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The Wines

25 plots across 5 sites, northern sector, 70% 1940-1970s Syrah from Rozier, plus 25% Côte Baudin (1982), 5% Fongeant (1977), includes 2-4% Viognier, 80% destemmed, 3 week vinification, 50% submerged cap, pumping overs, light cap punching, 1 part vat emptying/refilling, assembled after the malo in steel vat, aged 25% new, 75% 2-3 year 228-litre oak casks 18 months (until early 2000s was used barrels 6 months, then 25% new, 75% used oak casks 6-8 months), fined, filtered, called Drevon in mid-2010s, Classique before then, 13,200-35,000 b

2016 ()

(casks) dark red, full robe. The nose is restrained on its neat black fruit, open on its charcoal oak, has a steady intensity, shows licorice as well. The palate runs with liberal, engaging black fruits that possess the crystalline quality of the vintage. The oak takes over for the late moments, is assertive. There is a fluid richness here, which the wine needs to keep up with its very prominent oaking. The length is sound. 13°. 13,200 b. From mid-2020. 2031-34 Nov 2017 Previously Oct 2016 ***(*) (an example from different vats, the sugars completed, the malo not yet) dark robe, black and purple mixed. The nose gives cool blueberry fruit in nicely agile style – it is fresh and airborne, has appealing depth. The palate has a juicy start, is free flowing with quiet grip, late control. It ends with a suave take. This is harmonious, has good juice-flesh content. The nose is charming, the close floral. Burgundian poise here. The yield was high -  44 hl/ha against 39 hl/ha in 2015. “It’s very balanced, in the style of 2012 but more concentrated, and it’s also more typical than 2015. The colours are belle and brilliant,” Louis Drevon. From 2020. 2030-32 Oct 2016

2015

(casks, bottling Oct 2017) very dark. Light reduction appears in a slinky aroma, a sunny roundness of black fruits with a glisten of cassis and blackberry. It has good purity, is well defined. It has a definite southern climes angle – black olives, black fruit paste. The palate has a crunchy debut; this is another silky content wine with good inner tannic strength. The finale is chewy, thorough. It has good heart, and is a potential STGT wine. “I’ve never seen such colour as in 2015,” Louis Drevon. “It is starting to open; it was on its oak before, but now the fruit is coming forward. It is concentrated, but also balanced,” Maxime Gourdain. From 2020. 2034-36 Oct 2016

2014 ()

steady red robe. The nose has a little earthy foundation, airs of toffee, sweet blackberry fruit, also raspberry, has a musky angle. The palate has a floral, gummy opening, with soft gras and a plump content to set up aromatic drinking. The tannins are round, squeezy, but slightly lacking in precision. Gentle, traditional, a little low in spark. 98% Syr, 2% Vio. Bottled end June 2016. 13°. “We harvested 24 September, late compared to our neighbours – with drosophile fruit flies around, we did it all in a fast three days. In fact, we only had 0.3 of a hectare a cross our eight hectares hit by the fruit flies, so we were lucky,” Maxime Gourdain. From 2018. 2026-27 Oct 2016

2013 ()

dark robe. Peppery, oak, brioche baked bread, varnish airs show on the nose, a liquid, loose wave of black cherry and blackcurrant fruit within; the bouquet has depth, if being a little strict for now. Fluid, streamlined fruit leads the palate, runs with a smooth texture, no false steps. It ends towards menthol, has that clarity, with some peppery oak. There is a good, bubbling quality to the fruit that makes it expressive. This really keeps going as it finishes. 13°. 2% Viognier, 15,000 b. From 2017. 2027-29 Jan 2015

2012

(new 228-litre oak cask, the final blend, bottling April 2014) full robe, dark centre. Smoky, violets air with soaked black cherries. The oak is settling in, with precise fruit aromas. The palate has a comfortable style, mixes its dark fruits with crisp, ripe tannins, and is juicy and wholesome as it ends – it is long. A tidy ensemble here. This will please. Charming, fine. 17 years. 12.9°. (2 year 228-litre oak cask) **** dark red. Raspberry fruit, wee game note, good depth in the nose. The palate has a direct approach, bears red fruit with oak in it. The oak not as well absorbed as the previous new oak cask. There are kirsch moments here; it needs time. From 2016-17. 18,000 b this year. 2030-32  Oct 2013

2011

quite a full red robe. The nose is reserved, has a sound filling of dark fruit – this has good northern zone Côte-Rôtie, Brune style, is true. This domaine is 90% Brune, so this fits well. The palate is close-knit, quietly muscular, all tightly woven. It emerges into a more vanilla, prune expressive late phase. Mineral glints crop up here and there, a cordite note. Bottled June 2013: I find it still under the influence of its bottling, but needs to gain matter in the late palate. Decant it. From 2016 – that delay will help. 13°. 2026-28  Oct 2013

2010 ()

sound red. The violet flowers of Côte-Rôtie feature here in a serene setting, comes with expressive fruit. It is good and clear, has a firm foundation. There is oak and a smoked angle in what is a lovely welcome. The palate is young, virile, holds black fruit, is sturdy, tangy, shows licorice and coffee. Not stretching out yet. It has a mineral fencing close to its red fruit, all around it, and its tannins crowd in, too. It is clear throughout, has spine and is very directed by its terroir now. Patience required. Very good fruit runs through this – it has ways to go, is long wine. From 2017. 13°. “It has a lot of chewy, robust matter,” Louis Drevon. 2033-35  Oct 2013  Previously Nov 2011 several casks 1) ****(*) (2 year cask, assembled twice now, the final wine) dark robe; has an ample, thorough nose, displays black berry fruit, has good, grounded qualities, violet scenting. This is really good, is a rather traditional Côte-Rôtie, no flim-flam, a robust wine with honest virtues. There is good juice in it, and an attractive fullness. It is both solid and mobile, runs well. Real good stuff, with a foundation that bodes well for its development. Is light reductive now. 2) **** (1 year François Frères 228-litre cask) dark robe; smoky top air, wide black fruit. a deep aroma. The black fruit runs nicely, is fine, oaked. It is more fine than the previous casks. 3) ****(*) (new François Frères 228-litre cask) dark robe. Solid bouquet, dark fruits, is wide and sustained. Beefy palate, almost like the first cask, but with prominent oak. OVERALL: ****(*) all 3 casks show attractive finesse, are elegant through the palate, the length is good. Has northern zone, STGT qualities. 2023-26, despite what Louis says. Nov 2011

2009

dark red. The nose is closed-in, bearing firm, sunny red fruit inside, beyond its jam, a note of baking. The palate starts on a cluster of red berries, with clear-cut tannins coming in after half way. Solid, hewn from granite wine, more grounded than the 2010. A nicely traditional Côte-Rôtie with “meat and potatoes” appeal. There is a small floral display at the end after a wee spot of fluid red fruit. From spring 2015. “It is starting to show well,” Louis Drevon. 13°. 2026-28  Oct 2013  Previously Nov 2011 **** good, full robe, a lot of depth. Smoky top air, the bouquet has a chunky shape, is wide and deep. The bouquet suggests tannin, and the palate delivers that – it is firm, robust and needs 3 years to soften and ease on the second half, and also to open up the attack. “Dark wine”, whose length is solid. It also needs to loosen its oak influence. 13°. From 2014-15. Bottled 15 April, 2011. “It is very promising, but patience is needed – it is a bit like a mix of 2000 and 2001,” Louis Drevon. 2022-24 June 2011

2008

fine red robe. Graceful, lightweight nose with points of precise black fruit, a little floral note, some latent earthiness, and licorice. The palate shows the pepper of the year, holds fine red fruit, bears an appealing freedom. It keeps together well. The texture is fibrous rather than rich. Drink with grilled meats. It is clear and good now, just a bit firm on the finish. “It hasn’t moved much,” Louis Drevon. 12.5°. 2019-20 Oct 2013  Previously Nov 2011 *** decent, quite full red; peppery front to the nose, mild black jam in behind and wispy, likeable floral touches with oak-smoke. The palate starts on a pretty roundness, is easy going, supple and willing. No Show Biz here, holds good fruit, is measured in depth, delivers floral moments. One caution is the rather abrupt, tarry exit on the aftertaste. Three-quarter weight wine, with good grain in it, a good terroir wine that offers very correct, accessible drinking. 12.8°. 2018-19 June 2011

2007

good, full robe. The nose is striking, declares lots of fruit and interest, has evolved attractively, bears menthol and marked cassis, persists well. The palate is at a good stage – oily black fruit, scented and fine after way, with discreet body and build. Good, grounded Côte-Rôtie, an STGT wine that really delivers flavour and appeal. It ends on notes of black jam, olive. Very authentic. There are touches of oak on the aftertaste, can still make headway. “It was very closed 18 months ago at the end of 2009, but started to move from August 2010, and became more ample. It will be good with red meats, since it is quite robust,” Louis Drevon. 2020-22 Nov 2011 Previously March 2009 ***(*) (casks) bright, full red robe; has a resin-pine, pepper nose – it shows peony flowers and licorice, too. The palate is scented, floral – it is soft, has fair body and length. The flavour is plum fruited, with a floral late burst in it for now. Tannins are present, with a fine thread. To be bottled next month, April 2009. 2018-20 March 2009

2006

(cask) quite a dark robe; nice and wide bouquet, plenty of filling, even though it is reductive and a bit earthy – is due to be racked next month. The palate shape is round, with fleshy content and a good, honest flavour. Rich, but not massive, the start is tinged with oak. Has a good grain, and a live, quite fresh set of tannins. There is a good, elegant fruit core to it. From 2012. 2026-28. “It is close to 2001 for me – a wine that is structured and that needs keeping. I think this now needs at least 5 years more,” Louis Drevon. June 2007

2005 ()

dark, bright robe; black fruits and cherry with a little toasting and some flowers come through on the nose. The palate is tight, but the core is rich. Holds tarry, active tannins, and is fresh at the finish. Is not yet integrated, has a firm aftertaste but enough matter to come together. Steady, good local wine that is balanced, well-packed and well-structured. From 2013. 2028-31 perhaps. Bottled 10 April, 2007. Tasted June 2007

2004 ()

quite a full red robe; red berry fruit aroma that is starting to peek out. Scented, fine-boned wine with good grip, has a classic structure. The texture is good and clear, the pretty fruit reined in by some grip and control late on. Direct, but nice quiet filling in it. Sound quality, STGT style of wine. 2017-19 “This is a more subtle year. I do not think it will close up – I give it 12 years, but it can be drunk now,” Louis Drevon June 2007 Previously March 2005 (cask) *** oily, black fruits, sustained bouquet. Elegant, fine and rich palate, suave texture, pretty. Cooked black fruits show through, length is good. Oaked finale. A fine year and more savoury than 2003.. Maybe a 14-16 year wine. Last tasted March 2005.

2003 ()

(pre-bottle) full, compact bouquet with no excess - well-weighted, some heat and oak. Very northern, schist-style, direct attack, with mineral present. Richness amplifies through the palate, extends well. Tar aftertaste. Drinks OK now with its richness. It will give more from 2008, though. 2018-21. Last tasted March 2005.

2002 ()

nutty, cherry aroma, soaked fruit without great depth. Direct, rather burnt, tarry palate, is a bit square. Clear-cut, drink esp 2006-09. Last tasted March 2005 Previously ** (cask) open nose - sweet/floral aspects, bit stalky. Early wine - easy, rounded, bit of tar, licorice. Lacks some middle. To 2010.

2001

(cask) sweet raspberry, earthy, sound bouquet; stewed dark flavour, burnt tones, chewy. Leathery style, from 2007. Can become interesting. 2012-14

2000 ()

rounded bouquet, blackberry/raspberry mix; nicely full, then tightens. More chunky than expected. Southern aspect here, nicely ripe. Violet hint at end, texture is stewed, length good. 2010-13