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The Wines

100% Syrah selected by tasting of all the Crozes-Hermitage casks, since early 2010s includes 2003 Syrah from Larnage terracing, 33%-100% whole bunch 6 day fermentation, pumping overs, aged 10% new, 90% used oak 12 months, filtered, 3-14,000 b

2018

(tank, bottling in one month) very dark; the nose is inky, has a touch of noble Volatile Acidity, soaked cherries, raspberries a wee note of pork grilling. This bears juicy, wholesome black fruits, is fluid and expressive, the tannins ripe and munchy, flexible. It ends on good coating, tannins inside. It’s thorough beyond its flashy outer fruit, sustains well. 13,300 b. From 2023. 2038-40 Feb 2020

2017 ()

very dark; plentiful black fruit, blackberry lozenges, show on the nose which has smoky notes, dried herbs, ripe cassis, licorice and coffee. It’s a bounding, sure start. The attack is firm, closed but well filled; it lengthens nice and straight, inner strength at its centre, comes from within, really covers the ground. This is serious, structured Crozes. The finish is long, its juice thorough, sustained. “In 2016 and 2017 the terroir prevailed over the weather. 2016 is the mother, 2017 the father,” Maxime Graillot. Bottled Feb 2019. From 2023-24. 2041-43 Feb 2020

2016 ()

quite a dark red, with a pale rim. There is nicely sturdy potential on the nose, an air of raspberry coulis, hints of violets, has a good, safe depth. The palate is still very much entwined, knit, dumb. It has good heart, layers of content. Red fruit and rose notes come along on the finish, leading into a lip smacking close with some oak; it lengthens surely. This is proper table wine for the longer term. 13°. 20,000 b. Bottled Jan 2018. From 2022. 2036-38 Dec 2018

2015 ()

dark red; there are oak-charcoal notes, the depth of sunny ripeness at the centre of the broad bouquet, a thickness and mulling in the dark berry fruit, sun rays a go-go. The attack is muscular, bears deep-set red fruits, a lot of content that is chewy, durable, grounded. Pockets of iron lie along its trail. This is properly complete, goes wide and long, is very full. It’s in a holding phase now, so wait until 2022. 13°. 2037-39 Dec 2018 Previously Nov 2017 ****(*) dark red. The nose is interesting, comes with airs of crushed raspberry, wee acetate, has smoke, black pepper, the mystery of more to come, dried herbs. The palate is both rich and sealed, holds a red fruits concentration with firm tannins that have iron. It ends on a spark of raspberry. The length is good, the richness carries it towards Hermitage from the middle to eastern zones. Its degree isn’t excessive. As it has structure, it needs time. The stems rule the finish – they have helped to restrain the degree in fact. There’s menthol on the aftertaste. It’s a long-term wine. 13°. Bottled Dec 2016. From 2022. 2034-36 Nov 2017

2014 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2013

red robe, with slight evolution on the rim. Mineral goes boom on the nose, very in keeping with the rocky vintage; it comes with flanks of crushed raspberry and a soft rose petal presence. The palate also takes an iron-mineral stance, has moved to some early secondary features, damp vegetation notes. The content is closely packed. It’s in transition now, gives menthol on the aftertaste. This is a Thinker’s Wine, a Rodin, high on interest. There’s late crunch. 13°. From 2019. 2034-36 Nov 2017

2012

red robe with plum red notes, a clear rim. Red meat, cherry stone airs, mixed herbs, some cool iodine mingle on the nose. The palate carries true 2012 definition and freedom, dark red, mulberry fruits, raspberry with good life and full of beans. It lasts into a mineral, lightly floral sign-off. This is stylish, nice and natural; the fruit has verve, flair, and it’s going well now. The close is precise, has good cut. 2031-33 Dec 2018 Previously Nov 2013 ***(*) (1-year cask, 2003 Syrah from Larnage terraces, 33% whole bunch) attractive red robe; has a red fruit jelly air, ripe red fruits with blackberry notions. The red fruit runs well along the palate, picks up well, has grip, flinty clarity. Fine and precise, has a warm heart. 2029-31  Nov 2013

2011

(bottling Dec 2012, next month) healthy red, nice dark centre. Smoky, attractively full raspberry aroma, with red meat adding a little punch. The nose is wide and will evolve well, and be varied. The palate delivers wide, rather brimming blackberry fruit, its depth confirmed. It is more stately than the classic 2011. Feet on the ground, sustained wine that is long, ends freshly. This has a good level of freshness, and a southern, herbs from the south, style. From 2015, say. 13°. 2030-32  Nov 2012

2010

(tank, bottling in Jan 2012, less than usual because the classic is good this year) good, full robe; harmonious and inviting fullness on the nose, led by deep black cherry and berry fruit. Dark and penetrating, but is hardly open for now. The palate is grounded, laced with classy, obvious tannins. This is structured to live, a gradual evolver. A take your time wine of serious intent, that is shapely and long. From 2015. 2032-34 Nov 2011

2009 ()

(cask, bottling next month, the selection from cask tasting made 2 weeks ago) bright and full robe; nutty, “shiny” red fruit aroma that is sympa and elegant. There is stuffing in it, in the shape of toffee-raisin airs. Very clear, also prominent palate fruit with pleasing substance and gras in it – it spreads well after a lively attack, is more reserved than the classic 2009. It closes well, nice and tight, with a spiced aftertaste. It promises to round out around 2014. 2031-33. 10,000 b this year. Nov 2010

2008 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED – ALL RESOURCES NEEDED FOR THE CLASSIC WINE

2007 ()

bright, quite full red robe. The nose is forward, expressive, with overt cherry and redcurrants airs. The palate holds elegant, pretty red fruits of some intensity – they linger well, and the wine ends on a licorice note. Has a Burgundian style and clarity in its red fruits and the finish is snappy. A wine whose texture is live. Decent length, with a peppery finale. From 2011. 2026-28. 7,000 b this year. March 2009

2006

cherry plus red robe; the nose has a good foundation, with a top layer of red fruit above an earthy couch. There is a vanilla implant as well: this is a compact and promising bouquet – gives good access to real Syrah qualities. The palate has the classic profile of a slow gain vintage – the fruits are nice and firm, with a slight late freshness. The wines lies quietly in the glass, and will extend its length with time. Try from spring 2011, no hurry. 7,000 b this year. 2026-28 March 2009

2005

the robe has a plum colour, shows some evolution, its aspect good. The nose cooks up lots of different stimuli – pepper and spice, flowers, a bit of brioche baked bread, menthol; it is going well now. This is grippy, a real 2005 in its firm frame, some tension in it. The flavour is plum with licorice. It  still rather hidden. The length is stylish. Drink with game birds, a roast partridge would be excellent. Decant this. 13°. 2026-28  March 2015 Previously March 2009 ****(*) quite a dark red; has a broad, just starting to move bouquet, with a suggestion of red berry or redcurrant fruit; it has a good, smoky outer coating. The red fruits are purposeful on the palate, tight knit now, with a good, steady tannic casing around them. Good vintage truth here – it is long wine of firm intent. The finale is chewy and licorice-tasting. Decant this if drinking now, but there should be no hurry – it is still a bit square of shape. 14,000 b this year – so good was the quality, and lots of casks to choose from for this wine. 2023-25 March 2009 Previously Jan 2008 **** red-black, bright and belle robe. There is a suggestion of mulled fruit in the red berry aroma – it is only just starting out, is mainly reserved. The red fruits on the palate come with some dash and good acidity – there is bonny freshness within the red fruits that are very well founded. This has ways to go, is very good Syrah – one that can show New World winemakers what French Syrah is all about here. Tasty wine – yes; good length. 2023-25 Jan 2008

2004 ()

(pre-bottle) pretty full robe. Gentle, brewed fruit aroma, some caramel, earthiness, smoked bacon. Tight-knit palate, with a bit of reduction, three-quarter weight wine. Contains nice fibre, its tannins may need till late 2007 - are sprinkled discernibly but not in excess. Fresh, mineral end. More shape 2008 on. 2022-24 Dec 2005

2003

broad bouquet - lot of content, weighty but pretty aromas. Black fruits flavour, more variety and potential than just jam. Ripe, chewy matter on finish. Has cut, which is quite something this year, no doubt aided by the inclusion of the stems; it can develop. 2024-26

2002 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2001

ripe raspberry fruit, coffee touches, balanced nose. Classic structure, full, warm with richness, tannins present towards finish. Ripe black fruit with pepper. Marked oiliness in its content. 2023-25

2000 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

1999 ()

quiet, understated bouquet, smoky and floral; very wholesome attack, a lot of berried flavour and a long finish. Nice cool texture, good. Serious red Crozes here. 2023-25

1998

tight packing of small berry fruit, smoke on nose; can develop, broaden. Tight cut of good flavour. Mixes red and black fruit, licorice on end, which is cool and chewy. Good length.This can live well. 2022-24

1997 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

1996 ()

quite firm bouquet, smoked red fruits. Palate more rounded, open, nicely full, prickly dark fruit shows on the finish. 2017-20