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The Wines

mostly 1950s Syrah from Beaumes, Les Diognières, Torras et les Garennes (three sites on mid to east of hill), 3 week vinification, 50% whole bunch, pumping overs, part vat emptying/refilling (until late 2000s cap punching used), aged 30% new, 70% 1-2 year 600-litre oak casks 18 months, unfined, filtered, heavy bottle, 8,000-9,000 b

2018 ()

(cask) handsome full red, black hued robe; the nose is profound, only giving a little black berry fruit for now. It has multi layers, and will become expansive. There is a hint of black raisin that points to the maturity of the harvest. The palate gives blue fruit that runs seamlessly, has gusto and drive, reaches out a long way from the attack. The tannins have a discreet brightness, and the finish is orderly. There is much to like, with time bringing fusion. It controls its density well, keeps its shape along the palate, has some appealing spots of squeezy gras en route. 13.5°. 8,000 b. €55. From 2022-23, decant it. 2043-45 Nov 2019  GB £215/6 b in bond The Wine Society +44(0)1438 741177 https://www.thewinesociety.com/openingoffer/Overview.aspx?offercode=wrh181

2017 ()

(casks, bottling May 2019) dark red; blackberry, ripe and coulis-like in style, comes with inner depth on the nose, along with soaked black cherries, a hint of tea leaves. It’s a classy bouquet. The palate is rich and rolling, bears liqueur style fruit at its heart, with vegetal-freshness from the stems late on. This has good heart and well-filled content. This is good, thorough Hermitage from the middle zone. There are tar notes on the aftertaste. There’s sun on both nose and palate in what is a savoury and tasty Hermitage. From 2022. 2042-43 GB £475 per 12 b i/bond, £500 per 6 magnums i/bond J&B www.justerinis.com justbrooksorders@justerinis.com +44(0)207 484 6400  Nov 2018

2016

(casks) full robe. The bouquet is broad, filled with stewed style black fruits that have a sweet interior, and a top that is a touch floral. There is a damp undertone; it’s not yet offering detail. The palate strikes out on enjoyable red fruits, raspberry to the fore, has a salted stretch into the close. This is a wine with some of the rocky zones in its make-up, has an intricate bearing, subtle prompts. The finish is reserved for now. From late 2019, and decanting advised. 2034-36 Nov 2017

2015

(casks) full, deep robe. The nose is grilled, has an inset fruit aroma led by prune, a note of damp vegetation, and a welter of depth, some charge from its oaking adding to its imposing scale. The palate springs along with wavy black fruits, licorice, has vigorous tannins lining the path late on. This goes long, has momentum. It is soaked and deep, plays obvious cards rather than discreet ones. 13.5°. 9,000 b. €29.50. From mid-2019. 2036-38 Oct 2016 GB £474 12 b i/b Clarion Wines info@clarionwines.co.uk www.clarionwines.co.uk +44(0)208 747 2069 GB/HK £240 6 b/£250 3 mags i/b Goedhuis +44(0)207 793 7900 +852 2801 5999 sales@goeduis.com hksales@goedhuis.com www.goedhuis.com GB £475 12 b/£500 6 mags in bond Justerini & Brooks www.justerinis.com

2014

(casks) dark robe. The nose gives a neat air of black berry fruit, with a minor note of grilling, licorice and a suggestion of flowers. The palate runs gracefully with stylish, medium weight content, holds attractive juice. Middle to eastern end wine here (tasted blind), charm rather than complexity. It has been well put together, hums a jolie tune. 13.5°. From 2018. 2029-31  €29.50 export. GB £375 12/b in bond or £39.96 Justerini & Brooks www.justerinis.com  GB £170/6 b in bond Wine Society www.thewinesociety.com  Oct 2015 

2013

(casks) dark colour. Overt reduction shows on the nose, which is very pongy. It also has grunt, earthy, Wild Boy aspects, a bouquet with pork scratchings, mulled red stone fruits, strength in the glass. The palate is likewise pretty disorderly: it contains mulled red fruits, with edgy tannins here and there, never offers a calm run. Has a ground force about it, gives images of game running on the hoof in the forest clearing. There is slight heat on aftertaste. 3 stars for now. From 2017. 2029-32 €50 at the cellars. GB £193/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Jan 2015

2012 ()

(casks) dark robe; has a brewed air, pumped from within, oak and black fruits jam apparent. It is broad, and shows a definite sweetness. The palate gives an Eastern sector style Hermitage (tasted blind), away from the granite and in the alluvial soils. It holds plump berry fruit that is not especially nuanced, but the depth is agreeable. It rounds up more rather sweet notes on the finish, and needs time – from 2016. It doesn’t have the real hauteur, authority of the best Hermitage. 2030-32. £435 per 12, £445 per 6 mags in bond, J&B in GB.   Nov 2013

2011 ()

red robe, nice depth, legs visible. Has a juicy red fruit aroma, stewed fruits, sympa precise and round strawberry fruit, along with dusty notes, herbs such as thyme, licorice also. The start is careful, steady: it offers black berry and prune juice, then tightens on tarry notes, the finish a bit undecided so far. The length is OK, but it isn’t yet filled out as it ends. A slow gain wine – drink from 2016. Its knuckle on the finish needs to be opened – the fruits stops a little right now. There are licorice moments on the aftertaste. 13.5°. 2029-32  Nov 2013  Previously Nov 2012 **** (casks) dark robe. Dark, ample fruit centres the bouquet, that has a roast beef, meat gravy depth. It is buoyant in style, also shows licorice. The palate debut is marked by chocolate, prune and black berry, and is lined with nutty grain tannins that give it some kick, and venture well along the palate. There is a clear, red-fruited revival on the finish, which is encouraging. A Steady Operator, with a fruit flourish. A fat, Pleaser Hermitage. From 2015. 13.5°. 2027-30  Nov 2012

2010 ()

dark red. The bouquet is deep set, has a layered mix of dark fruits with a mineral crispness, airs of black olives – it is smoky, thorough. The palate has a good, tight connection to the bouquet: it gives direct black fruit, good cut – true Syrah of the northern Rhône. Good balance, good freshness, sure length. It goes down very well, is very digestible. It is absorbing its oak well, and there are smoky touches at the end. Will be more expressive from 2016. It is tight-knit, down the line now, the exit is grainy and fine, mineral. Classic and good. 38 hl/ha. “It has a bit more fruit now, has joli balance and richness,” Florent Viale. 2033-36  Nov 2013  Previously Nov 2011 ***** (casks) full robe, lot of colour. Rather reductive, supple air, has a beckoning, fleshy aspect of sweetness and cosy fruit – it is ripe. The palate is similar, and reminds me of the Colombier style (tasted blind), is good and long and the fruit is pliant, round, just a bit reductive. Quite crystalline tannins line it, bring a fresh note. All in order here. Has a good sign-off, a classy texture, is clear. Balance and style here, and it will be on song around 2018-19. From 2014. 2032-34 Nov 2011

2009

dark red, legs on show. The nose is moving into shape, airs of dark red fruits with a light trail of black pepper and a floral hint. There are hints of red meats on the spit. This is still closed on the attack, with good concentration in its juice and fresh purpose tannins adding darkness, tar, density; they have a supple depth. Salted touches come through on the finish. There is good Hermitage strength from a sunny year here – it’s authentic. From mid-2018. 13.5°. 2033-35 Nov 2016 GB £460 12/b in bond Justerini & Brooks www.justerinis.com Previously Nov 2010 ***** (casks) full, dark red; handsome, well-proportioned nose – its blackberry fruit is rich, supple, inviting, rides out with smoke and polished leather airs, a ripe sweetness suffused into it. It presents a rich, generous start, with a saline air attached. The palate, likewise, is generous and well-proportioned, the black fruit is balanced with tasty tannins, a really good contribution from them after half way, where they lend extra width. Harmonious and promising, its ease of fruit denotes the central areas of the hill, the less granite-influenced zones. Good, near flamboyant length and richness, tar and licorice youthful notes, but a fine grain quality there as well. From 2013. 2028-31 Nov 2010 GB £460 12 b in bond Justerini & Brooks www.justerinis.com

2008 ()

(casks) purple, blackberry robe. Nutty aroma, with good interior fruit, nothing flash – quite cask smoke here. Cherry fruit lead on the palate, with a fine weave of oak-led tannins. Ends on the charcoal of the oak, but has juice to allow everything to blend together. Decent drop. From, say, late 2012 or 2013. 2022-24 Nov 2009

2007 ()

(casks) full robe; a bouquet with funky airs – black fruit, honey and treacle in the aroma – date and prune. There is a sweet tone to the palate fruit – it is good and harmonious at half way, delivered with ease. The length is sound – it keeps going. The fruit is clear and juicy at present. Some oaking beefs up the end. A sappy wine seemingly made for early drinking with this very ripe fruit in it. From late 2010. 2024-26 Dec 2008

2006

(casks) black cherry colour; the bouquet is filled with black fruit that has a meaty surround, game airs, sweet tea – shows the use of very ripe crop. The palate is led by blackberry fruits that are sweet – this is a gourmand style of wine, by intention. There is some mid-palate richness, a juicy moment, then a fair pile-up of late tannin from its oak. Sip, rather than drink wine. The fruit doesn't really convince as being very persistent. From mid-2010. 2024-26 Dec 2007

2005

good robe – purple, black tints in it. Well-wrapped up nose – a good, rather smoky, rocky den in here. It hasn't advanced, is fresh and still stubborn. The red fruit on the palate has a steely, tight composition, but it is attractive, stylish, and slowly emerging. It ends clearly, the length pretty good. A finely woven wine, not ready until late 2011, for instance. See you in two years, señor. 13.5°. 2027-29 Nov 2009

2004 ()

red with a point of darkness in it, robe in good shape at five years. Smoky, slight reductive nose that reflects the eastern end of the hill – offers measured red fruit that lacks nuance. The palate is also mild, low on flair. It holds together, but marches to a modest drumbeat. A bit tight, wrapped up at the end, the fruit recedes. Decant this. 13.5°. To 2018-20. Nov 2009 Previously April 2006 (*) this is a wine of two halves, as they say in football. On first tasting (blind), it rated a healthy ***. But I had concerns about the extraction. 2+ hours later, it was dry and unfriendly, over-extracted and over-oaked. A somersault in the glass, I wrote. So, if you buy it, open it and drink it - do not hang about. If you do this, you may find the following: elegant style of soft fruit on bouquet, already open. Appealing richness on palate - red fruits and mint, tannins well ordered. Gourmand style of wine, black fruit-tar and mineral tickle on finish. But analyse the fruit on the palate and it is piercing. Drink from 2008. 2017-19 April 2006

2003 ()

notably full robe, still bright. Off the wall nose here – whack! Raisin, cooked fruit, cherry cake – this has wide shoulders, is grounded but still fresh, not showing any decline as in damp airs etc. Chunky style palate – leads with raisin and prune, a note of rum añejo, cask aged rum or rum baba, with toffee on the finale. There are lighter late moments, but it is a shade on the stretch. Overall good and full, shows end tannins still, and is nae bad as a one-off, including the degree, a high 14.5°. Decant. 2023-25 Nov 2009

2002

red with a little dark heart. Rather reductive, evolving nose, game airs here. The palate is at a calm stage, bears baked red cherry with a little width, some gummy texture and a fine line of acidity, not unexpected given the rainy September. A good lesser vintage wine. Ends on a little curve. Drinks well now. 13°. To 2015 Nov 2009 Previously *(*) stewed bouquet, sappy sweet aspect. Undemanding, rounded jam taste - wild red berries. Ends more grainily, fungal, bit dry. No great finale. 2006 on. 2013-15

2001 ()

black fruit, stretched nose. Sleek, modern flavour, bit dry at end. Suave, international style, not sure about middle matter. 2019-21

2000 ()

brewed, touch sweaty berries, dry/green also. Prickly fruit, three-quarter weight, bit stretched - not at ease. Burnt edges at end, fades rather. Uneven; balance? 2006 on. Was harmonious in cask, hasn't moved along at all on this showing. 2017-19

1999

sober, mature red, legs down glass. There is some of the bounty of the year in the steady, broad bouquet – an oily, ripe sensation, toffee, raisin (both oak derivatives), good density in the fruit. The palate has the rounded shape and depth of Hermitage, its oak still apparent. There is truth in the latent richness – this is indeed a Hermitage. Is harmonious, has good gras, is relatively young, finishes richly. Good with lamb dishes. Note that a ripe vintage such as 1999 only provided 13° in those days. 2022-24. March 2010 Previously ***** lovely wild fruit aroma, mulberries with dry, resin edges; plenty of oily flavour, and a soaking of well-founded fruit. Piney aspect, acidity is good, will age. esp 2005-06 for first hit. 2019-22

1998

black pastilles aroma, tight and holding back. Classic Hermitage, full with sinew, good tannic frame. Some end mineral, persistent flavour. Esp 2005-07. 2016-19

1994

fair colour; quiet richness on nose; medium weight, quite chewy wine. Decent length. Upright style. 2009-13.

1991

full, dark colour; expressive raspberry, sappy bouquet, dark tones also; good bone and structure here. Red berries, licorice at the end and persistent length. Peppery end. This is fine, nicely reserved. 2010-13