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The Wines

1970s and older Syrah at Larnage (northern zone), destemmed since 2004, 20-25 day vinification, crop cooled 3-5 days at 13°C, twice daily pumping overs, aged 1-2-3 year old 228-litre oak casks 10-12 months, unfined, filtered, 5-7,000 b

2018 No Rating

Bottle 1: very full robe, black centre. Some taint on nose. Bottle 2: the bouquet has something of the farmyard in it, is husky, downhome, stewed black fruits present. The palate is also overtly stewed, low on freshness, has a gummy flavour and dries early, notes of Brett here. Cannot rate this, sadly. 14.5°. Nov 2019

2017

good, dark red with black robe. This is corked. Bottle 2: full, lusty dark red robe. The bouquet is a rich affair, carries sunny ripeness, a sturdy aroma of black berry fruit. The palate rolls out a rich debut, the texture coated, the core of it fat. The tannins are ripe and well involved. It garners a little strength, power on the finish, with a dab of salt that helps its clarity. Allow until mid-2019, and if drinking it that early, decant it.  It’s an ideal partner for lamb stews, tajine, daube of beef with black olives, dishes in tune with its southern lean. It is bottled already. 14.5°. 2030-32 Dec 2018

2016

full red colour. The nose is starting to emerge, bears a solid depth of black fruits, some varnish, an oiliness. It needs another nine months to expand and vary further. The palate is closely knit, thorough, centres on compressed black juice with some toffee style tannins in the mix late on. This is a guarded, serious wine that time will coax more out of. The fundamentals are sound, it has a steady heartbeat. 14°. From late 2018. 2024-25 Nov 2017

2015

bright red, arresting robe. The bouquet exercises restraint, comes with a poised, floating, quietly perfumed air of red berry such as raspberry. There is a slight chalkiness. The palate holds intricate dark fruit with a sinew in the content, and tannins that have a gnarled punch within them. The finish is solid, grounded, elemental - it needs two winters to become civilised. The nose is elegant, the palate still dark and demanding. 14°. From mid-2019. 2029-31 Oct 2016

2013 ()

sober dark red. Has a streamlined, sleek aroma, mixes suave black cherry with oak, comes with a bacon side effect. There is decent poise in this nose. The palate is smooth, travels with some ease, oak a constant through it. The finish swirls with blackberry, juicy fruit, and licorice-oak tar. Another 15-18 months will round the finish and let the oak assimilate further. From mid-2016. Only 5,000 b this year. 13°. 2022-24  Jan 2015

2012 ()

full robe; the nose is reserved – has an inky, compact depth, a coolness of blueberry fruit. It has smoky mystery, but isn’t firing now. The palate has quiet, tenacious grip, isn’t releasing all its fruit yet. There is a small pool of fruit on the finish. Upright wine, has a fine skeleton. It will gain over time, is interestingly fruity, has a grippy feel. Hidden corners that work well. Good with pork. 13°. 7,000 b this year. 2019-20  Nov 2013

2011

quite a dark red; vanilla, walnut, nutty plum fruit secondary air. It is tight-knit. The palate has an acetate streak across it, gives a firm hit, possibly under its recent bottling. This is grainy, rather dark, upright wine, but has an inlay of gras so all is well if left until 2014. Decant this. 13°. 2019-20  Nov 2012

2010 ()

clear, striking full red with black cherry tints inside it. Excellent, really stimulating and varied nose that combine saltiness, a “high” note, blackberry jam – it is nicely broad. This is a shapely, stylish and genuine child of Larnage, STGT wine with its snap of clarity and late acidity and freshness couched in a black berry fruit setting, along with a glance of licorice. Has crystalline qualities, shows oak after half way, the balance is good. It is jungley, a bit wild, but is extremely long. From spring 2013. 13.2°. 2019-20 Dec 2011

2009

dark, purple, full robe. Meaty, full, blackberry aroma – solid Syrah with almost road tar/goudron-rubber airs, is sultry. The palate pushes out its black fruit, drives along, has energy in its closing stages, a vibrant tannin within. It is at a exciting raw, wild stage – promising plenty if it knits together. The genuine article, not been polished to become pristine. Has a lot going for it, and is recommended to lovers of Cornas, for instance. Wild late tannins, yo! Bottled already. From 2013. 13.5°. 2020-22 Nov 2010

2007 ()

pretty, full robe; the bouquet is suave – its fruit is round and agreeable, close-knit – and it shows good cohesion. The palate has a compact fruit and a late moment of clarity – it is pretty and gentle, very much in Olivier`s image. Harmonious, good length. There is a pebbly touch of good tannin that adds life. STGT wine. 2013-14 March 2009

2006

bright black robe; has a scented black fruits aroma, notably of ripe black cherry – is direct and open, with a little oaking. There is also a direct hit of black fruit that is crisp in tone on the palate, and that goes most of the way. A little technical, but efficiently done, a well-organised wine. Will it gain more soul? Ends cleanly, on the griottes, soaked cherries, route. A good, clear wine overall. 13°. 2011-13 Dec 2007

2005 No Rating

(casks) dark, full robe; sweaty bouquet – full of ripe fruit with a burnt side. The palate is a mixed up kid. There is a zig-zag of black berry fruit, and its acidities are not settled. There is dry oak at the finish. This is all over the place (tasted blind) and a touch volatile. The core fruit is black berries, and quite rich, so this may sort itself once it is in a less brut state, and finally bottled, and finally settled in the bottle. Nov 2006

2004 No Rating

No Rating - 2 bottles tried blind April 2006 in Tournon: both had a lactic leaning, unbalanced.

2003 ()

deep robe; ripe black fruit bouquet with a jam, sweet, southern tone, is full. Rose-flavoured black sweets, savoury without being too plush. Elegantly compact, with detectable tannins towards finish. Decent definition. Unpretentious winemaking, more variety by 2008. STGT wine, a great achievment this year. 2012-14

2002 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2001 ()

tight aroma; well-cut direct fruit, pepper in it, tannins within, chewy end. 2005 on. 2011-12