the stars. There is a little florality in the final stages. 7,000 b. From 2018. 2023-25  Oct 2015 

2013 ()

dark, filled robe. The nose is attractive – it gives an assembly of black berry fruit, with buffed leather, dark cherry, the fruit nice and ripe, the depth stylish. The palate is generous, tasty, long, fresh as it ends. Good balance here. The dark fruit is seasoned with pepper, spice, and oak just on show as it ends. All parts fit well; it is harmonious, with good content to lay the foundations. From mid-2017. 2030-32  Jan 2015

2012 ()

dark, full robe; has an inky, oaked bouquet, which gives a good pulp of the grape aroma. It has a generous, curved shape and some appealing floral dabs. Tasty fruit starts the palate, with no hesitation. It develops an elegance as it goes, ends neatly, all together, is balanced. The tannins are really fine, and its dentelle, clear-cut, finish completes a pretty story. This is almost Pinot-like in its expression, bravo for that. No hurry - the balance will keep this spherical wine going, and showing, well for many years. 13.5°. From 2017. 2028-31  Dec 2014 Previously Nov 2013 **** (casks) thorough, dark red; really open, willing bouquet – it bears plentiful black berry fruit, is lightly fragrant, possesses a sunny heart of mild sweetness. This is attractive, rather delicate Hermitage, en finesse: it has a scented-mineral spine, the berry fruit agreeable in the early stages. The gradual tightening works well, the tannins having a steady handshake. There are fine mineral-acidity late moments. Quiet class. This is a flattering, more early style Hermitage. From late 2015. 2026-27  Nov 2013

2011

(casks) well-filled robe, legs down the glass. Has an ample, blackberry liqueur aroma with a sweet centre, has nut, toasted fringes, and a cluster of licorice, cocoa and mocha. The palate sets off running on the attack, led by swish, modern fruit. Oaking prevails, rather strongly, after half way. Modernism of the cellar rules it now, in a state of raw goods, and it needs five to six years before it can be more located in Hermitage. 2027-29  Nov 2012

2010

(casks) dark robe, no chinks in it. Black berry fruit air with sweet tones and a light over-drift of flowers and scent which provide a curve for it and soften it. Licorice and mulberry feature here. The palate misses a beat at the start, then shows a nuggety ball of black fruit, then takes in tannin and oak. Correct but not inspiring – many Cornas 2010 has more flair, drive, for example. Decant this in its youth. From late 2013. 2023-25 Nov 2011

2009

(casks) healthy dark red robe. Brewed, baked intensity on the nose, has a rich, rather supple interior and core – black raisin with a drift of violet and earthy black soil in the background. The palate is firmly constituted – it is very enclosed as it goes along, with its oak/nutty sides close together. The fruit is clamped, baked, and it ends on those notes. A bit stern – it is a child of a dry year like a 1983, but with greater flesh. I find it a bit tinny for now. From late 2013. 2023-26 Nov 2010

2008 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED – sold to the merchant trade – “it was a clear wine, but lacked stuffing.”

2007

full, bright robe; the bouquet has a gentle centre – there is a serene spot of black fruit right in the middle, a moment of Syrah paradise, allied to an air of black olives. The palate possesses amiable black fruit which extends in a pretty way along the palate. It ends on a light tar, mocha, oak combination, the oak prevailing on the aftertaste. This is a year of finesse, and its attractive juice encourages you to drink it again. Juicy wine with a sympa quality and fat in it. “It resembles 2004, but there is a bit more matter and colour,” Yann Chave. 13.2°. From 2012. 2019-21 6,000 b this year. Nov 2009 Previously March 2009 *** dark tints in the red robe; has a smoky, refined aroma – it shows stylish blackberry fruit that lingers. The palate holds pretty fruit – it is clear and runs freely; the oak has been infused with some finesse. Modern style Hermitage. The length is fair – this is a wine still finding its way. It reflects the ease of 2007, without having the richness of its neighbour vintages such as 2005 and 2006. From 2011. 2020-21 March 2009

2004 ()

mild, rather matt red. Soft, red jam aroma, rather plain, lacks scope. Simple red jam flavour, diluted, lacks freshness. I'm surprised this is Hermitage - it lacks stuffing, thrust, dimension, even in a tricky year. Tame wine, out of line with others this vintage. 2012-13 April 2006

2003

(cask) dark; brimming, sappy bouquet of mellow fruit. Savoury attack, good genuine richness, sustains well. Length good. Has curves, appeal. Red berry fruit has pretty texture. Balance good, will age consistently and well. 2007 on. 2022-25 Dec 2004 Previously (cask) *** solid, chocolatey nose, compact fruit. Warm, big wine, lot of inky matter. Cooked up style, atypical. Grapey, dark flavours, cocoa. Decent length, some end freshness. 2007-08 on. 2018-20

2002

light black robe; smoked, laurel/black fruit aroma. Leathery black fruit flavour, becomes chewy through the palate. Low-key, best in young middle age - 2005-07. To 2012-13

2001 ()

solid, bright robe; grilled, fresh loganberry style fruit aroma; tight, well-packed wine. Dark red fruits, sound length. Wait till 2008. Clean-cut, stylish, modern. Low-key, classic waiting vintage, not an overtly fleshy year. 2017-20

2000

cooked plum fruit, bosky/spiced, then stewed aromas; big, square wine, red fruit is dry-toned. Rather taut, uneven. Leave till 2006 to settle. Length OK. Fundamental wine, has fair matter, but needs patience and maybe luck. Drink with the pressure high. 2011-15

1999 ()

spice and varied dark fruits aroma. Very beguiling fruit, a light touch. Black fruit, calm wine, suave end. Some heat. Savoury wine, will roll along evenly. Especially 2004-08. 2010-12.

1998

smoky, tarry bouquet, with clear-cut berry within, cedar too. Nice mix of stern and fat on palate, well-ripened tannins support. Good, stylish fruit, the front taste is silky. Especially 2005-07. To 2009-12