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The Wines

1963-68 Syrah, 90% from Champon, 10% Cognet, Le Plomb, all northern sector, 98% Syrah, 2% Viognier, 0-70% destemmed (all destemmed until late 2010s, 2017 20%, 2018 30% whole bunch, 2019 all whole bunch), first juice cooled 12 hours at 8-9°C, wild yeasts, then 3-4 week vinification, pumping overs, cap punching, 2007, 2009 some part vat emptying/refilling, aged 30-40% new (pre-2004 was 80%), 60-70% 1-2-3-4 year oak 300 litre and 400-litre casks (228-litre oak casks used until mid-2010s) 24 months, just 1 racking, unfined, unfiltered, first wine 2000, renamed from Le Champon after 2006 vintage, wide bottle, 10,000 b

2019

(used 400-litre cask) full, dark red; there is a savoury fullness on the nose, which has a coated richness, much sun absorbed into it, with light bacon fat and floral notes. This is rich, prolonged, has a sustained presence that builds, ends with a mingle of thick, fluid juice and vegetal crunch, which helps its length. This is scaled, a massive sort of Côte-Rôtie, that has uber persistence, iron and ink on the second half. “I had a bit of fear about going all whole bunch on Champon’s in 2019, thinking it might have marked the wine too much, but without all the stems it would have been too soft.” I agree. From 2024-25. 2048-51 Feb 2020

2018

1) (used 400-litre cask) **** dark red; the bouquet is inky, blood strewn, on raspberry, smoky clear oaking – the aroma sustains. The palate serves a wave of red cherry, with 2018 sun in its depth. Tannins-oak firm up the close. A hovering crunch hangs over it, while the circulation of the fruit is a criss-cross. It’s a bit stirred up. Decant it. “It’s shaken up by the South Wind of yesterday,” Stéphane Pichat. This can be **** wine. Decant it. 30% stems, 30% new oak. From 2024. 2042-45 2) (new 228-litre cask) ***(*) dark red; oak-charcoal is very evident on the nose, beef stock, black cherry, licorice. The palate sticks to a steady path of strength from within, is well planted. This is sound ground force wine, close to ****. 14.2°. 26 years Feb 2020

2017 ()

full red; there is a black cherry front to the nose, a touch of licorice, roasting, is fuelled. This is in a closed phase, has prune fruit ripeness with sturdy, noticeable tannin, carries the South, could have more spring. The attack is sunny, before a more linear and welcome directness – it’s clogged up for now. It has less class than 2019, and 2018 is more engaging, the tannins superior in 2018; here there are baked notes on the close. From 2024. It should show well around 2028, for example. 20% whole bunch. 2038-40 Feb 2020

2016 ()

(casks) dark robe. Blackberry fruit with mint and lead pencil feature on the nose, which has a smoky reserve, doesn’t display freely, is almost clipped, gives hints of oak. The palate is tight-knit, holds elegant black fruits with accommodating tannins adding their outer layer, allowing a degree of late roundness. This has the bare bones to do well over time, will be a slow gainer and expander. Its black fruit is neat, and there is fresh spark on the aftertaste. 13°. From mid-2019. 2028-30 Nov 2017

2015 ()

1) (steel vat, sugars, malo completed) **** dark robe, very full. Marmite extract, deep cassis fruit with a red meat quality on the nose. This is overtly rich, but travels freely, has floral notes, and ends with a little cool thread. Has good style. The centre of the palate is like fruit lozenges. 14.8°. 14 years. 2) the two cuvées together to approximate the final wine: ****(*) very, very dark robe. Broad nose, good style, very full with no forcing. It is naturally very deep, has a shiny aroma of black berries. The palate rests on smooth coulis, big and bold berry fruit  with lots of flavour and coated tannins. It is long and sustained; there is a heck of a lot here. 2032-34 Oct 2015

2014

(cask) very dark robe. The nose gives a rather sturdy air of mulled fruits and a small note of sweetness. There is an easy abundance. The palate holds suave fruit and coated tannins, a good ensemble. The gras richness is neatly installed, and I like its width as well. Promising: from 2019. It has more fat, flesh than many this year, and ends on a savoury note. 2029-31  Oct 2015 

2013 ()

dark red robe with black tints. Brambly fruit, smoky, dark berries airs on the nose along with sizzled bacon, a trace of violets. The palate gives butty fronted black fruit, black jam, all close-knit. It is smoky from its oak, and there is cool blueberry fruit at its heart. It shows the vintage crispness on the finish, the aftertaste very peppery. Still unmade wine, so leave until mid-2017 or later, also to allow the oak to fuse (30% new oak). 13°. Bottled Aug 2015. 2026-28  Oct 2015

2012 ()

(400-litre oak cask) dark colour. Smoky, charcoal, black olives air, a bouquet that has “grunt”. There are airs of date, slight resin, a glimmer of flowers. The palate delivers an immediate punch via a mixed bag of dark, Christmas time fruits – fig jam, date – with a low-key minting. The style is full, no holding back, is a traditional Côte-Rôtie, much more of a wine of the south than related to Burgundy, the north. There are floral flashes on the late stages. From late 2014. 13°. 2021-23  Nov 2013

2011

(400-litre oak cask) steady red robe; reserved, lightly grilled, red cherry aroma, bacon and redcurrants mixed. The oak on the palate is entwined in it, has a firm heart, and resolve in its texture; the tannins are well shaped, and firm, too. The oak adds to their depth. Both the nose and the palate are dumb (it is raining today). It will be a sound year, not coming with fireworks, and will be accessible, especially around 2017. From 2015. Bottling in Sept 2013, with no racking before then. “It is starting to shape up as I like – a little sweet note. It has been under oak after its racking, is now in the home straight,” S.Pichat. 2022-24  Oct 2012

2010

dark tints at the centre of its red robe; has a guarded, smoky nose, showing black raisin, a meaty depth, and shows prune, ripe black berry, chocolate,. The palate veers towards prune, smoky berry, is toasted, with a very young finish, not yet clearly defined and rather chunky and charged in its way. It builds as it goes, has a ticking insistence. There is plenty here. Decant it. A good example of a hand made 2010 Côte-Rôtie. From 2016 or so. 13.5°. 2025-27  Oct 2012

 

2009

good all together dark red, purple-tinted robe. The bouquet is broad and nicely deep – a consistent aroma of dark berry fruit, one or two notes of vanilla, a light floral suggestion. This is dense and harmonious: the palate holds blueberry, blackberry fruit which moves along in a sound wave, the length good. It is textured in the fashion of a sunny vintage, with a well-knit compilation of matter. The oak is largely infused by now. In its style, it leans towards Burgundy, which is Stéphane’s region of reference. Good drinking with youth still uppermost over maturity. 2023-25  Dec 2014 Previously Nov 2009 ***(*)cask 1 (4 year 300-litre oak) ***(*) full red; reductive but intrinsically ample bouquet – wide and cohesive. There is a sound debut of rolled up red fruit that comes with a hearty nature, a definite feet on the ground wine with noticeable tannins. Tightly wrapped, it needs leaving to gain nuance and variety. From 2013-14 to 2026. cask 2 (2 year 228-litre oak) ***(*) attractive red; the nose is a fine arrow of red fruit, and has quiet raisin undertones. The palate has a clearer access of red fruit than the 300-litre cask (this is rounder because of the 228-litre size”, S.Pichat.), and keeps going well. Has plenty of content, bright fruit and correct acidity. The aftertaste is peppery. To 2026. OVERALL ***(*) this will have good spine, and will be on the button around 2016 onwards. 2024-26 Nov 2009

2008

cask 1 (4 year 300-litre oak) red robe; fine, upright tinkle of clear red fruit, pepper touches that make it fresh. The palate starts gently – comes with close-knit red fruit, with a quiet gain as it goes. Discreet, but very frank wine: its length is nice and steady, but it just skips some fruit at the end. “this has the Burgundian finesse side to it, similar to 2003 – low yields – whereas 2003 went south, 2008 went north,” S. Pichat. Cask 2 (2 year, 228-litre oak) this has a bit more weight on the palate, finishes clearly, is a fine-boned wine. “I may raise this 18 months, not the usual 24 months,” Stéphane Pichat. OVERALL: ** from spring 2011. 2020-21, and I hope it is not raised as long as usual. Nov 2009

2007

steady red robe that is advancing at the top rim. Scented aroma – blackberry jam, wine gums by Maynards, the black ones, vanilla and violet. The palate is closed for now, but has a good texture – a rather quiet oily feel late on. In a primary state – it needs two years to become more varied and interesting. It will flow calmly when it is on the mark. Marked licorice aftertaste. 13°. 2019-20. €25 here. Nov 2009 Previously Jan 2008 **(*) Cask 1 - 300 litre cask, sugars and malo finished: ** raspberry aroma that is wide and carries potential – there is some style here, for the future. The palate is tight, with some sulphur in here, just applied, and not a defect. The content is measured by the time of the mid-palate, but it carries on nicely, and there is some live lat cherry fruit. Cask 2 – 228 litre cask, sugars and malo finished: **(*) three-quarter depth red robe; has a pretty clear aroma that bears some red jam in it. The palate is nicely rounded – this has a good middle and body to it, is sympa, and holds up well. The fruit is clear and sinewed and will need ageing. This has an articulate, Burgundian style about it. 10-12 years of life. Jan 2008

2006

(cask) bright, quite dark red. There is a grip of oak with red fruit in behind on the aroma – and a light jam, sweetness, in the air as well. The palate fruit is approachable, like all the wines from him, they have bearing, reserve and have been carefully made and handled. It on its oak late in the palate. This is a representative example of the blend. 2021-23 Jan 2008

2005

bright black berry robe. There is pretty and live black berry fruit in the bouquet, with a little tar and licorice – has a direct, agile, peppery air. The palate fruit has a bristle of tannin inside it – the interior shows some measured richness, with tannin, black fruit and pepper at the end. The oak is a bit of a late prop holding up the wine, but is not intrusive. A wine of good poise and length. It is refined, but is no patsy or lay-down – its elements are well-bound, and it has an STGT leaning. The fruit is fresh and clear all the way – a pure, upright wine in style. Bottled Sept 2007. 2019-21 Jan 2008

2003 ()

(cask) well-founded potential on nose, dark aroma. Meaty, black fruit, tight-knit - a schist child. Solid, good gras and definition. Quite rigorous, masculine, can come along. 2007-08 on. 2019-21

2002

oak on bouquet, has a damp side, not fresh. Simmered mulberry fruit, but lacks flesh. Some length, end acidity apparent. esp 2006 on. 2010-11

2001

ripe, stewed berry aromas, smoky; decent matter, berry flavours, chewy. Ends drily, rather hot. Hope oak softens. 2011-13

2000

oily, bit spiced nose, supple; nice black garden fruit with oak drying it towards end. Fair flesh, heated end. 2009-11