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The Wines

100% Syrah (early 1990s) from small galet stone ex glacier alluvial soils, destemmed, 2-3 week concrete vat vinification, pumping overs, aged 70% tronconic oak vat, 30% 2-5 year 228-litre & 600-litre oak casks 12 months (before mid 2010s aged 50% large barrel, 50% 2-5 year old casks 14 months), fined, filtered, "drink with grilled steak & shallots, duck rillettes", 30-35,000 b

2018

full red with black tints robe. The nose is grilled, shows reduction, a hefty air of sweet, brewed black fruits, is more on substance than style. The palate is wide and vigorous, filled with coursing black fruits, firm tannins, has Southern depth. The finish is knuckled, chewy, a little on extraction, and requires a couple of years to ease back. This is a mixed bag of influences, so the best bet is to leave it until 2022 or so. It has to be decanted. 13.5°. 2030-31 Nov 2019

2017 ()

very dark robe; the nose is reduced, needs air. There’s a restrained, soft blackberry presence, a nudge of rose petal, lees. The palate bears lucid fruit, with keen tannins right in the mix. I get a sense of the lees again towards the finish, which isn’t ideal. The finish is curly, dry. It carries some technical issues. 13°. From mid-2019. 2027-28 Dec 2018

2016 ()

bright red robe. This has an inviting bouquet, bears black berry fruits with a well-judged sweetness, some grilling, a neat cassis fruit air. The palate holds perfumed, savoury content, has a lithe tannin line through it. There is a note of mineral on the close, with a soaked raspberry flavour there, some damp tea leaves. This is fit and raring to go now, though the finish may expand. 13°. To 2021 Nov 2017

2015

very dark robe. The bouquet is under its bottling via a brothy, brewed black berry fruits aroma, with notes of grilling and oak-toffee. There is a sense of damp vegetation, the fruits soaked. After a slightly ponderous start, the palate holds stewed red berry fruits with a froth of tannin towards the finish. This lacks the crystalline qualities of the best 2015s, is workmanlike, correct enough. It may well have just been bottled, so try from spring 2017. 13°. 35,000 b. 2021-22 Oct 2016

2014 ()

dark robe. The bouquet is polished, has scope: for now it offers an air of sleek black cherry fruit with some chocolate from its oak, the fruit ripe. The palate presents a compact red berry flavour, is seasoned with some herbs, and enjoyable gummy tannins that bring a lip smack quality to the late stages. Good with stews. From mid-2016. 2021-22  Oct 2015 

2013 ()

dark, full. Meaty, grunty aroma, has layers of stored up dark berry fruit, definite fat. The palate presents clear, stylish fruit with an earthy surround to it. Has grounded qualities, is a traditional, quite powerful affair. Oak lies inside its rather stewed fruit. There is a lot of rolling tannin on the finish, develops charge there. Beef dishes, not for lesser flavours. From mid 2016.  13°. 2023-24  Jan 2015

2012 ()

purple-black darkness in the robe. Black cherry, blackberry, salty note in the bouquet – it is direct, not coy, the fruit clear, shows some licorice. This is compact wine, which closes down earlier than expected. The attack offers brief, sleek black cherry, but its tannins surge forward to take the lead role. Pretty well organised. Has definite depth. The finale is gummy, builds up. From 2015. 13°. 2021-23  Nov 2013

2011

dark robe, latent shine. Blackberry, plump but lasting aroma here – a fat, rather generous orb of fruit with a wee note of herbs such as thyme. Has an interesting attack, comes with grip, clear tang, and the fruit runs with uplift from its smoky tannins. A wine of some pedigree; the coolness and quiet quality of the fruit stands out. It ends on menthol, cassis fruit. 2019-20  Nov 2012

2010

bright, rather dark robe. Blackberry fruit, smoky aroma with good, live Syrah showing, small notes of reduction. The palate starts on shapely fruit with a border of smoked tannins that will be better integrated in 12-15 months; it also carries a bout of oak on the aftertaste. A good, typical 2010. Snappy, crackling fruit with fresh length here; the fruit recedes a little on the finish, a post-bottling effect. Drink after summer 2012. Bottled 28 Aug 2011. 2019-20. Dec 2011

2008

quite full robe. Wide, bacon fat, red cherry air, neatly packed berries, also a meaty side to bouquet. Licorice, good tang in rather clear black berry fruit on the palate – it is not tainted by acidity sticking out. Just OK, feels rather cobbled together. Black pepper aftertaste. From mid-2010. To 2013. Dec 2009

2007 ()

full, dark red with black tints. Supple blackberry fruit aroma on the nose – it has a floral overlay, and persists. The palate black fruit is pliant, agreeable to drink, has perfumato touches, continues along well. Good length, too. Smoky, soaked black cherries aftertaste. Drinks well now, is a w.o.w. wine, a rare bird at Crozes. To 2013 Dec 2008

2006

dark plum robe; the nose is pretty full and open; the core shows gently stewed fruits just turning to jam, red fruits with some smokiness but not very clear. There is soft, quite ripe Syrah on the palate, with a hint of earthy reduction around it (needs oxygen). This drinks easily, and is fleshy until a little late tannin comes along. A bit burnt on the aftertaste. I find this pursuing the overripe trail, a little in thrall to the current fashion. Food best. 2011-12 Dec 2007

2005 ()

quite a dark robe; Meaty tone in the red berry fruit aroma that is broad and smoky thanks to its oak. Clear-cut, ripe red fruit that is nicely hewn and rolls along well. Has some tannic structure to keep it going, the length is sound. Pretty, good drinking in an open manner. 2010-11 Nov 2006

2003

broad, persistent bouquet - earthy, violet/truffle combo. Excellent fruit start with a delicious feel, very elegant. Tannins and oak tighten it. Good length. Warm, round and savoury. 2011 March 2005 Previously *** mocha tendencies, prune/floral bouquet, some fat. Clear, pretty fruit on palate - ripe tannins appear on cue. Round, well-sustained fruit, typical southern zone, just a tickle of mineral within. Unpretentious, nicely made wine. 2006. 2011-13

2001

prickly red fruits, smoky nose; nice texture, compact fruit - warm, refined, smoky; liquorice, fine end. 2005 on. 2010-11